Standing Committee on Specialization

About Us

The ABA Standing Committee on Specialization accredits specialty certification programs for lawyers in particular fields of law offered by private organizations that certify lawyers as specialists. Through the review of applications for accreditation and reaccreditation using the Standards for Accreditation of Specialty Certification Programs For Lawyers, the Standing Commitee makes recommendations to the ABA House of Delegates.

The Standing Committee on Specialization accredits 16 certification programs conducted by 8 different private organizations. A listing of these organizations can be found here

We hope these pages will help you discover and understand the growing movement toward lawyer specialty certification. For a history of the Committee and Lawyer Specialization, download this free PDF: A Concise Guide to Lawyer Specialty Certification.

Meet the Committee

Steven Lesser (2023)

Becker & Poliakoff
Ft. Lauderdale

Ernestina R. Cruz (2022)
Cruz Law Office LLC
Taos, NM

Samuel Edmunds (2021)
Sieben Edmunds Miller PLLC
Saint Paul, MN

Leo Figueroa (2021)
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Austin, TX

Shannon Hartsfield (2021)
Holland & Knight LLP
Tallahassee, FL

Melissa S. May (Advisor)
Indiana Court of Appeals
Indianapolis, IN

Heather Linn Rosing (2023)
Klinedinst PC
San Diego, CA

Steven D. Rubin, B.C.S. (2022)
Boca Raton, FL

Board of Governors Liaison
Lynn Fontaine Newsome (2021)

Newsome O'Donnell LLC
Florham Park, NJ

Jessica Watson, Associate Director

Chicago, IL

Shivani Chaudhry, Accreditation Associate
Chicago, IL



Find state specialization plans and ABA-accredited certification programs on our Certification page.

While attorneys may be certified by state or private certification program, each state has specific rules governing how lawyers may communicate their certification. Be sure to check each state’s rules and contact the state representatives for more information regarding publicizing specialization certifications.

Legal Specialty Groups

Interested in starting a program and obtaining accreditation? Please email Shivani Chaudhry at





Decisions and Analysis


ABA Policy

Related Material

  • Model Rules of Professional Responsibility Rule 7.4