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Standing Committee on Specialization

The Committee works to inform the public on the benefits of board certified lawyers and provides information to lawyers on how to become board certified. The Committee also administers the accreditation process for lawyer certification programs offered by private national organizations. 


About the Committee

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. The Standing Committee on Specialization presently accredits 18 specialty certification programs offered by 8 different private organizations. There are also State sponsored certification plans and States which accredit ABA approved specialty certification programs. Lawyer specialization and certification improve the competence, ethics, and professionalism of the certified lawyer. Lawyer certification helps consumers identify lawyers who have specialized training, education, experience, and knowledge in their area of practice, and meet the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

Meet our - Committee Members

Join us July 30-31, 2024, in Chicago, for the ABA National Specialization Roundtable

The 2024 ABA National Specialization Roundtable, held just before the ABA Annual Meeting, brings together board-certified lawyers, certification administrators and colleagues to discuss trends, challenges and the benefits of lawyer board-certification. Visit the ABA Annual Meeting registration page to register. Contact [email protected] for registration instructions specific to National Specialization Roundtable attendees.


Click - To Register

ABA Accredited Lawyer Certification Programs

The ABA accredits lawyer specialty certification programs offered by private organizations. There are currently 18 accredited certification programs conducted by 8 different private organizations.

Qualifications Matter...And Board Certified Lawyers Deliver

Visit our resources for the public to find out more about on the benefits of hiring a board certified lawyer.

View - Resources for the Public

Specialization Resources for Lawyers

View lists of ABA accredited lawyer specialty certification programs, state sponsored certification plans and areas of specialization, case law, Rule 7.2 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and articles on lawyer specialization statistics and the history of specialization.

Specialization: How the ABA Can Make You A Better Lawyer by Steven B. Lesser

Gaining board certification provides an opportunity to learn more, develop your credentials, and build confidence as a lawyer as well as to elevate your status within your firm.

Read - Article

Specialization Discussion Hours & Roundtables

The Committee provides networking opportunities by hosting in-person and virtual roundtables, which bring together representatives from state certification programs and national certifying organizations to discuss topics of board certification, marketing, public awareness and standards.

View - Upcoming Roundtable Events

A Concise Guide to Lawyer Specialty Certification

The ABA Standing Committee on Specialization has compiled this guide primarily to help legal specialty groups explore the development of lawyer specialist certification programs. However, we hope it will also be useful to bar groups, the courts, individual lawyers and consumers in understanding the role of board certification in enhancing the professional credentials of lawyers and making available to the public information on the sources of specialized legal services.

Download - The Guide