To become a Fellow, attorneys must meet rigorous membership criteria.

  • Be recognized for their practice of family law by the bench and the bar in their jurisdiction
  • Have been admitted to bar for at least seven years, dedicating at least 75 percent of their practice to matrimonial law (for at least five years immediately before the date of application).
    • Note that for those lawyers “downstate” the 75% requirement might be waived and be reduced to 50%.
  • Have completed 15 hours of continuing legal education in each of the previous five years
  • Pass a written examination on subjects pertaining to matrimonial and family law, administered by the National Board of Examiners
  • Complete an interview and examination conducted by the Illinois Chapter Board of Examiners, as well as interviews by other matrimonial law practitioners in Illinois
  • Commit to the ethical standards set forth in the “Bounds of Advocacy” as well as rules of professional conduct endorsed by the Illinois State Bar Association
  • Demonstrate involvement in study or improvement of matrimonial law, such as publishing articles or teaching continuing education courses
  • To start the Academy application process click here.

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