To apply to become a fellow (i.e., membership) in the Academy, send a letter to the national office of the AAML requesting an application.

Applicants must meet the following requirements for admission. A candidate must be a member of the Bar in their own state for at least ten years and have concentrated at least seventy-five percent of his or her practice in matrimonial law (known as family law in California). There are two exceptions to the above requirements: 1) for lawyers who practice in geographical areas where the seventy-five percent of practice requirement is not feasible, a fifty percent concentration in the area is acceptable; 2) for lawyers who devote ninety percent of their practice to matrimonial/family law, the ten-year practice requirement can be reduced to five years.

Candidates from states where matrimonial/family law is subject to certification by the state bar must be certified as specialists in matrimonial/family law. Each candidate must pass a written examination covering laws and procedures as they relate to the practice of matrimonial/family law, unless their state is exempted due to having a state bar certification process for family/matrimonial lawyers. California is subject to this exemption.

Each candidate is evaluated by the Board of the national organization and personally interviewed by an admissions committee of the local chapter after information regarding the candidate’s experience and ethics is solicited from members of the local Bench and Bar where the candidate practices.

Each candidate must have substantial trial experience in matrimonial/family law litigation with consideration given to the ability to achieve settlement without the necessity of trial. A candidate must also demonstrate the highest standing for character and ethics in his or her legal community.

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