Becoming A Fellow

AAML NorCal Fellows are leading voices in the most critical issues in California Family Law. Our academic programs and professional networking provide unparalleled opportunities to upgrade expertise while raising the level of Family Law practice.

Membership in the AAML is widely recognized by practicing attorneys as a benchmark of the highest quality professional acumen among Family Law practitioners in Northern California. The local chapter interviews potential Fellows, and AAML National approves their applications.

Benefits Of AAML Fellowship


  • Professional Recognition
  • Immediately substantiate your professional competence and elevate your profile compared to other family lawyers
  • Inclusion in the Academy’s online Lawyer Finder
  • Use of the words AAML Fellow on your letterhead
  • Use the AAML logo in your email signature and on firm’s
  • Use the AAML logo on firms website (ONLY if all lawyers are AAML Fellows)

Professional Development

  • Accelerate your professional development and anticipate future growth opportunities
  • Discounted Academy Annual and Midyear meeting registration fees
  • Unparalleled networking with the best family lawyers nationally to help advance your career and client base
  • The best in Continuing Education (CLE)
  • Reduced price and free access to online Webinars – all of which are recorded and available for on-demand


  • The influential Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which provides in depth analysis on relevant topics in family law
  • Opportunity to be featured in both the AAML Monthly Newsletter and AAML weekly update e-mail
  • Ability to secure custom book marks with all books purchased from AAML Bookstore

Professional Camaraderie

  • The highest quality referrals
  • Learn from the best in family law and share your experiences
  • Access to local chapters, stay in touch through social functions and make local connections
  • Ability to join one or more of the committees devoted to various areas of focus

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for membership, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Member of the California Bar for ten years
  • At least 75% of practice devoted to Family Law for at least seven years.
  • Exceptions are made for attorneys practicing in geographic areas where this is not feasible.
  • If an attorney devotes 90% of their practice to Family Law, the 10-year requirement may be reduced to 5 years.
  • Must be certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Specialization
  • Substantial trial experience in Family Law litigation
  • Special consideration is given to candidates with a demonstrated ability to settle cases without the need for trial.
  • Candidates must demonstrate the highest standards for character and ethics in their legal community.
  • Successful evaluation by the Board of the National AAML
  • Successful interview with the admissions committee of the NorCal Chapter
  • For more information on the AAML’s Standards for Admission, click here [link to AAML Standards for Admission Four Page doc]


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.

Meet our Fellows

AAML NorCal Fellows are leading voices in the most critical issues in California Family Law. Learn more about the current fellows you will be joining.

Attend An Event

Are you ready to attend one of the events we offer? You will find details on our events page. It includes times, dates, location and registration information it becomes available.
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