How Can I Become a Fellow at the Ohio Chapter of the AAML?
There are eight fundamental pillars you must meet to qualify for a fellowship with the AAML:
1. You must be a practicing attorney who has been admitted to the bar of any state for:
- At least 10 years, and at least 5 years immediately preceding the application. To meet this requirement, 75% of your practice must be in matrimonial law (averaged over the last three years). If our board of examiners decides that the 75% benchmark is impossible or impractical to meet given your location, they will reduce it to 50%.
- At least 5 years, if you dedicated 90% of your practice to matrimonial law during those 5 years.
2. The bench and bar in your jurisdiction must recognize you as an expert practitioner of matrimonial law.
3. You must demonstrate substantial involvement in matrimonial law, and encourage the study, improve the practice, elevate the standards, and advance the causes of matrimonial law in your area. Examples of things you can do to fulfill this requirement include:
- Your local and state bar, or national bar association, hold you in high esteem and good standing (particularly the family law sections).
- You regularly give presentations furthering education surrounding matrimonial law in your area.
- You serve as a family lawyer pro term or in other capacities beneficial to the community, such as serving as a trial judge, guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem, attorney for minor children, mediator, etc.
- You serve as an officer or director of any bar association.
- You author published articles on matrimonial law.
- You participate as amicus curiae in matrimonial law matters presented to any appellate court.
- You complete activities that contribute to matrimonial law in your area, such as working pro bono.
- You serve as a faculty member for law school courses in matrimonial law.
- You act as the editor or publisher of a matrimonial law publication.
- You author a major treatise on matrimonial law.
- You serve on a committee related to matrimonial law certification in your state.
4. You must possess significant trial experience, including for the following practice areas:
- Legal separation
- Prenuptial agreements
- The allocation of parental rights and responsibilities
- Shared parenting
- Parenting time
- Property valuation and division
- The identification of marital and separate property
- Spousal and child support
5. You must be a practicing attorney and not a sitting judge. However, judges can become fellows if they meet all of our other criteria, including working as an active attorney in matrimonial law.
6. You must be certified by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) as a Specialist in Family Law Relations prior to your application as a fellow with the Ohio Chapter of the AAML.
7. The bench and bar in your jurisdiction must vouch for you as an attorney who practices with honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Our board of examiners will evaluate your legal career, including any past incidents or examples of misconduct, while considering your application.
8. You must aspire to the Bounds of Advocacy as set forth by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and must display excellent professional and ethical conduct throughout your legal career. The disciplinary body governing your state's rules of professional and ethical conduct for legal professionals must also hold you in good standing.