Why Choose An AAML Attorney?
If you were choosing a doctor, you would obtain the names of persons who regularly deal with your particular medical problem on a daily basis and interview the candidates after getting recommendations. You would seek someone who is both knowledgeable and experienced, and you would not simply choose the first name in the telephone book. You will probably have a limited number of matrimonial and family law problems in your life and perhaps you should seek a lawyer who is both experienced and knowledgeable in this particular area of the law. You will have the results of your litigation or settlement for many years.
What are the necessary credentials to be an AAML attorney? To be eligible for membership in the AAML; you must devote a specified percentage of your practice to Family Law; you must have been in practice a certain minimum number of years, and you must meet other requirements. Some of those requirements are
Be recognized by the bench and bar in his or her jurisdiction as an expert practitioner in matrimonial law.
Admitted to the bar for 10 years; 75 percent of the attorney’s practice must be limited to matrimonial law, but subject to exception in certain geographic areas and other exceptional circumstances.
Have state family law certification if it exists. Where it doesn't exist, applicants must have completed 15 hours of continuing legal education in each of previous five years. Pass oral or written examination on wide- ranging issues pertaining to matrimonial and family law.
Aspire to the ethical standards set forth in the "Bounds of Advocacy" as well as state bar rules of professional conduct.
Demonstrate involvement in study or improvement of matrimonial law, such as publishing articles or continuing education presentations.
If you are a prospective client, ask yourself who you would prefer. An attorney that has demonstrated his knowledge and experience to his peers and passed a test in this specific area of the law, or the first attorney whose name appears in the telephone book. Both can handle a divorce; which do you want to handle your divorce?
If you are an attorney seeking membership, you can obtain a complete description of the requirements and an application form by calling the AAML national office at (312) 263-6477, or contact national by sending an e-mail. You can also send a postal inquiry to:
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
50 North Michigan Avenue Suite 2040
Chicago, IL 60601