180 East 5th Street, Suite 950
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101

Phone: (651) 297-1857 | Fax: (651) 296-5866
Email: ble_cle_blc@mbcle.state.mn.us

Accredited Agencies

The Minnesota State Board of Legal Certification accredits agencies to permit them to certify lawyers as specialists in various fields of law.

How to Apply to Become an Accredited Agency

Prospective certifying agencies may apply for accreditation in Minnesota by submitting an application. Applications must comply with each of the Rule requirements (see Rule 112).

Do Accredited Agencies need to Apply for Recertification?

Agencies must submit a Recertification Application every three years (see Rule 116). Agencies must also comply with the reporting requirements described in Rule 113.

Agencies Currently Accredited by the Minnesota Board of Legal Certification

American Board of Certification
The American Board of Certification (ABC) is a national certifying agency located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ABC certifies Minnesota lawyers in three specialty areas: Business Bankruptcy (since 1994), Consumer Bankruptcy (since 1994), and Creditors’ Rights (since 1997).

At the end of 2016, there were 5 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Business Bankruptcy” specialists, 3 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Consumer Bankruptcy” specialists, and 1 Minnesota lawyer certified as a “Creditors’ Rights” specialist.

Minnesota State Bar Association
The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) is a professional association and is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. MSBA certifies Minnesota lawyers in four specialty areas: Civil Trial Law (since 1987), Criminal Law (since 2009), Real Property (since 1989), and Labor and Employment Law (since 2009).

Under the terms of a cooperative agreement with the National Board of Trail Advocacy (NBTA), the MSBA uses the NBTA’s Civil Trial Practice examination as its test instrument. Lawyers may apply for certification and be tested simultaneously for certification in Civil Trial Law by both agencies.

At the end of 2016, there were 281 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Civil Trial Law” specialists, 63 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Criminal Law” specialists, 341 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Real Property” specialists, and 117 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Labor and Employment Law” specialists.

National Association of Counsel for Children
The National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) is a national certifying organization located in Aurora, Colorado, and is the newest agency approved by the Board to certify specialists in Minnesota. The NACC was authorized to begin certifying Minnesota lawyers in the specialty area of Child Welfare Law in 2015. At the end of 2016 there were no Minnesota lawyers certified as “Child Welfare Law” specialists.

National Board of Trial Advocacy
The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) is a national certifying organization located in Wrentham, Massachusetts. In 1987, it became the first agency approved by the Board to certify specialists in Minnesota. The NBTA certifies Minnesota lawyers in three specialty areas: Civil Trial Law (since 1987), Criminal Law (since 1987), and Family Law Trial Advocacy (since 2001).

At the end of 2016, there were 95 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Civil Trial Law” specialists, 8 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Criminal Law” specialists, and 12 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Family Law Trial Advocacy” specialists.

National Elder Law Foundation
The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) of Tucson, Arizona, was approved in 1997 to certify specialists in Minnesota in the field of Elder Law. At the end of 2016, there were 4 Minnesota lawyers certified as “Elder Law” specialists.