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

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

Specialty Fields

There are currently 10 fields of law in Minnesota through which Minnesota lawyers can become certified specialists.

Click on the specialties below for more information.

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Business Bankruptcy
Certifying Agency: American Board of Certification

Definition: “The practice of bankruptcy law when the debtor in the case is a corporation, a partnership, an individual currently engaged in business, or an individual formerly engaged in business whose debts are primarily incurred for business purposes.”

Child Welfare Law
Certifying Agency: National Association of Counsel for Children

Definition: “The practice of law representing children, parents or the government in all child protection proceedings including emergency, temporary custody, adjudication, disposition, foster care, permanency planning, termination, guardianship, and adoption. Child Welfare Law does not include representation in private child custody and adoption disputes where the state is not a party.”

Civil Trial Practice
Certifying Agency: Minnesota State Bar Association Civil Trial Section

Definition: “The specialty field of Civil Trial Practice is the practice of law dealing with the representation of parties before federal and state courts in non-criminal matters.”

Certifying Agency: National Board of Trial Advocacy

Definition: “‘Civil Trial Law’ is the practice of law dealing with litigation of civil controversies in all areas of substantive law before state courts, federal courts, administrative agencies, and arbitrators. In addition to actual pretrial and trial process, ‘civil trial law’ includes evaluating, handling, and resolving civil controversies prior to the initiation of the suit.”

Consumer Bankruptcy
Certifying Agency: American Board of Certification

Definition: “The practice of bankruptcy law when the debtor in the case is an individual or husband and wife and where the debt is primarily non-business related. The matters are typically filed under Chapters 7 and 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.”

Creditors' Rights
Certifying Agency: American Board of Certification

Definition: “The practice of law dealing with all aspects of the rights of creditors in commercial and sales transactions, both secured and unsecured including but not limited to state and federal remedies for enforcing those rights.”

Criminal Law
Certifying Agency: Minnesota State Bar Association Criminal Law Section

Definition: “‘Criminal Law’ is the practice of law dealing with the defense or prosecution of crimes in state and federal trial courts.”

Certifying Agency: National Board of Trial Advocacy

Definition: “‘Criminal Law’ is the practice of law dealing with the defense and prosecution of misdemeanor and felony crimes in state and federal trial and appellate courts.”

Elder Law
Certifying Agency: National Elder Law Foundation

Definition: “Elder Law” is the legal practice of counseling and representing older persons and persons with special needs, their representatives and families about the legal aspects of health and long-term care planning, public benefits, surrogate decision-making, legal capacity, the conservation, disposition and administration of estates and the implementation of their decisions concerning such matters giving due consideration to the applicable tax consequences of the action, or the need for more sophisticated tax expertise.

In addition, attorneys certified in elder law must be capable of recognizing issues of concern that arise during counseling and representation of older persons and persons with special needs, or their representatives, with respect to abuse, neglect, or exploitation of insurance, housing, long term care, employment, and retirement. The certified elder law attorney must also be familiar with professional and non-legal resources and services publicly and privately available to meet the needs of the older persons and persons with special needs, and be capable of recognizing the professional conduct and ethical issues that arise during representation. All the experience, tasks, and examination requirements relate to these areas of law.

Family Law Trial Advocacy
Certifying Agency: National Board of Trial Advocacy

Definition: “Family law trial advocacy is the practice of law seeking resolution of legal cases arising from the family relationship of husband and wife, cohabitants, and parent and child.

Preparation for civil controversies arising from these relations includes knowledge of the alternatives to resolving the dispute, substantive law, evaluating, handling and resolving these controversies both prior to and following institution of suit, development of necessary litigation strategies, and conclusion of any post judgment proceedings.”

Labor and Employment Law
Certifying Agency: Minnesota State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section

Definition: “The Labor & Employment Law Specialty Field is the practice of law dealing with relationships among employers, employees, and labor organizations, except workers’ compensation. It includes all aspects of labor relations and employment law, both public and private, employment-related statutes, employment-related torts and contracts, and employment discrimination. This definition includes all forms of labor and employment litigation, advice, counseling, negotiations, arbitration, mediation, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution before all tribunals.”

Real Property
Certifying Agency: Minnesota State Bar Association Real Property Law Section

Definition: “Real Property law is the practice of law in Minnesota dealing with matters relating to real property transactions, including but not limited to: real estate conveyances, title searches, leases, condominiums, mortgages and other liens, property taxes, real estate development, real estate financing, and determination of property rights, all with consideration to related fields of law.”