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Attorney Specialization in Indiana

The Indiana Supreme Court Commission for CLE and Specialization (hereinafter the "Commission on Specialization") regulates the certification of lawyers as specialist.

The certification occurs through four (4) Independent Certifying Organizations (ICO) which are approved by the Commission on Specialization. The State Bar of Indiana and the Commission on Specialization does not individually certify the attorney as a specialist.

Specialty certification programs were created to help the public determine whether the attorney has demonstrated extraordinary competence and efficiency, passed an examination in the practice area, met practice and task requirements, and submitted to peer evaluation.

According to the 2014 Supreme Court Annual Report, as of June 30, 2014, there were 295 Indiana attorney specialist listings in nine practice areas. Over the last several years, the number of certified specialists have increased by nearly 100%. This chart shows the number of attorneys certified as a specialist in each practice area:

  • 101 - Trust and Estate Planning specialists;
  •  68  - Family Law specialists;
  •  34  - Civil Trial Advocacy specialists;
  •  27  - Business Bankruptcy specialists;
  •  27  - Civil Pretrial Practice specialists;
  •  18  - Elder Law specialists;
  •  12  - Consumer Bankruptcy specialists; 
  •   4   - Criminal Trial Advocacy specialist; and
  •   4   - Creditors Rights specialists.

Contact Information:

Indiana Supreme Court Commission on CLE & Specialization
Website: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/cle/2336.htm

Rules for Specialty Certification of Attorneys in Indiana

The rules that govern this process for Indiana lawyers include the Indiana Rules for Admission to the Bar and the Discipline of Attorneys, Admission, and Discipline Rule 30 for Attorney Specialization, and Rules of Professional Conduct: Rules 7.1 - 7.4.

Pursuant to Rule 30, the Indiana Certification Review Plan provides procedures for attorneys in Indiana to communicate their status as a certified specialist in a particular specialty area of the law.

One purpose of the rules is to "assure that lawyers claiming special competence in a field of law have satisfied uniform criteria. appropriate to the field…."

Qualifications for Certification

To be recognized as certified in a field of law in the State of Indiana, the attorney must meet the following requirements for certification:

  • be duly admitted to the bar of this state, in active status, and in good standing, throughout the period for which the certification is granted;
  • be certified by an ICO approved by the Commission on Specialization;
  • be in full compliance with the Indiana Bar Certification Review Plan; the rules and policies of the ICO and the rules and policies of the Commission on Specialization.

Privileges and Limitations

Section 6 of Rule 30 confers certain privileges and limitations on the certified specialist. After becoming certified under this rule the attorney may communicate the fact that the lawyer is certified by the ICO as a specialist in the designated practice area.

The lawyer is not permitted to represent, either expressly or impliedly, that the lawyer's certification has been individually recognized by the Indiana Supreme Court or the Commission on Specialization, or by an entity other than the ICO.

Indiana's List of Approved ICO

The list of approved Independent Certifying Organizations (ICO) include:

Board Certified Indiana Trust and Estate Lawyers
Probate, Trust & Real Property Section, Indiana State Bar Association

One Indiana Square
Suite 530
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 639-5465 or (800) 266-2581
Specialty Area: Estate Planning and Administration
Website: http://indianatrustestatelawyers.org/

    Find a Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialist Attorney in Indiana

Family Law Section, Indiana State Bar Association
One Indiana Square
Suite 530
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 639-5465 or (800) 266-2581
Web: http://www.inbar.org/
Specialty Area: Family Law
    Find Certified Family Law Attorneys in Indiana

National Board of Trial Advocacy
(a division of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC))
200 Stonewall Boulevard, Suite 1
Wrentham, MA 02093
Phone: (508) 384-6565
Web: http://www.nblsc.us
Specialty Areas: Civil Trial Advocacy and Criminal Trial Advocacy

    Find Certified Civil Trial Advocacy Attorneys in Indiana
    Find Criminal Trial Advocacy Attorneys in Indiana

National Elder Law Foundation
6336 N. Oracle Road Suite 326, #136
Tucson, AZ 85704
Phone: (520) 881-1076
Web: http://www.nelf.org/
Specialty Area: Elder Law

     Find Certified Elder Law Attorneys in Indiana

American Board of Certification
101 Second Street SE
Suite 904
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Phone: (319) 365-2222
Web: http://www.abcworld.org/
Specialty Areas: Business and Consumer Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights

     Find Indiana Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
     Find Indiana Business Bankruptcy Attorneys
     Find Indiana Creditors' Rights Attorneys

Additional Resources

Indiana Roll of Attorneys - Visit the courts.IN.gov website to find an online attorney directory that lists all of the attorneys in Indiana licensed to practice law in that state. Use the directory to search for attorneys by name or attorney number. Each attorney’s record includes license status, disciplinary history, contact information, and any other names the attorney has practiced under. The Indiana Roll of Attorneys is an online service provided by the Court of Appeals, the Clerk of the Supreme Court and the Tax Court. Pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 2(a) all attorneys are required to provide their correct name, county of residence and contact information (including an email address) to the Clerk. The directory Roll of Attorneys in Indiana tends to be the most recently updated source because attorneys are required to update their information within 30 days of any change.

Finding a Board Certified Specialist Attorney in Indiana

If you are looking for a qualified attorney in Indiana, then consider beginning your search by looking at attorneys in Indiana who have earned the designation as a board certified specialist in a certain specialty area of the law.

Specialty certification for attorneys in Indiana establishes an independent measure of professionalism, competence, and peer acknowledgment.

This article was last updated on Friday, November 22, 2019.