Certified Specialist in Criminal Law in North Carolina

North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
 

At Lawyer Legion, we understand the important role that board certification plays in helping the public find a qualified criminal defense attorney. Use our directory to find a criminal defense attorney in North Carolina.

Our directory also allows you to narrow your search to find a board certified specialist in one of North Carolina's areas of specialization including:



Our ranking systems looks at factors such as board certification by the NC State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, certification by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC), and membership in important criminal defense non-profit organizations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).


Criminal Law as a Specialty Area for the Legal Specialization

Under 27 NCAC 01D Section .2501, the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization established criminal law as a specialty area of law. For purposes of the board certification program criminal law includes both federal and state criminal law and the subspecialty of juvenile delinquency law.


Definition of Criminal Law as a Specialty Field of Law

The specialty of criminal law is defined for North Carolina's board certification program as the practice of law dealing with "the defense or prosecution of those charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes in state and federal trial courts."

The term state criminal law is defined as the "practice of criminal law in state trial and appellate courts." The term "juvenile delinquency law" is defined as the "practice of law in state juvenile delinquency courts."

Lawyers that qualify can use the term "Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law."  If a lawyer qualifies as a specialist for the subspecialty of state criminal law, then the lawyer can use the term "Board Certified Specialist in State Criminal Law."  

If a lawyer qualifies as a specialist for the subspecialty of juvenile delinquency law, then the lawyer can use the term "Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law – Juvenile Delinquency."


Standards for Specialty Certification in Criminal Law

The attorney that applies for certification as a specialist in criminal law or the subspecialty of state criminal law or juvenile delinquency must show substantial involvement in the specialty area through the performance of substantive legal work including significant criminal trial experiences through a certain number of criminal jury trials.

A portion of the substantial involvement requirements might be met through a practice equivalent such as:

  • service as a federal, state or tribal court judge; or
  • service as a law professor concentrating in the teaching of criminal law.

The attorney must show that he or she has completed certain tasks proving the attorney's significant criminal trial experience including:

  • representation as principal counsel of record in federal felony cases or state felony cases (Class G or higher);
  • court appearances in other substantive criminal proceedings in criminal courts of any jurisdiction;
  • conducting criminal trials concluded by jury verdict; and
  • representation in appeals of decisions to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court, or any federal appellate court.

The attorney must show that he or she has completed a certain number and type of continuing legal education (CLE) credits in the field of criminal law (including evidence, substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal trial advocacy, and criminal trial tactics), as well as a specified number of hours in ethics.

The attorney must submit to peer review from other attorneys and judges in the community familiar with the attorney's practice.

The attorney must pass a written examination testing the attorney's knowledge on certain criminal law topics including:

  • criminal substantive law;
  • trial procedure and trial tactics;
  • appellate procedure and tactics;
  • state and federal criminal procedure and state and federal laws affecting criminal procedure;
  • the North Carolina and Federal Rules of Evidence; and
  • constitutional law.

Recertification as a Specialist in Criminal Law

Certification is in effect for five years. During that time the attorney must apply for continued certification within certain time limits.

Although no written examination is required, the attorney must show substantial involvement in the specialty area, completion of certain continuing legal education (CLE) credits, and peer review.


Finding a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in North Carolina

North Carolina's board certification program plays an important role in helping the public find the best attorney for their particular case. At Lawyer Legion, we understand the importance of these programs.

Our directory helps the public find a criminal defense attorney for cases in state court, federal court and the juvenile court system in cities throughout North Carolina including Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, and High Point.


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