A professional certification is a designation meant to test a level of knowledge and expertise. In the case of a bankruptcy attorney seeking a certification, it demonstrates that he/she has met certain standards and has demonstrated extensive knowledge in bankruptcy and/or creditors’ rights laws. The American Board of Certification (ABC) is the nation’s leading legal specialty certification organization, which certifies attorneys as specialists in business bankruptcy, consumer bankruptcy, and creditor’s rights law. This post will serve to answer some questions about the bankruptcy certification process through the American Board of Certification.
Is a Bankruptcy Certification Really Worth It?
Once an attorney has passed the bar and has been actively practicing bankruptcy law, one may not see a need to pursue a special certification. However, as the bankruptcy sector evolves and millions of bankruptcy filers are seeking a bankruptcy attorney, attorneys need to distinguish themselves. According to the American Board of Certification, bankruptcy certification offers greater opportunities for marketing and referrals, prestige among peers, more effective advertising, and improved credentials. In addition, with this added credential, one can serve as an expert witness and receive increased hourly rates.
What are the Fees?
The application fee is $495 and the examination fee is $125. Every 5 years, a Recertification Application must be completed that requires submission of CLE hours and names of references. The Recertification fee is $225. The complete fee schedule can be viewed here.
What Does the Exam Consist of?
The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions on general bankruptcy knowledge, 2 ethics essay questions and 4 specialty essay questions (business bankruptcy, consumer bankruptcy, or creditors’ rights). The exam is open book and examinees are given 6 hours to complete it. The pass/fail exam has a success rate of more than 75%.
How Much Continuing Legal Education (CLE) is Required?
Most states require an average of between 10 and 15 hours of mandatory continuing legal education every year. To become and remain certified, you need to complete an average of 20 hours of CLE every year.
Exam Offered During 2012 NACBA Fall Workshop
The exam is offered around the country approximately 13 times a year at conferences such as NACBA. As a matter of fact, the 2012 NACBA Fall Workshop will be held at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida and the exam will take place November 1, 2012. If you’d like to take a trip to sunny Florida in November, you can kill two birds with one stone by attending NACBA and sitting for the bankruptcy certification exam (the registration deadline for the exam is October 11th). Leading bankruptcy course provider Start Fresh Today will also be an exhibitor during the workshop—we hope to see you there!