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Criminal Certifications

What it Means to be Certified as a Trial Attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court

Q: What is a certified criminal trial attorney?

Certified criminal trial attorney is a designation granted by the New Jersey Supreme Court to attorneys who are able to demonstrate sufficient levels of experience, education, knowledge, and skill in criminal trial practice. The Supreme Court, through its Board on Attorney Certification, designates only those lawyers who apply for certification and who are able to meet the standards set by the board and approved by the court.

Q: What does it mean when an attorney is certified?
A certified attorney is more than just an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. A New Jersey attorney who is certified by the Supreme Court as a criminal trial attorney must: 1) have been a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar for more than 5 years; 2) fulfilled ongoing continuing legal; 4) been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her work; and 5) taken and passed a written examination in criminal trial law.

Q: Why does New Jersey have a certification program?
The certification program helps the public find attorneys who have demonstrated proficiency in specialized fields of law. Certification helps lawyers by giving them a way to make their experience known to the public and to other lawyers. Certification also encourages the maintenance and improvement of attorney competence in specialized fields of law.

Q: How many attorneys are certified in New Jersey?
As of December 2016, approximately 250 attorneys hold board certification in criminal law out of roughly 75,000 active lawyers in New Jersey.