What is a CFLS?

At the Law Offices of Nancy J. Bickford, APC, you will be represented by a team headed by Attorney Nancy Bickford, who has been certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Family Law Specialist in family law. A CFLS, or Certified Family Law Specialist, is an attorney who has achieved certification as a specialist in California family law and has demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of legal competence. Following the certification of the first group of Family Law Specialists under the “pilot” program in 1980, the ACFLS (Association of Certified Family Law Specialists) was formed and is now a permanent program of the State Bar. The mission of the ACFLS is to promote and preserve the Family Law Specialty. The goals of the association include the advancement of knowledge of Family Law Specialists, the monitoring of legislation and proposals affecting the field of family law, the promotion and encouragement of ethical practices among members of the bar and their clients, and the promotion of the Family Law Specialty to the public and the family law bar.

Certified Family Law Specialists have recognized expertise in all areas of California family law including divorce, annulment, property division, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, modifications of support, domestic violence, tax consequences of divorce, settlement negotiations, and trial of disputes. Although there are approximately 200,000 lawyers in California, the number of Certified Family Law Specialists is only about 1,100—with just 173 in San Diego. With such a low number of certified and distinguished family law specialists, the demand for an attorney with the qualifications and experience of a CFLS is on the rise. The ACFLS holds meetings several times a year in Southern California where experienced family law practitioners can meet and confer with their other CFLS colleagues and judges to develop a network of contacts of significant value in daily practice.

In addition, Certified Family Law Specialists have access to a large network of experienced practitioners and to publication and continuing education programs that can constantly enhance and improve their skills and knowledge. Certified Family Law Specialists must renew their standing every few years and keep their practice focused predominantly in their particular field of expertise. To be eligible for certification in family law, an attorney must meet certain qualifications set forth by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

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If you are considering a divorce, the most important first step is to consult with an experienced San Diego Family Law Attorney who exemplifies the qualifications set forth by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Family Law Specialist. Call (858) 793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County, La Jolla or San Diego to schedule an appointment with Nancy J. Bickford.