Child Welfare Law Specialist certification is valid for five years before attorneys must apply for recertification.

Annual Report

Child Welfare Law Specialists must submit an annual report to NACC regarding disclosure of conduct and an annual $120 fee. You will receive an email reminder from Certemy when it is time to log in and submit your report (60 days before your certification anniversary).

Child Welfare Law Specialists must submit notice of any disciplinary action to NACC as soon as permitted by law, not just on the annual report.


NACC and the ABA require Child Welfare Law Specialists to recertify every five years to help ensure the integrity of the credential. You can log in to Certemy to complete this process any time in the 365 days before your certification expires; NACC recommends allowing at least four months. 

Recertification is similar to the initial application process (minus the writing sample and exam). The requirements generally include:

  • Public and private disciplinary history
  • Resume/CV demonstrating continued involvement in child welfare law. NACC also accepts a Substantial Involvement Waiver with a detailed summary of work as a judicial officer (except in Ohio), firm supervisor, administrator, policy advocate, etc.
  • A listing of the required CLE hours 
  • Peer and judicial reviews
  • $300 recertification fee, which includes your annual dues and the latest edition of Child Welfare Law and Practice (the Red Book). Any outstanding prior fees must be paid before applying for recertification.


See Section 3 of these documents for specific standards:

Once you complete all steps, NACC will verify and de-identify the application and send it to the CWLS Certification Committee for review.

Using Certemy

Use Certemy to:

  • Monitor annual reporting requirements and receive due date reminders
  • Track progress of recertification 
  • Receive email notifications 
  • Keep track of CWLS files and documents in a “digital wallet”
  • Update contact information

CWLS Certemy FAQs and Quick Guide

Graphics for email signature, website, printed documents

After Recertification


To add Child Welfare Law Specialist to LinkedIn, go to your profile, click “add profile section”, and then “add licenses & certifications.” Enter Child Welfare Law Specialist as the Certification Name, then type and select National Association of Counsel for Children from Certification Authority.


Certified Child Welfare Law Specialists may order a hardcopy certificate of legal specialization. NACC prints this certificate on letter-sized (8.5x11in.) cardstock. Please allow two weeks for delivery.

Become an NACC Member

Your Practice is our purpose

Join the NACC Community! NACC provides training and resources to attorneys, advocates, and professionals who work in child welfare law. NACC also works to improve the system alongside children and families. NACC promotes excellence, builds community, and advances justice.

Benefits of Membership

  • The Guardian law journal
  • Member Webinars
  • Listserv and Member Directory
  • Annual conference discount
  • Discount on trainings, CWLS certification, and publications