Board Eligible


NBTA announces the Board Eligible designation for qualified young attorneys and any law student in the second semester of the second year of law school or later, who are already on the professional track toward a board certified specialization in civil litigation.

About NBTA


The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of trial advocacy and aiding clients in their selection of experienced legal representation. NBTA offers board certification in civil trial law, criminal trial law, family trial law, Social Security disability and civil practice advocacy.

NBTA board certification is not only prestigious and highly important to the legal profession at large, but it is of paramount significance to consumer protection. It differentiates the board-certified attorney from others who practice in the same specialty area but lack the proven, tested excellence evidenced by board certification.

As the U.S. Supreme Court has held, “Disclosure of [an attorney’s board certification] both serves the public interest and encourages the development and utilization of meritorious certification.”

What is "board eligible?"


Board Eligible is an NBTA approved designation signifying the applicant has successfully completed Parts A: Civil Evidence (30 Multiple Choice questions) and B Civil Ethics (30 Multiple Choice questions) of the exam for NBTA Board Certification in Civil Practice Advocacy and has indicated an intent to complete the remaining portion of the NBTA Civil Practice Advocacy requirements and become NBTA Board Certified in Civil Practice Advocacy.

Requirements:

  • No minimum number of years in practice
  • Successful completion of Parts A and B of the Civil Practice Advocacy examination (the “Board Eligible” examination)
  • Successful passage of the “Board Eligible” examination can be credited to the Civil Practice Advocacy examination

Once you’ve attained Board Eligible status, you may use the NBTA Board Eligible designation in any job-related resume or job related interview. However, this designation is not approved for public consumption or display.

What is civil practice advocacy?


The NBTA Board Certification in Civil Practice Advocacy is a designation for attorneys specializing in civil litigation and advocacy (including arbitration), for which trial experience counts but which does not require the same extent of trial experience as does the NBTA Board Certification in Civil Trial Advocacy. When attorneys achieve the level of trial experience and qualifications required for Civil Trial Advocacy, both board certifications may be held. (Note: Civil Trial Advocacy is a separate application & exam)

Civil Practice Advocacy is the practice of law dealing with the litigation of civil matters filed in state courts, federal courts, and arbitration. The Civil Practice Advocacy examination is designed to verify the applicant’s basic knowledge of the legal procedures, evidence, core substantive law and pretrial ability that is common to specialists in the area of Civil Practice Advocacy.

Requirements:

  • Five years in practice
  • Illustration of experience
  • Law school advocacy class and mock trial experience count toward Civil Practice Advocacy qualifications
  • Trial experience counts toward the qualifications but is not required
  • Successful completion of full Civil Practice Advocacy examination
  • Successful passage of the “Board Eligible” examination can be credited to this examination

The Civil Practice Advocacy certification may be used on business cards, on a website, and in advertising to consumers and the legal community to identify an attorney as a specialist.

Exam information


NBTA offers examination dates two times per year. The next opportunity to take the exam is Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.

Open dates: Registration will be open between Sept. 1 and Oct. 19.


Track 1: Board Eligible exam
Time: 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Part A: Civil Evidence (30 multiple choice questions)
Part B: Civil Ethics (30 multiple choice questions)
Fee: $75
Part C: Civil Litigation Practice (21 Essays). A minimum of 5 years of practice must be met before taking part C.
Fee $325
Location information: We will try to offer an examination site near your geographical location.

Track 2: Civil Practice Advocacy exam (minimum of 5 years of practice)
Time: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Part A: Civil Evidence (30 multiple choice questions)
Part B: Civil Ethics (30 multiple choice questions)
Part C: Civil Litigation Practice (21 Essays)
Fee: $400
Location information: We will try to offer an examination site near your geographical location.

To begin the registration process, click one of the links below:
BOARD ELIGIBLE EXAM REGISTRATION FORM
CIVIL PRACTICE ADVOCACY EXAM REGISTRATION FORM

FAQ’S

Board Eligible and Board Certified Civil Practice Advocacy

Q: What is the difference between the Board Eligible designation and being Board Certified in Civil Practice Advocacy?
A: The Board Eligible category recognizes law students or licensed lawyers who have already taken the initial step toward becoming NBTA Board Certified in Civil Practice Advocacy. Although NBTA Board Certified categories (such as Civil Practice Advocacy and Civil Trial Advocacy) are limited to licensed lawyers with a minimum of five years in law practice, NBTA now also recognizes qualified law students and young lawyers as Board Eligible. The Board Eligible category allows law students and licensed lawyers to utilize various law school and early law practice activities to accumulate points toward Board Certification in Civil Practice Advocacy, and to enable that Board Eligible status to be communicated to potential legal employers in any job-related resume or interview.

Q. When can I start the process of becoming Board Eligible?
A. Any law student in the second semester of the second year of law school or later, or any licensed lawyer, may begin the Board Eligible process by filling out the exam registration and taking Parts A and B of the exam.

Q. When are the examinations given?
A. NBTA examinations are given each year in April and November.

Q. What law school courses should I be taking to prepare for Board Eligible status?
A. Evidence and professional responsibility (ethics) are strongly recommended.

Q. What does the examination cover?
A. The NBTA examination for Civil Practice Advocacy Board Certification has three parts. Parts A and B (taken by those applying for Board Eligible status) consists of multiple choice questions on evidence and ethics. Part C, administered when the applicant has completed all requirements for NBTA Board Certification in NBTA Civil Practice Advocacy, is an essay examination on practical questions arising in the practice of civil advocacy.

Q. When I accumulate the necessary points for Civil Practice Advocacy Board Certification what do I do?
A. After all requirements for full certification are met and application forms have been completed, the candidate for NBTA Board Certified status must successfully pass Part C of the examination (plus Parts A and B of the examination if the candidate does not already hold the Board Eligible designation).

Q. How can I use the Board Eligible designation?
A. Any law student or licensed lawyer having passed Parts A and B of the exam and achieved Board Eligible status may publish the NBTA Board Eligible designation to any potential legal employer in any job-related resume or job-related interview. However, this designation is not approved for public advertising or display. Any law student or lawyer improperly using the designation to advertise to the public will be barred from any NBTA Board Certified application process for not less than five years and the improper use will be reported as an ethics violation to the proper licensing authorities.

Q. Can I apply for NBTA Board Certification in Civil Practice Advocacy and use the point system if I have practiced law for more than five years?
A. Absolutely. NBTA Board Certification in Civil Practice Advocacy is open to any lawyer meeting the qualifications, proving they have met the requirements for points, and passing the examination, no matter how long they have practiced law.
General Principles for Certification of Civil Practice Advocates

Q. How much does it cost to begin the process for Board Eligible status?
A. There is a $75 fee when Parts A and B of the examination are taken.

Q. Is there a fee to complete all the remaining requirements for NBTA Board Certification in Civil Practice Advocacy?
A. Yes. There is a $400 application fee when all requirements for a Civil Practice Advocacy application have been met, and a $75 fee for Part C of the examination.

Q. How long does a passing grade on Parts A and B of the written examination stay in effect?
A. Five years from the date of passing Parts A and B of the exam or passing an initial Bar examination (the Initial Qualification Date), whichever comes later. An additional five-year extension beyond the expiration date will be granted to any applicant who submits a Request for Extension within 12 months of the first expiration date certifying that they are making progress in becoming NBTA Board Certified in Civil Practice Advocacy and who state their continuing intention to complete the certification process.

Q. What happens to my NBTA Board Eligible status and Parts A and B examination scores if I do not extend my application during the fifth year?
A. Your Board Eligible status is revoked and may not be used for any purpose. The application is terminated. If the applicant applies again the entire process must be repeated as if the applicant never made an application.

Q. Can I apply for NBTA Board Eligible designation if I have already passed the bar examination and started practicing law?
A. Yes. Any licensed lawyer no matter how long in the practice of law may apply for NBTA’s Board Eligible status