Frequently Asked Questions
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 new 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 the spring and fall.
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.
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 $325 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.