Pillar #1: Competence and Ethical Accountability
Members of The American College of Attorneys® are held accountable to the highest ethics and professional competence. Our first priority is to ensure fellow attorneys and the general public that every ACA representative measures up to these standards.
In this regard the ACA favors only licensed attorneys who:
- have demonstrated an outstanding level of professional expertise and ethical standards to clients, the community, the bar and the bench;
- fulfill ACA membership criteria.
ACA’s benchmark of minimum competencies must be met. We have set the bar high, and an attorney may seek membership in the College within the confines of ACA membership criteria.
There are two levels of membership in the American College of Attorneys®:
General Membership is open to all law students and attorneys licensed to practice law in any State in the United States.
Attorneys may become Fellows of the American College of Attorneys® provided that they meet certain minimum criteria including:
- Practicing law as a licensed Attorney for a minimum of five years;
- Preparing a submission packet for peer review including an application, writing samples, Curriculum Vitae and at least two letters of reference, or by invitation after peer review by an ACA®panel;
- Demonstrating a command of the law and excellence in the practice of law;
- Demonstrating competency and excellence in the practice areas where such specific competency is claimed;
- Demonstrating that the lawyer meets ACA ethical standards;
Attorneys are held to the highest ethical standards and any action by a State Bar association against an attorney for an ethical issue may result in an independent investigation by the ACA and disciplinary action including expulsion, suspension or other disciplinary measures.
Recognition for Excellence
In addition to offering membership to attorneys and law students, the American College of Attorneys recognizes excellence in the practice of law. The ACA awards those attorneys demonstrating excellence regardless of whether they are a member of the ACA or not. Each year, the American College of Attorneys awards The Best of the Bar to attorneys whose legal acumen, ethics and peer approval surpass the high bar already established by the ACA.