What It Means to Be a Member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP) for Elder and Special Needs Law
Members of CAP offer professional expertise to meet the needs of an
older, maturing clientele and people with disabilities or special needs
and their families.
Council of Advanced Practitioners
- Ethical Standards
A member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners is an attorney who has been nominated and selected by his or her peers — experienced Elder and Special Needs Law attorneys — to be a part of the Council as a result of their commitment and contribution to their clients and the ethical, high-quality practice of Elder and Special Needs Law. To become a member, the attorney must be a current NAELA member and have been a NAELA member for a minimum of 10 consecutive years prior to nomination. In addition, a candidate must either:
- Hold an AV rating under the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, the highest rating for ethical standards and professional ability.
- Be a NAELA Fellow or a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), which is the only approved designation for certification by the American Bar Association, through the National Elder Law Foundation.
- Be a full-time Elder Law professor or a Legal Services attorney.
- Be a sitting judge.
Preeminent in the Field of Elder and Special Needs Law
More importantly, a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP) also must be preeminent in the field of Elder and Special Needs Law. CAP members have a reputation as experienced, outstanding, and exceptionally skilled Elder and Special Needs Law attorneys, and have made substantial contributions to Elder and Special Needs Law by demonstrating leadership on issues affecting the elderly and people with disabilities in the state and local bar associations, state chapters of NAELA, and other professional activities and affiliations.
Prior to membership, most CAP members must first become certified by the Board of Certification of the National Elder Law Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 that offers the only Elder Law program for certification accredited by the American Bar Association.
Some attorneys become members of CAP after being selected as a Fellow of NAELA. NAELA Fellows are attorneys who have been members of the Academy for at least three years, whose careers concentrate on Elder and Special Needs Law, and who have distinguished themselves both by making exceptional contributions to meeting the needs of older Americans and people with special needs and by demonstrating commitment to the Academy. Election as a Fellow signifies that peers recognize the lawyer as a model for others, and an exceptional lawyer and leader.
After meeting the above criteria, a candidate for CAP must be nominated and selected for membership by a vote of the members of CAP.
That’s what it means to be a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners.