What is an accredited specialist?
An accredited specialist is someone who recognised as a demonstrated expert in their chosen field of law. Solicitors who fulfil the requirements of the accreditation program are entitled to use, after their name, the words ‘Accredited Specialist’ in the nominated area of practice.
Solicitors must have at least five years of practice under their belt before they can apply to become an accredited specialist, and at least three years in their indicated area of legal specialty.
As such, accreditation helps the general public and profession identify solicitors who have established expertise in a particular area of law.
When searching for a lawyer, you might notice some will indicate in their title, career bio or LinkedIn profile that they are an accredited specialist in areas like criminal, family, wills and estates, immigration or property law. Accreditation provides practitioners with the opportunity to promote and highlight expert legal knowledge, skills and services for both the public and the legal profession.
How do I know if a solicitor is an Accredited Specialist?
Look out for the Specialist Accreditation logo, the words ‘Accredited Specialist’ or the abbreviation ‘Acc Spec (area of law)’ after a solicitor’s name on their letterhead or promotional material.
Check they have the status of ‘Accredited Specialist’ against their profile on the Find a Lawyer listing.
Be sure that the Accredited Specialist is accredited in the area of law you need assistance in. It is also important to note that only individual solicitors can be Accredited Specialists, not firms.
Why should I use an accredited specialist?
In short, an accredited specialist is at the top of their game and has to maintain an ongoing standard of excellence. To gain status as an Accredited Specialist a solicitor must pass every rigorous assessment, administered by their state or territory’s legal society, in communication, problem solving, client relations and, of course, their specialist area of law.
To maintain their status as an Accredited Specialist, a solicitor must annually renew their accreditation to practise the law and membership of the Law Society, plus ensure they maintain their high-level skills and knowledge by completing additional professional development points.
How can I find an Accredited Specialist?
Visit the Law Society Find a lawyer page. Narrow your search by specifying the area of law using the drop-down arrow menu in the Accredited Specialist field. You can search across the following areas:
- Business Law
- Children’s Law
- Commercial Litigation
- Criminal Law
- Dispute Resolution
- Employment & Industrial Law
- Family Law
- Government and Administration Law/Public Law
- Immigration Law
- Local Government and Planning Law/Planning & Environment Law
- Personal Injury
- Planning & Environment Law
- Property Law
- Taxation Law
- Wills & Estates