Admission into the Academy is by written recommendation of an Academy member or by self-nomination. Only a limited number of open positions are available on a yearly basis.
The Academy of Trial Lawyers acknowledges the critical importance of diversity within its membership and in the entirety of the Civil Justice system. Racial, gender, ethnic, sexual orientation and identity and demographic diversity within the Academy membership is crucial to its continuing credibility, respect and future viability. As you, the Membership Committee, make the important decisions before you today, we strongly urge you to consider your obligation to promote diversity within the Academy’s membership so that it becomes an organization more representative of the community and clients we so diligently represent.
The Membership Committee of the Academy of Trial Lawyers is charged with the responsibility of identifying the best trial lawyers for membership in the Academy from among the applicant pool. The Committee reviews the applications and assesses the skill, professional standards and ethics of every applicant.
The entire Academy membership is confidentially surveyed regarding the qualifications of each applicant. The results of the survey, together with information gained through the application, letters of recommendation, personal interviews and the candidate’s trial experience, are carefully reviewed and considered by the Committee as part of its confidential process of selecting for membership those civil trial lawyers who have exhibited excellence and the highest levels of ethical standards and professionalism.
Upon approval by the Board of Governors, the full Academy membership must vote to approve the new members. Induction into membership takes place each year at the Annual Masters of Trial Advocacy Retreat in the Fall.
Academy members may request a copy of the Membership Guidelines and Procedures by contacting the Academy's Executive Director, Deborah Eyler Smith, at 412-343-9266 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view a copy of the Academy Criteria for Membership, click here.