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CWLS Certification - Applicant Resources
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Welcome to the Applicant Resources page. Here, you’ll find useful information and tools to help you navigate the process of applying for certification as a Child Welfare Law Specialist (CWLS). Please continue reading for information on CWLS certification standards, CWLS certification forms, and the CWLS certification exam.

Certification Standards

In order to qualify for certification as a Child Welfare Law Specialist, applicants must meet a number of general standards and prerequisites. If you are an applicant in Arizona, California, or South Carolina, you will need to fulfill some additional requirements. For a full list of requirements in your state, please click the appropriate link below:


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Exam Details

CWLS certification is only granted once your application has been approved by the NACC CWLS Certification Committee and you pass the CWLS Certification Exam. Our Exam Details page provides specific information about the exam process and content as well as other useful resources including answers to frequently asked questions and a practice multiple choice mini-exam to give you a sense of what to expect.

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Certification Forms

As part of the application process, NACC asks you to provide both your public and private disciplinary history. You are also required to document your continuing legal education experience. The following forms may be used to help collect this information.


Disciplinary History

Download and complete this template letter to request your public and private disciplinary history, along with evidence of good standing, from your state's disciplinary board or attorney- governing body.  Please note that some states may require that you fill out a request online or on their specific forms and/or require an associated fee.

Download Template


Continuing Legal Education Experience (CLE Requirements)

Most states require 36 hours of relevant education during the preceding three years. California requires 45 hours of relevant credits, while Arizona requires 36 hours of relevant general credits and 9 hours of ethics credits.  South Carolina requires that all credits be directly approved by the state CLE board.  You may use our CLE History Form to document your CLE experience or submit a detailed transcript.

Download Form


Application Attachments

The CWLS application process includes the submission of a writing sample that has been drafted within the last three years, as well as the submission of a resume/CV and any other proof of substantial involvement in child welfare law. You can also apply for a Substantial Involvement Waiver by submitting a detailed summary of your work in the child welfare law field as a judge, supervisor, professor, policy advocate, etc.


Please submit your application and all attachments to

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