Professional fellowship is the keystone of Academy membership. The national Academy meets twice yearly. Each November at the annual session in Chicago, there are committee meetings, educational programs, elections of officers and board members, and social events. Then, each March, the Academy holds its midyear institute at various locations throughout the United States.
The Academy has been a leader in both arbitration and mediation programs through which its members are trained by leading experts and certified. In addition, the Academy offers a training program for new matrimonial lawyers who join firms in which Academy Fellows are members and which helps them handle matrimonial matters.
State chapters have their own schedules of programming and educational seminars which deal with topics of local or national interest.
The Academy’s thirty-three state chapters, representing Fellows throughout the U.S., conduct local and statewide seminars designed to develop a better understanding of family law and matrimonial practice at the local level.
Academy Fellows regularly volunteer in the family law area for civic, legislative, educational and social groups and for the media. Academy Fellows have been in the forefront in developing and promoting legislation in many states and in Congress, resulting in a revolution in divorce laws in the past twenty years. Often, the Academy offers suggestions about proposed state and federal legislation, which reflects the experience of those who specialize in family law.
The Academy has achieved national recognition by pioneering in-depth studies of child custody, taxation, estate planning, property valuation and various psychological and sociological topics with a degree of sophistication that is seldom available to the occasional family law practitioner. Through in-depth programs, the Academy has developed the most effective procedures to try to resolve custody, support and enforcement problems. Experts from various fields are frequently called upon as guest speakers and panelists to provide a cross-fertilization of ideas that broaden the perspective of the family law practitioner.
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Fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers represents both a recognition of achievements in family law and a commitment to the highest standards of practice in the field. Those seeking further information about membership may contact the Academy office in Chicago or visit the Academy website.