Who We Are

ACFLS is the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists. ACFLS is an independent non-profit organization, composed of Certified Family Law Specialists, dedicated to promoting and preserving the practice of Family Law.

ACFLS was formed in 1980, after the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization certified its first group of Family Law Specialists. Since then, ACFLS has grown to more than 650 members.

ACFLS currently has chapters in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Orange County.

For information regarding meetings and programs, please contact ACFLS Executive Director Dee Rolewicz at executive.director@acfls.org or by telephone at (916) 217-4076.

Mission Statement

  1. Monitor legislation and proposals affecting the field of family law [ READ MORE ]

    ACFLS monitors all pending legislation that affects the practice of Family Law through the Legislation Advisory Committee. This committee submits periodic reports to the ACFLS Board. ACFLS actively participates in the state legislative process when the Board feels that it is appropriate to do so. Participation may include the Board taking a formal position on pending legislation, which can include submitting formal position letters to the author of the legislation and appearing at hearings to testify on the position of the ACFLS Board.

    ACFLS provided extensive comments to the Elkins Task Force Recommendations.

    ACFLS also reviews and comments on proposed Rules of Court and Judicial Council Forms, which are periodically promulgated by the Judicial Council.

  2. Promote the importance of the Family Law specialty to the public
    and the State Bar [ READ MORE ]

    Practitioners of Family Law wear several hats and provide advice in many areas, serving as attorneys, counselors, mediators, therapists, accountants, and teachers.

    ACFLS seeks to promote the specialty of Family Law by increasing the public’s knowledge of the importance of this work. ACFLS devotes much of its resources to enhancing the knowledge base of newly certified family law specialists. The organization does this by providing high-quality/cutting-edge educational presentations.

    A Family Law attorney who becomes a Certified Family Law Specialist has normally put in years of actual experience as a practitioner and has also passed an exam that tests the ability to think, assess the facts and apply the law.

    ACFLS encourages those practitioners who can appreciate the various benefits of specialization to study and take the exam, as well as complete the sometimes lengthy peer review process—all required for admission to the Family Law specialty.

    The public benefits by having an attorney who is a CFLS and has the requisite background of experience.

  3. Advance the knowledge of Family Law Specialists [ READ MORE ]

    The advancement and sharing of knowledge is a primary focus of ACFLS. The organization devotes many of its efforts to this goal on both a local and statewide level.

    The local ACFLS chapters are focused on providing opportunities for continuing education to both ACFLS members as well as other practitioners in the geographic area of the chapter. The presenters are typically ACFLS members or professionals of other disciplines who provide services to the family law community. These small group presentations generally have an interactive component, which many practitioners find particularly valuable

    ACFLS’ Bay Area chapter holds dinner meetings with programs in Northern California. The Sacramento chapter holds luncheon meetings and provides 1.0 MCLE/CLE credit each month. The Orange County chapter also holds such educational get-togethers.

    These meetings provide useful information on the current practice of law and are both an educational and networking opportunity to meet with other CFLS colleagues, non-certified Family Law attorneys, forensic accountants and other financial/economic experts, mental health professionals and regional Family Law Judicial Officers.

    On the statewide level, ACFLS presents an annual multi day Spring Seminar in Southern California on a single Family Law topic with sophisticated, in-depth presentations by prominent Family Law Judicial Officers and leading CFLS from throughout the state.

    Most Family Law attorneys work solo or in small firms, and these meetings are vital to developing a network of statewide contacts, and learning about procedures and practices in various California Family Law courts. All of which raises the quality of the practice of Family Law.

  4. Promote and encourage ethical practice among
    members of the bar and their clients [ READ MORE ]

    ACFLS monitors all pending legislation that affects the practice of Family Law through the Legislation Advisory Committee. This committee submits periodic reports to the ACFLS Board. ACFLS actively participates in the state legislative process when the Board feels that it is appropriate to do so. Participation may include the Board taking a formal position on pending legislation, which can include submitting formal position letters to the author of the legislation and appearing at hearings to testify on the position of the ACFLS Board.

    ACFLS provided extensive comments to the Elkins Task Force Recommendations.

    ACFLS also reviews and comments on proposed Rules of Court and Judicial Council Forms, which are periodically promulgated by the Judicial Council.