The Virginia Law Foundation/ Virginia CLE® Qualified Counselor and Qualified Master Counselor Designations

MCLE Credits: 0.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

QUALIFIED COUNSELOR APPLICATION FEE: $200 $100
QUALIFIED MASTER COUNSELOR APPLICATION FEE: $200 $100

Information

Deadline Extended! Due to the considerable interest we have received, we are extending the deadline for submission to be in our first Designations class from November 7, 2021 until December 31, 2021 to ensure everyone interested has ample time to complete their coursework and for their references to provide the necessary supporting letters.

NEW: From now until December 31, all Unlimited Online Pass purchases will include a coupon that allows you to apply for Designations accreditation for free! Choose from our four Unlimited Online Pass options for access through October 31, 2022 to on-demand online seminars, live-interactive webcasts, and our Online Publications Library. Once you purchase an Unlimited Online Pass, your coupon for a free Designations application will be included in the email receipt. This offer ends December 31, 2021.


The Virginia Law Foundation and our Educational Division Virginia CLE® announce a prestigious new form of professional recognition now available to some of Virginia’s finest and best trained attorneys …

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD


FOR THE NEW VIRGINIA LAW FOUNDATION/ VIRGINIA CLE® QUALIFIED COUNSELOR AND QUALIFIED MASTER COUNSELOR DESIGNATIONS

What is the Virginia Law Foundation/Virginia CLE® Qualified Counselor and Qualified Master Counselor Designation Program?

It’s a professional accreditation in several practice areas from the leading law-related foundation and CLE provider in Virginia. It’s not a certification, but it will put all who see it on notice that you have taken a rigorous course of study over three years from Virginia CLE® and have met other practice area and peer review criteria that demonstrate your ability to practice at a high level in your area(s) of specialty.

How might I benefit from my Virginia Law Foundation/Virginia CLE® Designations?

You surely will stand out from the crowd of attorneys who are not accredited in such a way. If you’re looking to make an impression on current and future clients, or on other attorneys for case referrals, this is a clear way of indicating an adherence to a rigorous, top-rated continuing education regimen in your field of practice, along with Ethics and/or Wellness programming; that you’re experienced in a particular practice area or areas of practice; that you have not been subject to public or private bar discipline; and that you have been peer reviewed by several fellow practitioners familiar with the quality of your work. As we have all become accustomed to researching professional achievements of our doctors online, we see displays of their accreditation. Similarly, we will provide you with a handsome Qualified Counselor or Qualified Master Counselor badge for your website or other electronic display, as well as a certificate suitable for framing, and you will be listed on the Virginia CLE® and Virginia Law Foundation websites on a special page for our Qualified Counselor and Qualified Master Counselor designees.

In what areas of practice are Virginia Law Foundation/Virginia CLE® Designations available?

Currently these Designations are available in the areas of Bankruptcy Practice, Divorce and Family Law Practice, Real Estate Law Practice, Trial Practice/Litigation, and Trusts and Estates Practice. We expect to add additional practice area designations soon.

How do I become a Virginia Law Foundation/Virginia CLE® Qualified Counselor or Qualified Master Counselor? Please check the criteria below to determine if you qualify.

Only credits from taking or teaching Virginia CLE® courses are applicable—credits from other CLE providers cannot be included in your designations application.

Criteria for Qualified Counselor:

  • At the time of application, has practiced for at least 8 continuous years in the practice area in which designation accreditation is sought.
  • Has spent 25% of time practicing in this area over the past 8 years.
  • Has taken or taught at least 24 Virginia CLE® subject matter credits over the preceding three-year period in designation practice area(s), and 6 Virginia CLE® general Ethics and/or Wellness credits, for each designation sought – Virginia CLE® teaching credits can be substituted at 4 hours of credit for every hour taught.
  • Will supply detailed letters from three peer practitioners, not working at the same firm, who will certify that they have practiced in this area for at least 8 years, that they have participated with the applicant in one or more cases, negotiations, or other significant practice-related interactions, that the applicant has demonstrated a high level of both skill and professionalism during the course of these cases (specific examples are helpful but not required), and the applicant’s overall reputation for outstanding and professional practice. If you are applying for multiple practice areas, please submit three separate letters per each practice area, unless a letter addresses each of your selected practice areas. Note that all peer review letters must be sent via email directly to Tanya Morris, Program Director, at designations@vacle.org.
  • The candidate must be an active Virginia State Bar member in good standing and must not have any public or private discipline.
  • Payment to Virginia CLE® of a $200 administrative fee per application, renewable every three years, is due with the application. However, Virginia CLE® is reducing the application fee to $100 through December 31, 2021 – apply before the end of the year to save! Click here to download and complete. Return the application to designations@vacle.org or mail to Tanya Morris, Designations Project Manager, 105 Whitewood Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901. If applying by mail, please include your $100 application fee. This fee is nonrefundable and only one $100 fee is required per application, regardless of the number of practice area designations you are applying for. If emailing your application, please provide your application fee either by mailing to the address above or by adding the application to your cart via the box in righthand corner of this page. We greatly appreciate the commitment and effort of everyone who applies for designation accreditation. If for some reason you have completed the required number of CLE credits but your application is not approved, you will receive a free 4-credit Online Bundle to offset the cost of the application fee.

Criteria for Qualified Master Counselor:

  • At time of application, has practiced for at least 12 continuous years in the practice area in which designation accreditation is sought.
  • Has spent 25% of time practicing in this area over the past 12 years.
  • Has taken or taught at least 30 Virginia CLE® subject matter credits over the preceding three-year period in designation practice area(s), and 6 Virginia CLE® general Ethics and/or Wellness credits, for each designation sought – Virginia CLE® teaching credits can be substituted where 4 hours of credit for every hour taught.
  • Will supply detailed letters from three peer practitioners, not working at the same firm, who will certify that they have practiced in this area for at least 12 years, that they have participated with the applicant in one or more cases, negotiations, or other significant practice-related interactions, that the applicant has demonstrated a high level of both skill and professionalism during the course of these cases (specific examples are helpful but not required), and the applicant’s overall reputation for outstanding and professional practice. If you are applying for multiple practice areas, please submit three separate letters per each practice area, unless a letter addresses each of your selected practice areas. Note that all peer review letters must be sent via email directly to Tanya Morris, Program Director, at designations@vacle.org.
  • The candidate must be an active Virginia State Bar member in good standing and must not have any public or private discipline.
  • Payment to Virginia CLE® of a $200 administrative fee per application, renewable every three years, is due with the application. However, Virginia CLE® is reducing the application fee to $100 through December 31, 2021 – apply before the end of the year to save! Click here to download and complete. Return the application to designations@vacle.org or mail to Tanya Morris, Designations Project Manager, 105 Whitewood Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901. If applying by mail, please include your $100 application fee. This fee is nonrefundable and only one $100 fee is required per application, regardless of the number of practice area designations you are applying for. If emailing your application, please provide your application fee either by mailing to the address above or by adding the application to your cart via the box in righthand corner of this page. We greatly appreciate the commitment and effort of everyone who applies for designation accreditation. If for some reason you have completed the required number of CLE credits but your application is not approved, you will receive a free 4-credit Online Bundle to offset the cost of the application fee.

Specifically, what are you looking for in the letters of reference as noted above? 

While we note that three letters are required from peer attorneys, not in your firm, who will certify that they have practiced in this area for at least 8 years for Qualified Counselor applicants or for at least 12 years for Qualified Master Counselor applicants, that they have participated with the applicant in one or more cases, negotiations, or other significant practice-related interactions, that the applicant has demonstrated a high level of both skill and professionalism during the course of these cases (specific examples are helpful but not required), and confirm the applicant’s overall reputation for outstanding and professional practice, the letters need to be more than a mere restatement of the qualities listed above. While each situation will be unique, for a peer to make the most compelling case on behalf of an applicant, with some specificity, the peer should provide a reasonably detailed explanation describing their excellence in the practice of law.

Can I apply credits from years past?

Yes, you can go back three years from your date of application.

What if I don’t know what Virginia CLE® courses I’ve taken over the past 3 years?

To find out, contact Program Director Tanya Morris at designations@vacle.org and you will be provided with a complete report along with answers to any other questions you may have.

When are applications due?

Applications are accepted during two periods each year. Submit your application on or before June 30, or on or before December 31.

Who reviews my application? How and when will I find out if I’m approved? What will I receive if I’m approved?

A select subcommittee of the Virginia Law Foundation’s CLE Committee, comprising leading practitioners and legal educators. This subcommittee will make recommendations to the full CLE Committee, and applications approved by them will be presented to the entire VLF board for its approval during its mid-year and end-of-year board meetings. Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of approval via email, and all digital indicia and certificates of your accredited designation will follow soon thereafter.

See the example certificate below:

How long is my designation good for? Can it be renewed or upgraded?

Your designation will be valid for three years. After that, your designation can be renewed or upgraded from Counselor to Master Counselor if you meet the appropriate criteria at the time.

Is it ethical for me to advertise my designation?

Yes. Consistent with Virginia Legal Ethics Opinion 1750, approved by the Virginia Supreme Court on October 2, 2019, you may advertise your designation because it is granted based upon objective criteria and a legitimate peer review process. You must not, of course, exaggerate or misstate the meaning or significance of your designation.

 

Schedule

Faculty

Locations, Dates and Fees

Register
  • Add to Cart
unlimitedpasssidebar  Bundlediscounts  designationssidebar  Buy a 16-Credit Online Bundle and get two free books of your choice.  Calendar probonodiscount National Interest  Essentials Seminars