Fellowship In The College

The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) is composed of preeminent members of the Trial Bar from the United States and Canada and is recognized as the leading trial lawyers organization in both countries. Fellowship is extended only by invitation, after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Although there are currently more than 5,800 Fellows across the U.S. and Canada, membership can never be more than 1% of the total lawyer population of any state or province. Qualified lawyers are called to Fellowship in the College from all branches of trial practice. They are selected from among advocates who represent plaintiffs or defendants in civil proceedings of all types, as well as prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers. The College is thus able to speak with a balanced voice on important issues affecting the administration of justice.

Membership Criteria

Membership is limited to only those trial lawyers who are unquestionably and eminently qualified, in addition to being regarded as the best in their state/province. Qualifications must include high ethical and moral standards, as well as excellent character. Consideration for Fellowship also requires lawyers must be actively engaged in trial work as their principal activity for a minimum of 15 years. Geographic distribution is not a deciding factor in acceptance to the College: Fellows are not arbitrarily concentrated in metropolitan areas, distributed in rural areas, or denied to any area.  Additionally, no qualified person shall be excluded from consideration or denied Fellowship due to race, sex, religion, or national origin.

The College's Statement On Diversity

Consistent with its Mission Statement, the College seeks to promote the treatment of every person with dignity and respect, and to foster an inclusive, collegial environment that values the unique background, experiences, perspectives, and contributions of all.  Under a singular standard of excellence that values and appreciates differences in its membership, the College endeavors to identify talented and accomplished trial lawyers as possible Fellows, including women and persons of color, varying ethnicities, disabilities and sexual orientation.