Becoming a CELA®

Becoming a CELA

Are you interested in becoming a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA®)?  This section contains a number of resources to help you review for the exam, understand certification, and discover the benefits of being a CELA.

Below you will find the NELF Rules and Regulations, qualification requirements for becoming certified, upcoming exam dates, required forms, and articles for attorneys interested in certification.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the NELF office at (520) 881-1076 or by email:


Below you will find articles targeted toward attorneys, both those who are already certified and those interested in becoming certified.

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In addition to other qualifications required to become a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), you must pass the CELA exam, which is administered twice a year.  NELF does not provide exam preparation materials. The scope of the exam is broader than most practices and you must design your studying on the areas you are not familiar with. While there is no specific “study guide” for the CELA exam, NELF has compiled a range of resources to help attorneys increase their understanding of elder law topics and be better prepared for the exam.  These resources include written materials, videos, and links to other literature, including treatises, NAELA publications, and other materials.


In addition to the recognition of being an expert in the field of elder law, the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) provides its members with numerous exclusive benefits ranging from exposure on the NELF website, educational materials, communication and collaboration with other CELA’s, access to the NELF Practicum DVD series, use of the Elder Law Whiteboard video series on member’s websites, and more.



The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) has issued its Rules and Regulations regarding certification of elder law attorneys.


A summary of the qualifications for certification in elder law. Please consult the Rules and Regulations for complete information.


Click below to see upcoming exam dates.


Short Form

The short-form application is the first step in beginning the certification process.  This form initiates the process of becoming a Certified Elder Law Attorney.  Use the link below to download the short form application.

Long Form

The long-form application must be completed before certification can be finalized.  It can be filled out either before or after passing the CELA exam.  Use the link below to download the long form application

Recertification Application

All Certified Elder Law Attorneys must submit an application for re-certification every five years.  Use the link below to download the re-certification application.

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