Given our firm’s large practice in the Carolinas and our many online resources, I’m asked weekly by individuals in others states about how to find the right community association lawyer for an HOA/condo issue. Community association law is a very focused practice area. There are a number of online directories and Bar lists that can direct you to attorneys who focus on homeowner and condominium associations. However, if you want to find an attorney with a significant HOA/condo practice who has been recognized for exceptional work, I’d recommend starting with the Fellows in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL).
College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL)
CCAL was established by the Community Associations Institute in 1993, with membership consisting of attorneys who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the practice of community association law. Admission is rigorous, and applicants must demonstrate both depth and breadth of experience in community association law through writings, teachings and professional involvement over many years. There are many thousands of attorneys who practice community association law in the United States, but only about 150 Fellows in the College. The CCAL main page, which includes links to other resources, articles, and FAQ’s on state community association law issues can be found at: www.caionline.org/Advocacy/LegalArena/CCAL/Pages/… (left side, “CCAL Directory”). You can find other state law resources such as summaries of state HOA/condo laws, articles and case law summaries at www.caionline.org/Advocacy/LegalArena/Pages/….
Firms with a CCAL member will almost always be the most actively engaged in the industry. Any CCAL member in your state, even if not nearby, would have recommendations for elsewhere elsewhere in the state. If there are no CCAL members in your state, take a look at the list of attorneys that are Service Providers at http://directory.caionline.org.
While there is no guarantee that any attorney will be perfect for your specific situation, you will more likely find the best match by seeking out an attorney who regularly practices community association law.