For nearly 20 years, the Community Associations Institute (CAI) has recognized excellence in the practice of community law through the Falls Church, Virginia-based College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). Of the tens of thousands of attorneys practicing community law across the United States, less than 150 have been granted exclusive membership in the college.
In 1993, the charter class consisted of 20 attorneys acknowledged by their peers as having developed the field of community association law. This burgeoning area of law focused on all areas of the law affecting community associations such as enforcement of an association’s rules and governing documents, litigation, mediation, arbitration and contract renegotiation and renewal.
“Lawyers generally don’t know much about community association law unless they work in it,” says CCAL member Marshall N. Dickler, of Dickler Kahn Slowikowski & Zavell, Ltd. in Arlington Heights. “CCAL is a place you go to in order to get educated and learn about these things. There are a lot of attorneys who don’t want to practice in this area and they don’t want to learn about it, so they call us or refer clients to us. And if there are attorneys who want to practice in this area, we are here to help them. That’s a generally accepted philosophy among all the attorneys across the country.”
Experts in the Field
The members of CCAL are considered experts in the field of community association law by their peers. The members distinguish themselves through the contributions to the development of the profession. Their service is demonstrated by a commitment to educate and empower boards and the 60 million residents of the 300,000 community associations across the country. In addition, CCAL provides a forum for the exchange of information among experienced legal professionals working in the community association field arena.
Since its inception in 1993, the founding principle of the CCAL is to promote high standards of professional and ethical responsibilities in the practice of community association law.