North Carolina Family Law Specialization Examination

Congratulations are in order for two of our very own, Matt Arnold and Tonya Graser Smith, both of whom recently passed the North Carolina Family Law Specialization Examination and have become North Carolina Board Certified Specialists in Family Law. The test is a large undertaking; applicants must take (and pass) a six-hour multi-part exam. The test is designed so that only those with a breadth and depth of knowledge of North Carolina family law issues can succeed; a testament to Matt and Tonya’s experience.

Receiving the North Carolina Family Law Specialization is an excellent recognition of hard work and experience as well as a sign to clients of how seriously legal education is taken at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. With the specialization, both Matt and Tonya demonstrated their extensive knowledge concerning a host of issues that arise in North Carolina family law cases. The test covers topics such as child support, child custody, equitable distribution, alimony, prenuptial agreements, restraining orders, and even tax concerns.

In addition to specialized legal knowledge, attorneys in North Carolina must also clear several other hurdles before being named a legal specialist. First, all applicants must maintain a legal license that is in good standing in the state. Applicants must also be substantially involved in the family law practice area; usually requiring a minimum of five years experience. In addition to specific legal education requirements, applicants must pass a written examination and a peer review before being awarded the specialization.

Matt Arnold is a home grown North Carolinian raised here in Charlotte. Matt is a graduate of Providence Senior High School, therefore, it was an easy decision for him to return to Charlotte for his legal career. Matt excelled during college, both on the court, as a member of the Belmont Abbey basketball team, and in the classroom, where he graduated cum laude. After graduating from the Belmont Abbey Honors Institute, Matt continued his education at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law. Matt is a founding member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC and has established a well-recognized and respected law practice in Charlotte.

As a bit of background, Tonya Smith grew up on the other side of the Great Smoky Mountains, just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. Tonya attended West Virginia University for her undergraduate study and graduated from the Honors College at WVU. After taking a year off to travel across the country as a consultant for Delta Gamma Fraternity, Tonya attended and graduated from law school at Texas Tech University. Tonya’s interest in family law began during her law school career as she participated as a third-year student in Texas Tech’s Civil Legal Assistance Clinic. As part of that program, Tonya was able to tackle family law cases, learning the practice of family law with hands-on experience. Prior to her Board Certification in Family Law, Tonya also completed a rigorous eight-day trial program with the American Bar Association Family Law Section in 2011, further broadening her already substantial knowledge of the practice area.

Matt and Tonya make it their professional work to help and advise clients in need of expert family law advice and counsel.