Mark of Excellence
Board Certification is a mark of excellence and a distinguishing accomplishment. Within the Texas legal community, Board Certification means an attorney has substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law as well as demonstrated, and tested, special competence in that area of law.
A Distinguished Few
There are more than 70,000 attorneys licensed to practice in Texas. Only 7,000 are Board Certified. Board Certified lawyers earn the right to publicly represent themselves as a specialist in a select area of the law. In fact, they are the only attorneys allowed by the State Bar of Texas to do so. This designation sets them apart as being an attorney with the highest, public commitment to excellence in their area of law. The process is voluntary and can only take place after an attorney has been in practice for five years, with a minimum of three years experience in the specialty area. Moreover, Board Certification is not a one-time event. It requires an ongoing involvement in the specialty area which is periodically substantiated with references from peers in that field. It also requires annual professional refreshment through TBLS approved, continuing legal education course work to stay abreast of current trends in law.
The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) was established in 1974 by the State Bar of Texas to “promote the availability, accessibility and quality of the services of attorneys to the public in particular areas of the law… and advance the standards of the legal profession.” It operates under the continuing jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Texas. The TBLS certifies attorneys in 21 select areas of law and paralegals in seven areas. The TBLS is the only organization authorized to provide this service to the citizens of Texas.
The Board Certification process is rigorous and thorough with stringent, ongoing requirements after initial certification. In brief, an applicant must:
- have been in practice a minimum of five years with three years of substantial involvement in an area of law,
• complete TBLS-approved Continuing Legal Education course requirements,
• furnish at least 10 qualified, vetted references,
• provide extensive, relevant experience documentation and
• pass a comprehensive, daylong, specialty area examination.
Few Texas attorneys have answered the challenge laid down 36 years ago by the Supreme Court of Texas and the State Bar of Texas to “…serve the public interest and advance the standards of the legal profession.”
We invite you to connect with a Board Certified attorney today.