Board Certified

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.  Today, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization is the nation's largest and most successful legal board certification program.

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.  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.  Of the more than 70,000 licensed attorneys in Texas, only 7,225 are Board Certified and of those only 144 are Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law.

Board Certification is a voluntary designation program for attorneys.  To become Board Certified in a specialty area, an attorney must have:

  • Been licensed to practice law for at least five years;
  • Devoted a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years;
  • Handled a wide variety of matters in the area to demonstrate experience and involvement;
  • Attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date;
  • Been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges;
  • Passed a 6-hour written examination.

Initial certification is valid for a period of five years.  Moreover, Board Certification is not a one-time event.  To remain Board Certified, an attorney must apply for recertification every five years and meet substantial involvement, peer review, and continuing legal education requirements for the specialty area in order to stay abreast of the latest and current trends in the law.

Copyright © 2015, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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