How The Florida Bar Certifies a Lawyer as a Specialist
Why does The Florida Bar have a program for certifying a lawyer as a specialist in an area of law?
Board certification helps consumers find a lawyer who has demonstrated ability and experience in specialized fields of law. Certification also allows lawyers to distinguish themselves as an expert or a specialist. Through continuing education requirements, certification also encourages attorney competence.
In what areas of the law can a lawyer be certified as a specialist?
There many areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. Specialty areas include Appellate Law; Aviation Law; Business Litigation; Civil Trial; City, County and Local Government; Criminal Law (Trail and Appellate); Elder Law; Health Law; Immigration and Nationality; Marital and Family Law; Real Estate Law; Tax Law; Wills, Trusts and Estates; and Workers’ Compensation.
How does a lawyer qualify for certification?
To become a certified specialist, a lawyer must:
- Practice law for a minimum of five years.
- Demonstrate substantial involvement in the field of law for which certification is sought.
- Pass satisfactory peer review of competence in the specialty field as well as character, ethics and professionalism in the practice of law.
- Satisfy the specific continuing legal education requirements.
- Receive a passing grade on the examination required of all applicants or meet strict criteria to exempt the exam.
How long does certification last?
Certification is granted for five years. Lawyers wishing to maintain their certification must meet requirements similar to those for initial certification.
How many Florida lawyers have attained board certification as a specialist?
As of 2014, about 4,600 lawyers are certified in the state of Florida. This is 6 percent of eligible Florida Bar members.
How can a consumer know if a lawyer is a certified specialist?
Only a lawyer certified by The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education is entitled to state that he or she is “board certified” or a “specialist” on business cards, letterhead, in legal directories, and in any other advertising. A directory of certified lawyers is maintained by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education. Contact them at (850) 561-5842.
At Florida Trial MD, we value board certification. All lawyers can advertise, but only the very best can claim certification. We know you deserve the best-educated and most experienced legal team on your side. Our commitment to board certification is a commitment to you and your legal needs.