Board certification is a voluntary program for lawyers that recognizes an attorney’s special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. The certification program began in 1982 to help the public choose lawyers, and it is approved by the Florida Supreme Court and is administered by The Florida Bar. Board certified lawyers are evaluated for their professionalism in addition to being tested for their expertise in a particular area of the law. Certification is the Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation in the twenty-four areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. Additionally, Board certified Florida Bar members are the only Florida attorneys allowed to identify themselves as “Board Certified,” “Specialist,” “Expert” or to use the letters “B.C.S.” for Board Certified Specialist on business cards or letterhead, in legal directories or in advertising.
What does it mean to be certified?
Attorneys must be a member in good standing of the Florida Bar and must have a minimum of five years in law practice. Additionally, certified lawyers must show substantial involvement in the field of law for which certification is sought. They must receive a passing grade on the examination required of all applicant or meet strict criteria to exempt before officially earning board certification. Certified lawyers must also satisfy the certification area’s continuing legal education requirements.
How does the certification program help a client or potential client?
A board certified lawyer’s experience and competency have been rigorously evaluated in addition to having met the Florida Bar’s highest standards for special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. Furthermore, Florida offers 24 specialty areas for board certification, more than any other state. Of the lawyers eligible to practice law in Florida, 6 percent – more than 4,600 Florida lawyers – have earned board certification.
A Miami personal injury attorney.