A Board Certified lawyer, in Texas, is an attorney who has joined the most elite ranks of attorneys in the State. 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. To become a Board Certified lawyer in Texas, one must undergo rigorous testing and training that goes well above and beyond what most attorneys must experience to simply pass the Texas Bar Exam and become legally able to practice law in this State.
To give you some perspective on how elite the ranks of Board Certified attorneys are, here are some numbers:
That means, of all the lawyers practicing in the state of Texas, only about 7.3% of them are Board Certified and for Family law, less than 1% are Board Certified. 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.
If you’re involved in a legal dispute, would you be alright working with just any attorney, or would you prefer a lawyer who has gone through the rigorous process required to become Board Certified?
I think we all know the answer to that question.
Still, confusion often arises with the term “Board Certified.” After all, don’t all lawyers, in Texas and in other states, have to pass the Bar Exam? Isn’t that certification enough?
What does it mean to be a Board Certified lawyer in Texas? How does that differ from simply passing the Bar Exam?
If you want to practice law in the State of Texas (and this applies to other states too), you have to pass the Bar Exam and receive your Bar Card and Law License.
Passing the Bar Exam is a minimum requirement if you want to be a lawyer and practice law. In fact, practicing without a law license is a crime in the State of Texas and can even result in a felony if the offense is repeated.
Basically, a lawyer who has passed the Bar Exam has passed the minimum requirement in order to be able to legally practice law — however, the mere passing of a bar exam means nothing in terms of the ability or skill level of that attorney.
All attorneys who practice law in the State of Texas must have passed the Bar Exam at some point, but the experience of these lawyers will, obviously, differ greatly depending on a variety of factors, including their age, the age of their career, their area of specialty, etc.
Board Certification is very different.
A Board Certified lawyer in Texas is an attorney who has met rigorous standards set forth by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has proven themselves to have a skillset, an experience level, and an education that goes beyond the majority of their peers.
The Board Certification process is rigorous and thorough with stringent, ongoing requirements after initial certification. The precise requirements to be certified in a particular area of speciality vary from specialty to specialty, but generally speaking, these are the requirements to even be considered for Board Certification:
Once all the basic requirements have been completed, an attorney must also sit for a rigorous written exam specific to that area of specialty.
To maintain board certification, ongoing education classes must generally be taken and certification must be continually renewed.
When you hire a Board Certified lawyer, you are ensuring that you have the best possible representation for whatever legal matter you’re dealing with.
Whatever your case and whatever the circumstances, you can rest assured that you’re being properly represented by an experienced attorney with deep knowledge of your cases and similar cases.
Though you may not need a Board Certified attorney for small legal matters, such as a small civil dispute with a neighbor or a traffic ticket, when large legal matters loom, hiring a Board Certified attorney is the best course to take.
If you are ready to divorce a spouse who has the potential to make your life and your children’s lives difficult, if you have a serious real estate issue, if you have a serious injury, a workplace harassment issue, or any similarly large-and-potentially-life-changing legal issue, you want the best representation and counsel possible — you want a Board Certified attorney representing you and guiding you through this difficult time in your life.
Don’t settle for anything less than the best — hire a Board Certified attorney to ensure your case has the strongest possible momentum behind it.
Our firm is proud to have three Board Certified attorneys on our legal team — attorneys Richard Hayes and Don White, both of which are Board Certified in Residential and Commercial Real Estate, and Brian Tackett, Board Certified in Family Law.
To learn more about our Board Certified lawyers and our other accolades, click the button below.
"Absolute best in the business hands down! Don White is absolutely amazing wouldn't ever consider using anyone else, we highly recommend this firm!" - Alyssa McKissaack
"The best! Richard has been my family’s attorney for 35 years. Integrity best describes Richard Hayes." - John Grafa
"From my first meeting with Mr. Berry and his staff, I was immediately relieved. The bankruptcy process was explained to me simply and objectively and I was made to feel at ease through the entire ordeal. I would hope to be able to retain Byron Berry for any future needs." - Anonymous
"Great Firm with Great Lawyers! It was a great pleasure working with William and his team." - Collin R. Geis