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Deadline to Apply for Board Certification


CONTACT: Lisa Garcia

DATE: July 10, 2008

TELEPHONE: 850/561-5769



TALLAHASSEE – Florida Bar members interested in board certification must submit applications by Aug. 31 for 10 of Florida’s 22 legal specialization areas. Applications are available at The Florida Bar Web site at, and are due Aug. 31 for the following specialties: Admiralty and Maritime Law, Appellate Practice, Aviation Law, Civil Trial, Elder Law, Immigration and Nationality, International Law, Labor and Employment Law, Marital and Family Law and Tax Law.

Certified attorneys are the only Florida lawyers allowed to identify or advertise themselves as “specialists” or “experts.” Certification is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. The program currently offers 22 specialty areas of practice for which board certification is available – the greatest number of state-approved certification areas in the nation.

“Florida’s board certification program is a national leader in maintaining the highest standards for excellence and professionalism while adding practice areas for greater public access to legal specialists,” said Florida Bar President John G. “Jay” White, III.

Lawyers who are members in good standing of The Florida Bar and who meet the standards prescribed by the state’s Supreme Court may become board certified in one or more of 22 certification fields. Minimum requirements for certification are listed below; each area of certification may contain higher or additional standards.

– A minimum of five years in law practice;

– A satisfactory showing of substantial involvement in the field of law for which certification is sought;

– A passing grade on the examination required of all applicants;

– Satisfactory peer review assessment of competence in the specialty field as well as character, ethics and professionalism in the practice of law; and

– Satisfaction of the certification area’s continuing legal education requirements.

Certified lawyers are legal experts dedicated to professional excellence. Attorneys who become board certified also are evaluated as to their character, ethics and reputation for professionalism in the practice of law.

Board certification is valid for five years, during which time the attorney must continue to practice law and attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses. To be recertified, lawyers must meet requirements similar to those for initial certification. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have taken the extra step to have their competence and experience recognized.

Applications for Florida’s additional certification practice areas are due Oct. 31, 2008. For more information, please visit The Bar Web site at or contact The Florida Bar’s Legal Specialization & Education Department at 850/561-5842.