Civil Trial Certification

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 helps lawyers, too, by giving them a way to make known their experience to the public and other lawyers. By requiring a lawyer to continue his or her legal education in specialty fields, certification also helps improve competence.

In what areas of the law can a lawyer be certified as as a specialist?

The following 12 areas:

  • Appellate Law
  • Civil Trial
  • Criminal Law
  • Trial
  • Appellate
  • Health Law
  • Immigration and Nationality
  • Marital and Family Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law
  • Wills, Trusts and Estates
  • Workers’ Compensation

How does a lawyer qualify?

To become a certified specialist, a lawyer must:

  • be an active member in good standing with The Florida Bar
  • have practiced law for a minimum of five years
  • pass a written examination in the specialty area
  • demonstrate substantial experience in the specialty area
  • complete approved continuing legal education programs
  • have the ability and experience in the specialty field favorably evaluated by judges and other lawyers

How long is a lawyer certified?

Certification is granted for five years. To be recertified, requirements similar to those for initial certification I must be met.

How many Florida lawyers have attained board certification as a specialist?

More than 2,500 lawyers are currently certified by the Board of Legal Specialization and Education, which administers the certification program.

How can consumers know whether a lawyer is a certified specialist?

A. 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 yellow pages of telephone directories. In addition, certified lawyer directories are published annually and sent to libraries and local bar associations throughout Florida. Consumers may also contact the office of The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education.