What is a Criminal Law Board Certified Attorney?

board The consumer can identify a Criminal Law Board Certified Attorney in one of many ways.

An attorney who is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Law must have the experience in the preparation and trial of serious criminal matters. The attorney must also have extensive knowledge of state and federal constitutional law, evidence, procedure, and penal laws involved in the trial of these matters. A relatively small percentage of all Texas lawyers are board certified in a particular area of specialization.

To become Board Certified in Criminal Law, an attorney must have:

  • Been licensed to practice for at least five years
  • Devoted a required percentage of practice to criminal law for at least three years
  • Handled a wide variety of criminal law matters to demonstrate experience and involvement
  • Attended criminal law continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date
  • Been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges
  • Passed a day-long written examination covering state & federal criminal law

A Criminal Law Board Certified attorney is entitled to indicate certification on business cards and letterhead by stating "Board Certified - Criminal Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization." The attorney may also display the Certificate of Special Competence awarded by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and list the certification in legal directories and telephone listings under "Attorneys - Board Certified"

Initial Certification is valid for a period of five years. To remain certified, an attorney must apply for recertification every five years and meet practice, peer review, and continuing legal education requirements for the specialty field. Rafael De La Garza has been Board Certified for over 10 years.

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization was created by, and operates under the authority of the Supreme Court of Texas. Its member is appointed by the President of the State Bar of Texas. The Board administers the program by which an attorney may earn a certificate of special competence in a particular field of law. The program is voluntary and is funded entirely by fees imposed upon participating attorneys.

Why Choose Board Certified 

Mark of Excellence

Board Certification is a mark of excellence and a distinguishing accomplishment.

Within the Texas legal community, Board Certification means an attorney has substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law as well as demonstrated, and tested, special competence in that area of law.

A Distinguished Few

There are more than 70,000 attorneys licensed to practice in Texas. Only 7,000 are Board Certified.

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.

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.

For more information, please write to:

TBLS logo

Texas Board of Legal Specialization
P.O. Box 12487
Austin, Texas 78711-2487

The information above is from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Website: http://www.tbls.org