About Bar Certification
The Florida Bar's Lawyer Certification Program
Certification is a voluntary program for lawyers, approved by The Florida Supreme Court and administered by The Florida Bar. The program began in 1982 to help the public choose lawyers.
Certified attorneys are the only lawyers allowed to identify or advertise themselves as "Florida Bar Board Certified" or as specialists.
Certification establishes standards for a lawyer's education and competency; the Florida Bar grants board certification only to lawyers who have demonstrated experience and expertise in a particular area of law.
A lawyer who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar and who meets the standards prescribed by the state's Supreme Court may become board certified in one or more of the 20 certification fields.
Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification.
What does it mean to be certified?
Board-certified lawyers have a minimum of five years in law practice.
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 applicants; each specialty has a different exam.
Certified lawyers must satisfy a peer review assessment of their competence in the specialty field plus character, ethics, and professionalism in the practice of law.
Certified lawyers must satisfy the certification area's continuing legal education requirements.
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, requirements similar to those for initial certification must be met.
How does the certification program help a client or potential client?
Certification gives the person seeking a lawyer objective information regarding a lawyer's qualifications.
Certified lawyers are specialists who meet Florida's high legal standards.
Certification indicates legal expertise; board-certified lawyers are dedicated to professional excellence.
Board-certified lawyers exemplify the high standards The Florida Bar sets for all of its members.