Why Hire A Lawyer Board Certified in Criminal Law?
Any time you are hiring someone for a service – whether it is a lawyer, doctor, electrician, plumber, etc. – how do you know that the person you are hiring is good at what they do? People often rely on referrals from other people, but the problem with that in the criminal defense world is that most people haven’t had the need to hire a criminal lawyer.
In 1974, the State Bar of Texas recognized the issues experienced by consumers who were trying to find qualified lawyers and they formed the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (“TBLS”). They are the only organization in Texas who is authorized to provide board certification service to Texas citizens. The stated goal of the State Bar of Texas is to, “promote the availability, accessibility and quality of the services of attorneys to the public in particular areas of the law… and advance the standards of the legal profession.”
According to the TBLS website, there are over 70,000 lawyers in Texas but only 7,000 of these lawyers are Texas Board Certified in 21 different areas of the law, including criminal law.
Standards for Board Certification
Here is a glimpse of what an attorney must do to become board certified, provided by the TBLS website:
“The Board Certification process is rigorous and thorough with stringent, ongoing requirements after initial certification. In brief, an applicant must:
- have been in practice a minimum of five years with three years of substantial involvement in an area of law,
- complete TBLS-approved Continuing Legal Education course requirements,
- furnish at least 10 qualified, vetted references,
- provide extensive, relevant experience documentation and
- pass a comprehensive, daylong, specialty area examination.”
Are there good attorneys who are not board certified in an area? Yes, but it may be difficult to know who those attorneys are, especially for people who are not experienced in criminal matters.
If a criminal defense attorney has confidence in their experience and knowledge, they shouldn’t have a problem going through the TBLS process. Ask if an attorney is Board Certified, and if they aren’t, see what sort of excuse they give for why they are not. It’s not an expensive process, and it isn’t a time consuming process if you know what you are doing.
Ed Chernoff is a Texas Board Certified Lawyer
The founding attorney of Chernoff Law is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We want you to feel confident that you have the best lawyer to handle your type of case, and Attorney Chernoff has proven his dedication and passion for criminal law time and time again. Come visit us in person and find out the Chernoff Law difference.