The Florida Bar reports there over 93,000 lawyers eligible to practice law. Demand for legal services is on the rise as droves of out-of-state consumers and their businesses relocate to Florida. To meet this demand, law firms have aggressively been recruiting lawyers particularly in specialty areas such as real estate, construction and corporate law. In the wake of these developments, lawyers can best position themselves to achieve success by becoming a board-certified specialist.
Board certification is administered by eight national private organizations with eighteen certification programs accredited by the American Bar Association. These private certification programs include specialty areas in bankruptcy, criminal trial advocacy, patent litigation, and complex litigation. Many state bar associations also administer board certification programs. For example, Florida has the largest number of certification specialty areas, at 27, which range from marital and family law to criminal law, construction, real estate, and workers’ compensation. Board certification is Florida’s official, independent determination of a lawyer’s expertise to practice in a specialty area of law. As noted on its website, “It is the gold standard for Florida lawyers, representing a recognition by a lawyer’s peers that they have attained a level of professional expertise in their chosen field.” Florida’s slogan for board certification is “Evaluated for Professionalism and Tested for Expertise.” In Florida, only less than 6% of all Florida lawyers are board-certified specialists.
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