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. There are more than 70,000 attorneys licensed to practice in Texas. Only 7,000 are Board Certified. Of that number, less than 740 attorneys are Board Certified in the area of family law. 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 demonstrated his or her experience and involvement in cases such as divorce, child custody, complex property division or other areas of matrimonial law. To become Board Certified in Family Law, an attorney must have:
- Been licensed to practice law for a minimum of five years;
- Devoted a majority of their practice to issues involving family law for at least three years;
- Attended a significant number of family law continuing legal education seminars to keep current on the even changing law in the area of family law;
- Been evaluated and recommended by their family law peers and the family law judiciary;
- Passed a day long written examination.
Moreover, Board Certification is not a one-time event. It requires an ongoing involvement in the attorney’s specialty area which is periodically substantiated with referenced from peers in that field. It also requires annual legal education for the attorney to stay abreast of current trends in the law. An attorney, even a Board Certified one, cannot guarantee a client a specific outcome with litigating their particular family law matter. However, your chances of success are increased when you retain a Board Certified Family Law specialist with the specialized knowledge and with the court room experience necessary to advocate your position.
Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III is a Houston divorce lawyer and creator of The Guide to Good Divorce seminars for women. If you have questions about your Houston divorce, please contact The Law Office of Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III, P.C. for a consultation.