What does it mean to be Board Certified in Civil Trial Law?


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. Board certified lawyers earn the right to publicly represent themselves as a specialist in a select area of the law and 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 Board Certification program is administered by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (“TBLS”). Today, the TBLS is the nation’s largest and most successful legal board certification program.

One of the areas of demonstrated expertise and knowledge is in Civil Trial Law. The TBLS defines that area as “litigation involving contracts, businesses and business owners, negligence, creditors and debtors, fair debt collection, landlord and tenant, and deceptive trade practices act.”

There are more than 90,000 total lawyers in Texas and only 1032 are Board Certified in Civil Trial Law.

To become Board Certified in Civil Trial Law, an applicant must

  1. have tried a minimum of 20 civil trials in a court of record in Texas, including at least 7 jury trials conducted by the applicant as lead counsel;
  2. provided a minimum of 5 references including four Texas attorneys who are substantially involved in civil trial law with at least one of those attorneys having tried a case with or against the applicant; and one judge whom applicant has appeared before as an advocate in a civil trial matter;
  3. Practice in the area of civil trial law for a specified minimum percentage of the attorney’s work time; and
  4. Pass a comprehensive six hour exam on various areas of civil trial law as determined by the Board of Law Examiners.

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