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Board Certification

About Board Certification

Less than 5% of all lawyers in Florida have earned board certification in any specialty area.  Certified attorneys are the only lawyers allowed to identify themselves as “Florida Bar Board Certified,” as “specialists” or “experts” or to use the letters “B.C.S.” to indicate Board Certified Specialist.  Certification establishes standards for a lawyer’s education and competency; The Florida Bar grants board certification only to lawyers who have been evaluated for experience and expertise in a particular area of law.  Certification is the highest level of evaluation 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.

How do I know a lawyer is certified?

  • The Florida Bar only allows certified lawyers to use the terms “Board Certified,” “specialist” and “expert.” Florida Bar board certified lawyers may also use the letters “B.C.S.” behind their names to indicate “Board Certified Specialist,” and the area(s) in which the member is board certified must be identified. If the “B.C.S.” letters are used in court documents or nonadvertising contexts, the initials may stand alone.
  • Certified lawyers may use a logo that says, “The Florida Bar, Board Certified” on their letterhead, business cards or in advertisements. Logos are available for each specialty field of  practice. However, if a lawyer uses The Florida Bar’s generic board certification logo, the logo should be accompanied by the specialty field.