The Florida Bar
Steps to Becoming Board Certified
Step I: Application
- Read the Rules and Policies. All requirements for board certification must be met by the filing deadline.
- Download and complete the Initial Application (instructions below). Contact the staff liaison for a listing of your board certification CLE credit hours (certification credit hours are not available on the website).
- Print and mail your application, with the fee, by the filing deadline.
- Within 7 to 10 days, you will receive written confirmation that your application has been received. All communications to you will be marked “confidential” and sent to the physical or email address you designate.
- As your application moves through the review process, you will be notified in writing if additional information is needed. All communications will be in writing.
- Please understand that you have a continuing obligation to notify the Legal Specialization & Education Department of The Florida Bar should there be any changes to any of your responses provided within your application.
Step II: Examination
- You will be notified of your examination eligibility by <January/March> of 2012.
- You will be instructed to return the Exam Agreement Form with the fee by the date specified.
- Board certification examinations are administered annually in March or May. Please review the Certification Calendar for your area’s exam date.
- Each area’s Exam Specifications provide information on the format and subject matter that may be included on the exam. Please review your exam specifications to help you prepare for the exam. For further information about exam preparation and administration, please refer to BLSE Policy 2.11(a).
- Examination results are only communicated in writing.
Step III: Certification
- Once you achieve board certification, you may publicize your status as permitted under Rule 6-3.9, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.
- Certification is valid for 5 years. In the fifth year, you will be contacted to apply for recertification. The requirements for recertification may be found in the area’s standards.
- For each year after the award of board certification, except for the fifth year, in which you will apply for recertification, you will be invoiced and requested to pay an annual fee. Invoices are distributed in February. As approved by the Supreme Court of Florida, the Certification Plan must be financially self-sufficient without the use of general bar revenue. The annual fee supports the Certification Program.
Initial Application for Board Certification
To download an application, click on the appropriate application. You will be asked if you would like to "Open" or "Save" the file (MSWord). It is advisable to save the file to your computer for future reference. Type your responses on the application and print a copy. Attach any required documents, enclose the application fee, and mail your application to: The Florida Bar, Legal Specialization & Education Dept., 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300.
The filing period for Initial Application opens <July/September 1> 2011 and the application must be postmarked by <August/October> 2011.
- Use the initial application unless you meet the conditions below for reapplication.
Reapplication for Initial Certification
- You may submit a Reapplication only if you meet one of the following conditions. To be eligible for the 2012 <Area> Exam, the Reapplication must be postmarked by <August/October> 31, 2011.
1. You submitted an Initial Application by <August/October> 31, 2010 that was approved, but you were unable to take the 2011 <Area> exam.
2. You submitted an Initial Application by August 31, 2010 that was approved and you took the 2011 exam, but you were unsuccessful.