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New Board Certification Area Application Information

Steps for New Certification Area Development

  1. Completion of New Area Application
  2. Approval of Proposed Standards by Board of Legal Specialization & Education (BLSE) Rules Committee (presented in a rule amendment format consistent with all other area standards in Chapter 6, R. Regulating The Florida Bar, and in compliance with the minimum standards for board certification in Sub Chapter 6-3.)
  3. Approval of Proposed Standards by BLSE (includes determination as to whether any existing Bar Sections should be asked to provide )
  4. Approval of Proposed Standards by:
    1. Program Evaluation Committee (PEC) of the Board of Governors (BOG)
    2. Budget Committee of the BOG
    3. Rules Committee of the BOG
    4. BOG (two readings)
  5. Notice to the Bar membership must occur prior to final action by the BOG and prior to filing with the Supreme Court of
  6. Submission to the Supreme Court as an amendment to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. (Bar Rule amendments are filed )
  7. Upon approval by the Supreme Court, a notice will be placed on the Bar’s website and in the Bar News to advise the membership and to elicit members to apply for service on the inaugural nine-member certification committee. Pursuant to Rule 6-3.2, initial appointees shall be “eminent attorneys” in the field and shall be members in good standing of The Florida Bar admitted no less than 10 years. Appointments are made by the President of The Florida Bar. The three-year terms are staggered and each member is certified by virtue of
  8. Assignment of staff and “application cycle” (July 1-August 31 or September 1-October 30)
  9. Committee orientation, application development, test development, acceptance of applications, processing of applications, administration of exam, grading and presentation of qualified candidates to the BLSE for
  10. Certification of first class July 1 or August

Petition in Support of (Area Title) Law Board Certification

I understand that:

(Bar Committee or Section or Individual) proposes to establish board certification standards in (Area Title) as an amendment to Chapter 6, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

Board certification recognizes attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in specific areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Board certified attorneys are allowed to identify or advertise themselves as “Florida Bar Board Certified,” board certified experts or board certified specialists, and use the letters B.C.S for Board Certified Specialist. Established as a voluntary program by the Supreme Court of Florida, board certification helps consumers identify legal specialists. Certification is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of the competency, experience, and professionalism of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification.

A lawyer who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar and who meets standards prescribed by the Florida Supreme Court may become board certified. Minimum requirements for certification are:

  • Five years in the practice of law
  • Substantial involvement in the field of law for which certification is sought
  • Passage of an examination
  • Satisfactory peer review as to competence in the specialty field as well as character, ethics and reputation for professionalism in the practice of law
  • Satisfaction of a minimum of 10 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) in the specific area per year

Using the minimum standards above as a guide, board certification in (Area Title) Law will encompass (insert language that defines area). Preliminary recommendations as to the other requirements will include:

  • Substantial involvement of  (specify percentage, 30 to 50) % of the practice
  • A minimum of certification CLE credits in (Area Title) during the three years immediately preceding application for initial qualification and continued hour minimum Certification CLE for recertification

The fees for participation are set at:

  • $250 — Application
  • $150 — Exam (Laptop testing optional for $60 surcharge)
  • $150 — Annual Fee (for each year except the 5th year when renewal occurs)
  • $250 — Renewal Fee (every 5th year)

I have read the information above and by my signature below, I affirm that I endorse the efforts of (Bar Section or Bar Committee or Individual) to establish (Area Title) as an area of board certification, I am now or expect to be qualified by the projected implementation date in the fall of 20 , and it is my intent to apply for certification in this area if approved by the Supreme Court of Florida.



Guidelines for Developing a Proposal for a New Program

I. Historical Perspective

  1. Provide a brief historical perspective of the
    1. How was the need for the program determined?
    2. Whose idea was it to propose this program?
    3. How did the idea develop to the point of a completed proposal?

II. Statement of Purpose and Goals

  1. Briefly describe what the program is designed to
  2. Describe in detail the goals and objectives of the
    1. Are these goals and objectives clearly articulated and achievable?
    2. Do the goals and objectives conform to existing Standing Board Policies, the Integration Rule, and the Bar’s strategic plan?
    3. If the program has several objectives, are they compatible?
    4. What benefits will accrue to the Bar and Bar members if these goals and objectives are achieved? Approximately how many Bar members will benefit, directly or indirectly, from this program?
    5. Approximately how long will it take to fully achieve each of the program’s goals and objectives?

III. Program Design

  1. Address what alternative versions of the program were considered, if any, by those responsible for its
  2. Address whether there are any existing Bar programs which perform activities similar to those of the new
    1. How do the other programs differ from this program?
    2. Could the new program be incorporated into an existing program?
  3. Describe what effect the new program will have on the existing Bar organizational
  4. State how and where the program request fits into the strategic plan of The Florida Bar.

IV. Program Funding and Expenditures

  1. Describe the source(s) of program
    1. What alternative funding sources have been considered?
    2. What conclusions were reached regarding the alternative funding sources?
  2. Provide information regarding the fiscal impact of the program. Include the program’s start-up costs and, if applicable, budget projections for the first three years of
    1. What level of staff involvement will the program require?
    2. What significant fiscal changes do you see beyond the first three years?

V. Program Implementation

  1. Describe the major components of the program’s implementation.
  2. Describe the anticipated timeline for implementation of the program.
  3. Describe what challenges will be faced in implementing the program.

VI. Program Evaluation

  1. Address how the effectiveness and efficiency of the program can be measured once the program has been implemented.
    1. Specifically identify program outputs and projected quantities for three years.
    2. Calculate the anticipated cost per unit of output for the first three years. Exclude non-recurring start-up costs from the computation.
  2. Discuss at what point the program should be reviewed to determine if its continuation is desirable.