To identify lawyers who, although they may not practice substantially in each of these areas, nonetheless concentrate their practice of law in a wide variety of these categories of law in the educational environment, either on behalf of persons dealing with or receiving educational services, or as practitioners on behalf of educational institutions. “Education law” also includes presiding as an administrative law judge, arbitrator, hearing officer, judge or member of another tribunal or panel over a dispute involving education law issues.
Who may apply?
Minimum standards for education law certification, provided in Rule 6-27.3, include:
Practice of law for at least five years;
Substantial involvement in the specialty of education law during the three years immediately preceding application;
50 hours of approved education law certification continuing legal education in the three years immediately preceding application;
Peer review; and,
A written examination.
Becoming Board Certified
All applicants for board certification or recertification should carefully read the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar to be sure you have met each of the requirements prior to filing your application. Unless the rules provide for a waiver of a specific requirement, each of the requirements must be met by the dates indicated in the rule.
The application filing period runs July 1-August 31 of a given year to determine eligibility to sit for the exam in March of the subsequent year (see calendar for details). Applications must be postmarked by August 31. Eligible applicants who pass the exam will be officially certified in June.
If you’re eligible to sit for the exam from a previous application, you may file the short application.
All applications for recertification must be postmarked by midnight May 31 at the conclusion of the 5-year period of certification. All requirements for recertification are to be completed by this date. June 1 after the fifth year of certification is the effective date of recertification.
A single, 3-month recertification file extension will be granted if accompanied by a properly executed application for extension and payment of the appropriate fee.
The Education Law Certification Examination consists of a combination of essay and multiple- choice questions. The exam is intended to test whether an applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, abilities, ethics, and judgments that are common to specialists in education law and is also intended to be a valid and reliable measurement to justify the representation of special competence and professionalism that distinguishes a “Florida Bar Board Certified Lawyer.”
II. Examination Content
Topics that may be covered on the Education Law examination include:
Student (K-20) – Approximately 35%
Article IX, Florida Constitution
Student Rights and Responsibilities (Ch. 1002)
Educational records, including FERPA
Accommodating Children with Special Needs – Section 504 and IDEA
Due process – student discipline (K-12)
Student Affairs, Student Conduct, Discipline, and Admissions (post- secondary)
Civil Rights (substantive law and procedural law)
First Amendment (Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition, Religion/Establishment, Clause)
K-12 Educational Choice, including charter schools (Chapter 1002)
Employee (K-20) – Approximately 25%
Code of Ethics Chapter 112
Chapter 6B-1 Code of Ethics of the Ed. Profession in Florida
Public Employee Discipline – Due process & Chapter 1012
Civil rights (Substantive and Procedural Laws)
Public Employees and First Amendment Rights
Criminal Background Screening, including Jessica Lunsford Act (K-
12) and Fla Stat 110.1127 (Post-secondary)
Employment law – Federal (Title VII (discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment), ADA, ADEA, FMLA, Equal Pay Act, Section 1981, etc.)
Labor Relations – Chapter 447
Copyright (17 USC 114 et seq.)
Whistleblower – Chapter 112
Qualified Immunity (federal law)
Faculty/Teacher Contracts & Evaluation
Governance and Compliance (K-20) – Approximately 25%
Government in the Sunshine – Chapters 119 and 286
Section 768.28, Fla. Stat.
Florida Constitution Article IX
Educational Facilities (Chapter 1013)
Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 120)
K-20 Governance (Chapter 1001, 1002)
Risk Management/Torts (Chapter 284)
Safety & Security, including school hardening
Attorney Professional Responsibility – Approximately 15%
Ethics/Rules Regulating the Florida Bar
Applicants will be tested on the law as it stands on December 31 of the year preceding the administration of the exam.
Part 1 of the exam will contain 100 multiple choice questions worth 2.2 points each, and 1 essay worth 60 points
Part 2 of the exam will contain 3 essays worth 40 points each.