The Florida Bar

Education Law Certification

Purpose:

Education Law Board Certification LogoTo 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.

New Applicants

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.

REAPPLICANTS

If you’re eligible to sit for the exam from a previous application, you may file the short application.

Recertification

According to the rules, no certification shall last for a period longer than five years. Find out when your recertification application is due.

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.

Exam Tools & Information

I. Purpose of Examination

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:

  1. Student (K-20) – Approximately 35%
    1. Article IX, Florida Constitution
    2. Student Rights and Responsibilities (Ch. 1002)
    3. Educational records, including FERPA
    4. Accommodating Children with Special Needs – Section 504 and IDEA
    5. Due process – student discipline (K-12)
    6. Student Affairs, Student Conduct, Discipline, and Admissions (post- secondary)
    7. Civil Rights (substantive law and procedural law)
    8. First Amendment (Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition, Religion/Establishment, Clause)
    9. K-12 Educational Choice, including charter schools (Chapter 1002)
  2. Employee (K-20) – Approximately 25%
    1. Code of Ethics Chapter 112
    2. Chapter 6B-1 Code of Ethics of the Ed. Profession in Florida
    3. Public Employee Discipline – Due process & Chapter 1012
    4. Civil rights (Substantive and Procedural Laws)
    5. Public Employees and First Amendment Rights
    6. Criminal Background Screening, including Jessica Lunsford Act (K-
    7. 12) and Fla Stat 110.1127 (Post-secondary)
    8. Employment law – Federal (Title VII (discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment), ADA, ADEA, FMLA, Equal Pay Act, Section 1981, etc.)
    9. Labor Relations – Chapter 447
    10. Copyright (17 USC 114 et seq.)
    11. Whistleblower – Chapter 112
    12. Qualified Immunity (federal law)
    13. Faculty/Teacher Contracts & Evaluation
  3. Governance and Compliance (K-20) – Approximately 25%
    1. Government in the Sunshine – Chapters 119 and 286
    2. Section 768.28, Fla. Stat.
    3. Florida Constitution Article IX
    4. Educational Facilities (Chapter 1013)
    5. Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 120)
    6. K-20 Governance (Chapter 1001, 1002)
    7. Risk Management/Torts (Chapter 284)
    8. Safety & Security, including school hardening
  4. Attorney Professional Responsibility – Approximately 15%
    1. 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.


Revised 6/18/2020

Staff Liaison

Charlotte Bell
The Florida Bar
651 E. Jefferson St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300
850-561-5768

Education Law Certification Field Established 2009