Board Certification: What Does it Mean?

Carter Hillstrom is one of only 17 Fort Lauderdale private attorneys certified in the field of Criminal Trial law. What does this mean? The Florida Bar explains:

Board certification recognizes attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Board certified lawyers are Evaluated for Professionalism, Tested for Expertise. Certification is The Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation of the competency and experience of attorneys in the 24 areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

Established in 1982 by the Florida Supreme Court, board certification helps consumers identify specialists in various areas of law. Board certified Florida Bar members are the only Florida attorneys allowed to identify themselves as “Board Certified,” “Specialist,” “Expert” or to use the letters “B.C.S.” for Board Certified Specialist on business cards or letterhead, in legal directories or in advertising.

6 percent of eligible Florida Bar members, approximately 4,600 lawyers, are board certified.

A lawyer who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar and who meets the standards prescribed by the state’s Supreme Court may become board certified in one or more of the 24 certification fields. Minimum requirements for certification are listed below; each area of certification may contain higher or additional standards.

  • Practice law for a minimum of five years.
  • Demonstrate substantial involvement in the field of law for which certification is sought.
  • Pass satisfactory peer review of competence in the specialty field as well as character, ethics and professionalism in the practice of law.
  • Satisfy the certification area’s continuing legal education requirements.
  • Receive a passing grade on the examination required of all applicants or meet strict criteria to exempt the exam.

The Florida Bar has certified that Carter is an expert in Criminal Trial law. When selecting an attorney to handle your case, look for an attorney whose credentials are endorsed by the Florida Bar.