General Questions

  1. What does "Board Certified" mean?
  2. Is there a specialty certification for my particular legal problem?
  3. Where can I find listings of Board Certified attorneys?
  4. How many Board Certified attorneys and paralegals are in Texas?
  5. How many licensed attorneys are in Texas?
  6. Who are the members of the TBLS and how can I contact them?
  7. Who are the members of the TBLS staff and how can I contact them?

Q1. What does "Board Certified " mean?

Board Certification is a voluntary designation program for attorneys and paralegals. Initial certification is valid for a period of five years. To remain certified, an attorney and paralegal must apply for recertification every five years and meet substantial involvement, peer review and continuing legal education requirements for the specialty area.

To become Board Certified in a specialty area, an attorney must have:

Been licensed to practice law for at least five years;

Devoted a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years;

Handled a wide variety of matters in the area to demonstrate experience and involvement;

Attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date;

Been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges;

Passed a 6-hour written examination.

To become Board Certified in a specialty area, a paralegal must:

Have at least 5 years experience as a paralegal (3 years in Texas);

Currently work under the supervision of a licensed attorney doing business in Texas;

Have at least 50% of paralegal duties concentrated in specialty areas;

Attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date;

In addition to the above, successfully complete one of the following:

NALA certification, or

Baccalaureate or higher degree, or

ABA approved paralegal program, or

Paralegal program consisting of a minimum of 60 semester credit hours of which 18 hours are substantive legal courses, or

Paralegal program consisting of a minimum of 18 semester credit hours of which 18 hours are substantive legal courses in addition to a minimum of 45 semester credit hours of general college curriculum courses, or

2 additional years of actual paralegal experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney;

Have been evaluated by lawyers, judges and other professionals associated with the specialty area;

Pass a 4-hour written examination.

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Q2. Is there a specialty certification for my particular legal problem?

TBLS currently certifies attorneys in the following 23 specialty areas of the law:
Administrative, Business Bankruptcy, Child Welfare, Civil Appellate, Criminal Appellate,Civil Trial, Construction, Consumer Bankruptcy, Consumer and Commercial, Criminal, Estate Planning and Probate, Family, Health, Immigration and Nationality, Juvenile, Labor and Employment, Oil, Gas and Mineral, Personal Injury Trial, Commercial Real Estate, Residential Real Estate, Farm and Ranch Real Estate, Tax and Workers' Compensation Law. Listed below is a brief description of the types of matters and expertise defined by each of our specialty areas.

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Q3. Where can I find listings of Board Certified attorneys?

The best source is this site's on-line directory, the "Search" page. It contains the most current and complete information and allows you to search the database using a variety of criteria. You may search the TBLS database by any combination of name, city, county, zip code, or specialty area.

Additionally, your telephone directory lists attorney information under "Attorneys - Board Certified" at the end of the alphabetic listing of attorneys.  Certified attorneys also display their certified designation with our "Board Certified" logo.

Alternately, call the TBLS at 1-855-277-TBLS(8257) or at 512-453-7266, or e-mail TBLS.

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Q4. How many Board Certified attorneys and paralegals are in Texas?

 

There are currently 7,225 board certified attorneys in Texas:

Administrative Law

AD

146

Business Bankruptcy Law

BB

127

Consumer Bankruptcy Law

CB

132

Criminal Appellate Law

CA

 127

Civil Appellate Law

AP

428

Civil Trial Law

CT

981

Consumer and Commercial Law

CS

73

Criminal Law

CR

834

Estate Planning and Probate Law

EP

696

Family Law

FM

825

Health Law

HE

68

Immigration and Nationality Law

IM

162

Juvenile Law

JV

68

Labor and Employment Law

LB

640

Oil, Gas and Mineral Law

OG

378

Personal Injury Trial Law

PI

1559

Commercial Real Estate Law

RC

479

Farm and Ranch Real Estate Law

RF

90

Residential Real Estate Law

RR

285

Tax Law

TX

208

Workers' Compensation Law

WC

98

Total Active Attorney Certificates

 

8404

     

Board certified Paralegals in Texas:

Civil Trial Law

PLCT

98

Criminal Law

PLCR

8

Estate Planning and Probate Law

PLEP

21

Family Law

PLFM

131

Personal Injury Trial Law

PLPI

74

Real Estate Law

PLRE

25

Total Active Paralegal Certificates

 

364 

 

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Q5. How many licensed attorneys are in Texas?

 

The most current information is available from the State Bar of Texas Membership Services, at 1-800-204-2222.

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Q6. Who are the members of TBLS and how can I contact them?

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) was created by an order of the Supreme Court of Texas in July 1974. TBLS members are appointed by the President of the State Bar. The program is self-funded by certification fees and receives no money from the State Bar of Texas general revenue fund.

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Q7. Who are the members of TBLS staff and how can I contact them?

The "Contact Us" page list staff members information.

Address, Phone and Directions

TBLS
CENTENNIAL TOWERS
505 E. HUNTLAND DRIVE, SUITE 400, L.B. 28
AUSTIN, TX 78752

1-855-277-TBLS(8257), 512-453-7266, Fax: 512-453-7220