Whether they advertise or not, most lawyers claim expertise
in particular areas of law. However, not all possess the
experience and competence implied by their declarations
or ads. This leaves consumers of legal services at an
extreme disadvantage when faced with the daunting task
of selecting qualified and experienced representation.
The National Board of Trial Advocacy was created in 1977 to
illuminate the gap between the claims and the realities of
attorney specialization. Its mission has been to improve the
overall quality of the legal profession by implementing a
set of rigorous and objective standards to which practitioners
could aspire. And in so doing, provide consumers of legal
services a meaningful tool for choosing qualified and experienced
Becoming Board Certified
Each certificate holder has undergone a demanding process
which begins with an application and ends with a day long
exam. In between, attorneys must document their experience,
prove that they devote at least a third of their practice
to either civil or criminal trial advocacy, submit writing
samples for evaluation, show proof of actively pursuing continuing
legal education, submit references from three attorneys and
three judges, and prove that they are a member in good standing
of their state bar.
Staying Board Certified
Beyond the initial application, NBTA makes an on going effort
to ensure that its members maintain the highest standards
of professional conduct. Certificate holders are required
to submit a disclosure of misconduct annually and must recertify
every five years.
Members account for their professional activities for the
previous five years when recertifying. They must continue
to devote at least one third of their practice to their declared
specialty as well as complete 15 additional trial days, show
proof of on-going course work, submit three additional references,
and another disclosure of misconduct.
When you require a lawyer's services, don't settle for someone
else's word. Demand an NBTA board certified attorney. There
is no substitute for independently verified specialists.