What Does it Mean to Be a Certified Criminal Law Specialist?
Not every attorney can claim the designation of “certified criminal law specialist”. It is not a designation that comes simply from graduating law school and spending a couple months practicing criminal law. Rather, the requirements for becoming a certified criminal law specialist are determined by the legal board of the state within which the attorney practices law, which is usually called state “Bar”.
Once an attorney proves to the relevant state Bar that he or she has met the qualifications, that attorney will become certified in criminal law and can use that certification to attract clients.
What Does it Take to Become Board Certified?
Not every state Bar recognizes a board certification in criminal law–however, many do. Generally, a State Bar will require that an attorney seeking certification as a criminal law specialist establish some or all of the following requirements: that he or she has practiced in the area of criminal law for a minimum number of years; that the attorney has handled a minimum number of criminal trials; that the attorney has completed criminal law training beyond that required to become a licensed attorney; that the attorney pass a written test; and that fellow attorneys and judges review the attorney’s work and work ethic.
Because becoming a certified criminal law specialist requires a great deal of additional effort, not all attorneys opt to seek out this designation. In most states, a relatively small portion of attorneys can call themselves specialists.
The California Bar, for example, reports having 177,857 active attorneys licensed in the state, but lists only 345 active attorneys as board certified criminal law specialists.
What Does Having the Criminal Law Specialist Designation Mean?
For those attorneys who are specialists, it allows them to use the designation to attract new clients. Other attorneys may enlist the services of certified criminal law specialists as experts or co-counsel when facing challenging cases. Having the “specialist” title can mean a boost in business for the attorney.
On the other hand, an attorney who claims to be a criminal law specialist, when he or she has not met all the requirements, or practices in a state that does not even recognize such a designation, can face punishment from that state’s Bar, legal malpractice or even prosecution by the state. Becoming a certified criminal law specialist takes extra work and commitment and is taken very seriously.
This article provided by The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor. David and his team are very experienced in defending clients accused of DUI Drugs in Arizona. Please see his website for more information on Marijuana Possession in Arizona.