Board Certification

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Mark of Excellence

Michael R. Puhl is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Within the Texas legal community, Board Certification means an attorney has substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law as well as demonstrated, and tested, special competence in that area of law. It is a mark of excellence and a distinguishing accomplishment.

A Distinguished Few

Board Certified lawyers earn the right to publicly represent themselves as a specialist in a select area of the law. In fact, they are the only attorneys allowed by the State Bar of Texas to do so. This designation sets them apart as being an attorney with the highest, public commitment to excellence in their area of law. The process is voluntary and can only take place after an attorney has been in practice for five years, with a minimum of three years experience in the specialty area.

Moreover, Board Certification is not a one-time event. It requires an ongoing involvement in the specialty area, which is periodically substantiated with references from peers in that field. It also requires annual professional refreshment through TBLS approved, continuing legal education course work to stay abreast of current trends in law.

There are more than 70,000 attorneys licensed to practice in Texas. As of 2012, approximately one percent of them are Board Certified. Michael R. Puhl is part of those select few.

Paralegal Certification

Jeanice Barton has been Board Certified as a Family Law Legal Assistant by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1998. Of all the paralegals in the State of Texas, approximately 300 have distinguished themselves with board certification.

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization certifies paralegals in seven select areas of law, one of which is family law. Paralegal certification “recognizes and promotes the availability, quality, and utilization of the services of paralegals who, working under the supervision of duly licensed attorneys, have achieved a level of special knowledge in particular areas of law…

The paralegal certification process closely parallels the attorney certification process. It includes a thorough assessment of the paralegal’s experience under the supervision of a licensed Texas attorney as well as their record of Continuing Legal Education and specialty area duties. It requires the completion of Baccalaureate or higher degree, or completion of an accredited paralegal program or four additional years of relevant experience. References from attorneys, judges and other professionals associated with the specialty area are evaluated, and a passing score on a half day area examination is required.

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