Summer 2010
ABA Website | Specialization Homepage

Newsletter One

Certification is one way to achieve individual recognition, enhance self-esteem, and gain respect in the legal world. Certification enhances the credibility of the individual and the profession, as well as providing clients with confident representation!


The UN-Conference Proved a

Success - Were You a Part of it?

"This was the best roundtable I have ever been to!" and "I have been to conferences for 20 years now and this is one tops them all," were just a few of the gracious comments we received over the two days in Denver for the 2010 Roundtable for Legal Specialization.

Facing a wall of uncertainty, the ABA staff pushed forward with the concept of hosting an " Open Space Technology" type meeting. After doing a significant amount of research, it became apparent that the ABA staff needed someone to facilitate the meeting who has offered this type of meeting before. Enters, Matt Homann from LexThink, Inc. Matt offers a hybrid of the Open Space methodology which was exactly what this Roundtable needed. Plus, Matt was a practicing lawyer, so he had a familiarity with the group already!

For two days, people talked about what THEY wanted to talk about, groups formed and goals were set forth.

Please view the following video that captures various portions of the meeting and helps give you a better feel for what took place!

Dian Campbell from ABC is posting her question on the Agenda Wall.

A Roundtable discussion group

2010 Community Service Project Team


Floridian News

Board of Legal Specialization & Education Receives Nearly 500 Applications for 2010 Certification. It's official: Florida Bar board certification is on the rise. While the voluntary certification program has grown steadily since its inception in 1982, total applications received in 2009 for certification in 2010 are up significantly – nearly 10 percent – over those received in 2008, demonstrating the board's success in expanding and promoting the program to encourage more applicants. The BLSE received 481 applications for certification in 2010. Of these, 141 applicants took exams in March for all 10 of the program’s first-cycle board certification areas, up from 109 in eight areas in 2009. Laptop testing continues to be a popular option: 67 percent of the applicants registered to take the test on laptop, up from 30 percent in 2003 when the laptop option first was offered.

Supreme Court Approves Use of "B.C.S" for Certified Lawyers. Among numerous Florida Bar rule changes addressed in a Florida Supreme Court Nov. 19, 2009, opinion is a new rule that allows board certified lawyers to use the letters "B.C.S." for board certified specialist. The rule became effective Feb. 1, 2010, and states: "A member having received a certificate in an area may list the area on the member's letterhead, business cards, and office door, in the yellow pages of the telephone directory, in approved law lists, and by such other means permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct. The listing may be made by stating one or more of the following: 'Board Certified (area of certification) Lawyer;' or 'Specialist in (area of certification);' or use of initials B.C.S. to indicate Board Certified Specialist. If the initials B.C.S. are used, the area(s) in which the member is board certified must be identified; if used in court documents or a non-advertising context, the initials may stand alone."

Education and Adoption Law Applications Now Online. Please help us spread the word about board certification in education law and adoption law. Applications, standards and staff contact information are online for both specialties, which are first of their kind in the nation. The first application filing deadline for both is July 31, 2010, and exams are scheduled for March 2011.
Lott Wins Runoff in Board of Governors 11 th Circuit Election. Board certified intellectual property lawyer Leslie J. Lott of Lott & Friedland in Coral Gables has won the runoff election for the 11 th Circuit open seat and now joins three other certified lawyers who have been elected to The Florida Bar Board of Governors: C. Richard "Rick" Nail, a board certified marital and family lawyer and BLSE member who practices with Gray Robinson in Lakeland for the 10th Circuit; Michelle R. Suskauer, a certified criminal trial lawyer with The Suskauer Law Firm of West Palm Beach for the 15th Circuit, Seat 3; and John W. “Jay” Manuel of Panama City, a board certified civil trial lawyer with Manuel Thompson, for the 14th Circuit, Seat 1. The new BOG members will be sworn into office for two-year terms at The Bar Annual Convention in June.

New Certification Webpage Design. The Florida Bar board certification webpage and directory portal at now have a new look, making certified lawyer news and resources much easier to access. The main page is divided into four sections – Find a Board Certified Lawyer, Become Board Certified or Recertified, Access Resources for Certified Lawyers and Learn About The Board of Legal Specialization & Education – and the page header is reserved for current certification news. Check out the latest updates to our certification flag-travels page, which also can be accessed by clicking on the main page flag graphic.

Testing Dates
 National Board of Trial Advocacy

The National Board of Trial Advocacy examinations for Trial Advocacy and Social Security Disability Advocacy will be held October 16, 2010. For more information, please contact the NBLSC office at 866.384.6565 or by email.

 National Elder Law Foundation

The next National Elder Law Foundation Certification Examination will be held regionally on Friday, August 27, 2010. The exam will be proctored at Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) offices. For additional information and exam locations, please contact Lori Barbee.


In the News

Law certification sends clients a signal: ‘expertise practiced here’
Certifications are rare in some practice areas, but can boost referrals, rain-making

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ABA Specialization News
In case you missed the Listserv email, check out the new news at the ABA regarding the Standing Committee on Specialization (you're getting a new home!)

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Summer Tips - Make an Ally of the Sun

Hang your laundry out to dry.

Wash stained items as usual and then throw them over a bush located in full sunlight to take advantage of the sun’s natural bleaching power.

Anything musty or funky-smelling can benefit from some time in the sun: place items where they will get the benefit of the direct sunlight.

Try making Sun Tea. Children are fascinated by the sun’s power to change things and love to get involved in this process. Simply place 1 teabag (black, green, or herbal) per pint of water in a glass container, and leave outside in the sun to steep for an hour. Add sweetener and fresh mint, if you like.

Try Annie‘s favorite Natural Hair Lightener. All it takes is one ingredient and the sun.

CertLink is distributed automatically to members of the ABA Legal Specialization Listserv . Please feel free to forward it! up 


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