chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
January 20, 2021 Did You Know?

Specialization: How the ABA Can Make You A Better Lawyer

By Steven B. Lesser

The great Arnold Palmer was right when he said, “The road to success is always under construction.” This is especially true for lawyers. In the course of our careers, opportunities exist to become better lawyers and enhance our personal satisfaction within our profession. The best approach is to take advantage of those opportunities by becoming board certified. The ABA can help!

The ABA accredits several programs offered by national organizations that provide certification status to qualified lawyers practicing in a specialty area of law. TIPS has many general committees that focus on a wide array of practice areas that correspond to established specialty areas of legal certification that include, civil pretrial practice, privacy, professional liability, trial advocacy, truck accident law, and more. Additionally, many state bar associations such as California, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Texas also provide certification programs. Generally, after five years of practice and devoting a certain percentage of your time each year to your specialty, along with satisfying certain continuing legal education requirements and a peer review process, you become eligible to take a board certification examination. This is not an easy exam, nor should it be if you are to be held out to the public as an expert in your field. But it will make you a better lawyer, providing you with more confidence in advising and representing clients.

Gaining board certification provides an opportunity to learn more, develop your credentials, and build confidence as a lawyer as well as to elevate your status within your firm.

You should never stop learning or building your credentials because both will lead you to greater satisfaction in your career. Certification can help you achieve your goal. The ABA encourages all of its members to become board certified. To access more information about legal specialization, valuable resources, and a listing of ABA-Accredited specialty certification programs, visit

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.

By Steven B. Lesser

Steven B. Lesser is a member of The Florida Bar and is also been admitted to practice in Ohio. He is Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law and is the Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Specialization and the Florida Board of Legal Specialization & Education. He is a former Chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law and recipient of The ABA Forum on Construction Law Cornerstone Award. Mr. Lesser is a shareholder in Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., in Fort Lauderdale.