Why Become a Board Certified Attorney?

"Board Certification should assist the public in identifying those attorneys who have the skills and have taken the extra time and effort to meet the rigorous standards of the ABC. Board Certification is the mark of a dedicated legal professional."

ABC certification provides an objective standard that assists the public in making informed decisions in choosing counsel. Additionally, ABC certification encourages attorneys to strive toward excellence, and recognizes those attorneys who have met ABC's rigorous standards. Separate certification programs are offered in business bankruptcy, consumer bankruptcy and creditors' rights law.

Bankruptcy and creditors' rights law require highly specialized skills. Board certification in specialty areas of the medical profession has long been recognized and accepted by the public as a mark of achievement. However, restrictive rules in most states have prevented board certification of legal specialists. In 1990 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of attorneys to advertise their certification by specialty boards, subject to appropriate state regulation (Peel v. Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois, 110 S.Ct. 2281 (1990). Following are a few advantages of board certification:

  • Greater opportunities for marketing and referrals - ABC certification is a mark of a dedicated professional. A regularly published national directory of ABC certified attorneys, the website directory, as well as media releases and professional presentations all provide greater visibility and marketing opportunities.
  • Improved standing and prestige among peers - ABC certification reflects a significant degree of training and experience in the specialty field of law.
  • More effective advertising - Any attorney who advertises ABC board certification is able to provide to the public an objective criterion of expertise. ABC certified attorneys can use the ABC logo on business cards, letterhead and other communications.
  • Improved credentials - When serving as an expert witness, and ABC certified attorney enjoys additional credentials of professional competency. Hourly rates awarded by bankruptcy courts in professional fee applications have been increased as a result of board certification. Some insurance carriers also provide discounts on professional liability insurance for certified attorneys.