What is Board Certification?

Rob Wendt on Board Certification

"Board certification is the one objective method that a potential client can have to decide whether or not the person that you're getting ready to hire to handle the most important thing in your life really has the qualifications and experience.

You can take a lawyer's word for it. Lawyers are supposed to be honest about their credentials and their experience, but I'm I think most people would really want to double-check and find out on their own through some objective method whether the person they're getting ready to hire really does have the experience and the professionalism required to do the job well.

Board Certification is the one way to do that. It's an independent certification. It was pioneered in the medical profession and it's been slow to come to the legal profession, but now we have throughout the United States lots of State Bars that allow certification of certain legal specializations. To get the legal specialization you have to meet very strict standards to prove that you've handled a certain number of cases and that you've been working in this area of law for a long enough period of time to become a true expert You have to get references from judges and other lawyers, you have to provide writing samples, and you also have to take an examination to prove that you have the the legal knowledge.

To get a board certification is a lot of work and not everyone will qualify, but once a lawyer is certified, the lawyer is then allowed to hold out to the general public that that lawyer is a specialist in the field and that there's objective evidence to prove that.

Every client should want to get the best lawyer they can get - the most experienced lawyer and the most knowledgeable lawyer. And what's great about the Social Security area is that it doesn't cost any more money to get that.

In the social security field, attorney's fees are regulated by the government. In almost every case it's handled up through an administrative law judge hearing. The standard fee is a percentage - 25 percent of the past due or retroactive money with a limit on it which currently is around six thousand dollars. So, if you hire the lawyer who's board certified and with the most experience, you will pay the same fee that you would pay a lawyer who has very little experience."

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