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Hiring a board certified legal specialist helps to ensure that your lawyer is proficient in the specialty legal field in which you have a legal need. When you are looking for a lawyer, you can use board certification to identify lawyers who are qualified to represent you.

Board certification is an indication that the lawyer has intentionally focused his or her legal practice to improve the proficiency and quality of the lawyer's legal services and to stay current in the specialty field. A lawyer who is certified as a specialist by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization has satisfied a number of rigorous standards for certification in the lawyer's specialty field including the following:

· continuing education requirements

· devotion of 25% or more of the lawyer's practice time to the specialty

· confirmation by the lawyer's peers that the lawyer has the qualifications to be board certified in the specialty

·  passage of a 6 hour exam in the specialty field.

A board certified specialist must be recertified by the board every 5 years, at which time the lawyer must satisfy the continuing education, substantial involvement, and peer review standards for continued certification.

Board certification, unlike the self-laudatory information in advertising and marketing, is a credential that you can rely upon because it is based upon objective criteria.