As I posted recently, I was fortunate enough to be among the new class of Board Certified criminal law attorneys. Having just attended the induction ceremony this past week, I was curious who else had joined me in this 2008 class of inductees. I did some research with the help of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, along with the State Bar and TCDLA websites, and found the following information:
In the criminal law specialization category, there were only 48 examinees who sat for the certification test this past October. Of those, exactly 50% passed the exam (24 new inductees). A minimum passing score was 350 points out of a possible 400. As of last year, there were only 841 out of the state’s approximately 80,000 attorneys who were Board Certified in Criminal Law, or approximately one percent. Therefore, so long as no one lost their certification, there are now 865 Board Certified Criminal Law attorneys in Texas.
The induction ceremony took place this past Thursday, February 5, 2009. The ceremony was at the Texas Law Center in Austin, and it was presided over by Wallace B. Jefferson, Chief Justice of The Texas Supreme Court. Also in attendance were other members of the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Third Court of Appeals in Austin. When Chief Justice Jefferson inadvertently introduced Lawrence E. Meyers as a Justice on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Judge Meyers responded by reminding the Chief Justice that “there is no justice on the Court of Criminal Appeals, only judges.”
Among the twenty-four newly certified criminal law attorneys, eight (or one-third of the total) identify themselves as prosecutors. This year’s class includes assistant district attorneys from the following counties: Anderson, Brazoria, Hays, Tarrant (three prosecutors), Wichita, and Williamson.
There was one Justice from the First District Court of Appeals in Houston, Justice Elsa Alcala. There was also one judge, the Honorable Jeremy Warren, Judge of Brazoria County Court at Law Number Three.
While the remaining fourteen appear to be defense attorneys, only eight of them are members of TCDLA. The other six may be defense attorneys, but I have yet to confirm this.
Also, in case you were curious like I was, here is some interesting trivia concerning this new class of certified criminal law attorneys: The average years of experience is 11, the median is 9. The person with the least amount of experience had only five years (the minimum for certification). The most experienced inductee had 25 years of experience.
Baylor University (my alma mater), Texas Tech, and Texas Wesleyan law schools each had three graduates certified in criminal law this year. South Texas, SMU, St. Mary’s, and UT each had two apiece. The following law schools had one each: Louisiana State, Regent University, Texas Southern, Tulane, University Of Houston, University Of Wyoming, and Valparaiso University.
The following chart summarizes the geographical locations of each new inductee: