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 v                Board Certification Program

             The Florida Association of Legal Support Specialists, Inc. (“FALSS”), Board Certification Program became effective in 2002.  The purpose of the program is to identify legal support specialists who have special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in specialized areas of law.

Primary features of the plan:

     1.  To be certified, a legal support specialist must be a member in good standing of FALSS or, if a non-member, must abide by the FALSS Code of Ethics.  An applicant must have been employed in the legal field on a full-time basis for five (5) years, with three (3) years in the specific area of law; provide verification of such experience; provide evidence of eight (8) hours of continuing education, five (5) of which shall be in the specialty area prior to making application; and achieve a passing score on the specialty area examination.  Other education or experience may be considered toward eligibility.  Recertification is necessary every five (5) years.

     2.  Currently there are three specialty areas available under the Certification Program:  Civil Trial Law; Family Law; and Wills, Trusts, & Estates.  However, the Program provides that FALSS may offer certification in the following specialty areas:  Real Estate Law; Local Government Law; Workers Compensation Law; Criminal Law, and other areas that may be developed.

     3.  A legal support specialist who has become board certified in a specialty area may designate such certification on letterhead, business cards, or other advertising. Those achieving board certification will hold the designation “Board Certified (area of certification) Support Specialist.”  No abbreviation for this designation shall be used.

     4.  The Certifying Board retains ultimate authority for any new certification areas and standards.  The operational and administrative responsibilities for these areas are vested in the Certifying Board, with committees for each certification area.