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Above-pictured are the attendees who were honored at the event: Mr. Larry Harvey Schwartz of Schwartz & Earp in El Paso, Mr. Donn C. Fullenweider of Fullenweider Wilhite in Houston, Mr. David Greenfield from Austin, Mr. John F. Nichols of Nichols Law in Houston, Mr. Curtis Marvin Loveless from Denton, Mr. Philip C. Friday, Jr. of Friday, Milner, Lambert & Turner from Austin, Mr. Charles H. Robertson of Charles H Robertson, Inc. from Dallas, Mr. Herbert Lee Hooks of The Hooks Firm in Dallas, Mr. William R. Neil W.R. ( BILL ) of NEIL & ASSOC. from Dallas Mr. Harry Lee Tindall Tindall England PC Houston Mr. L. A. (al) Greene, Jr. Zapata Judge Robert J. Kern Senior Judge Houston/Sugar Land

This year on August 5th, at the TAFLS dinner at Advanced Family Law 2015 Texas Bar CLE Course in San Antonio, the Texas Association of  Family Law Specialists gathered to commemorate 40 years of board certification for family lawyers.  What type of birthday present did the lawyers who have been continuously board certified in family law since 1975 get? 25 elite attorneys received free registration at the 2015 Advanced Family Course, State Bar of Texas CLE and special recognition at a reception.  So, the reward for being excellent and accomplished:more education.

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Pictured above, Gary McNeil, Executive Director of Texas Board of Legal Specialization on the left and on the right,Rick Robertson, President of Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists.

Executive Director of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

I spoke with Gary McNeil, Executive Director of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, about the history and purpose of family law specialization.  In 1975, the board certification in family law commenced alongside criminal law and labor law.  Mr. McNeil shared that the purpose of board certification is to, “acquire expertise in a specific area and to have recognized, objective criteria for excellence in this area.”  McNeil articulated that, “the net effect of board certification is dual: to provide clients with additional marketing information to inform their choice of attorney, and to honor the cream of the crop in family law.” Mr. McNeil had this message for the accomplishment of the 25 elite lawyers who were honored at this year’s event: “Thank you for being trail blazers, pathfinders and leaders.  You have done so much for our profession.”

If you are a family attorney who has been practicing more than five years, and focusing at 35% of your practice on family law cases in the past 3 years, and you meet the extensive criteria set forth in TBLS.org, you should consider being part of the cadre of excellence. To watch video interviews about those honored this year, tune in to TBLS.org in the next few weeks. The upcoming family law specialization exam is October 19, 2015, and the application period is currently sealed.  Those who wish to apply for next year, should submit applications in early 2016.