Ohio State Bar Association

Ohio State Bar Association

At Lawyer Legion, we understand the importance of specialty certification programs. We created a feature on our directory to narrow the search to only Ohio attorneys who have earned specialty certification.

The Specialization Program of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) recognizes attorneys dedicated to specialty areas of the law. Under Rule XIV, the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists (CCAS) has accredited the OSBA program, which is the largest state-specific organization to certify attorneys in Ohio.

Ohio also accredits national organizations to become accredited to certify attorneys.

The certification programs allow attorneys to voluntarily submit to an intensive evaluation process, which looks at whether the attorney has a high level of substantial involvement in the specialty area of the law, whether the attorney has meet certain continuing legal education (CLE) requirements, and whether the attorney has been evaluated favorably by other attorneys who are familiar with the attorney's practice. Attorneys may only state or imply they are a specialist in a field if they have been certified by an organization accredited by the CCAS.


Benefits of Becoming a Certified Attorney Specialist in Ohio

Board-certified Ohio lawyers are permitted under the Bar Rules in Ohio to use certain phrases in their marketing efforts that other attorneys are not permitted to use. For example, the attorneys can use the phrase “certified by the Ohio State Bar Association.” Those statements can be used in advertising and on the attorney's business cards and letterhead. Ohio Bar Rules prevent attorneys from using the term "specialist" or "expert" or "board certified" unless they have been certified in that specialty area of the law.


Requirements to Become a Certified Attorney Specialist in Ohio

The specific requirements to become a certified attorney specialist in Ohio vary depending on the specialty area. After the attorney is certified, the attorney must file a written report each year. The attorney must also renew the certification every four to seven years. The general requirements to become a certified specialist include:

  • Passing a written examination that will test the attorney's knowledge about the specialty area of the law;
  • Showing continuing and substantial involvement in the specialty area of law;
  • Maintain professional liability insurance with a specified amount of coverage;
  • Providing proof that the attorney has attended or taught continuing legal eduction (CLE) classes on topics closely related to the specialty area of practice; and
  • Submitting references from judges and attorneys familiar with the attorney's practice who can attest to the attorney's competency in the specialty field.

OSBA Attorney Specialization Areas

The Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Certification of Attorneys has certified the Ohio State Bar Association as the certifying agency for 10 specialty areas. The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) is the largest certifying agency in Ohio. The OSBA may certify attorneys for:


Other Entities that Certify Ohio Attorneys

In other specialty areas, the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Certification of Attorneys accredits certain non-profit organizations to certify Ohio attorneys as specialists. For these third party organizations, each must undergo continuous and intensive review to show compliance with the standards established for certification.

The National Elder Law Foundation is permitted to certify Ohio attorneys as specialist for Elder Law.

The American Board of Certification is permitted to certify Ohio attorneys as specialist in the following approved practice areas:

The National Board of Legal Specialty Certification is permitted to certify Ohio attorneys as specialist in the following approved practice areas:


OSBA Informational Video on Attorney Specialty Certification

The Ohio State Bar Association produced a video featuring law partners Bill Friedman, Denise Mirman and Scott Friedman of Friedman & Mirman Co., LPA in Columbus, Ohio. These attorneys explain why they became certified as family relations law specialists through the Ohio State Bar Association's attorney specialization program. The video is featured on the OSBA YouTube channel.


For More Information Contact:

Ohio State Bar Association
P.O. Box 16562
Columbus, OH 43216
Phone: (614) 487-2050
Toll Free: (800) 282-6556

Lawyer Legion is not endorsed or approved by any state or national board certification program or by any bar association, including the State Bar of Ohio.