The Specialization Certification Program of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) recognizes attorneys dedicated to specialty areas of the law for 12 specialty areas. The certification programs require an extensive and rigorous process; attorneys 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 met 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 accredited organization.
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.
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 OSBA may certify attorneys for the following specialty practice areas defined in the Attorney Information & Standards of the Ohio State Bar Association as follow:
Lawyer Legion maintains a statewide directory of board certified lawyers in Ohio. The public is able to browse the directory and narrow their search by specialty area, county or city to and connect with board certified lawyers to help with their case. Lawyer Legion is the only commercial lawyer directory to properly acknowledge all ABA-accredited specialization programs for both national and state-level board certifications, including those granted by the Ohio State Bar Association.
Use this directory to find board certified lawyers who are specialized in their respective areas of law. Start by choosing your county from the list below.
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:
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.