At last count, approximately 134 attorneys have earned their status as board certified in criminal appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This specialty area of criminal appellate law was launched in 2011.
For purposes of specialty certification, the term "criminal appellate law" is defined to include appellate court proceedings following criminal convictions, including those in appellate courts as well as those in trial courts seeking the release of an incarcerated person.
Attorneys focused on criminal appellate law in Texas are experienced in appeals or defenses of judgments/orders in a criminal law matter, or juvenile adjudication, with one of the following:
Attorneys who are board certified in Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) have demonstrated the following qualifications:
Attorneys who are board certified in criminal appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) have passed an exam that demonstrates their substantial knowledge of significant legal concepts and corresponding skills in criminal appellate law.
The exam consists of a three-hour morning session with three essay questions each worth 100 points and a three-hour afternoon session with 100 multiple-choice questions (10 of which involve professional ethics) each worth 2 points. The required passing score is 350.
The TBLS Exam Specifications for criminal appellate law were revised on July of 2019. An attorney who applies to become board certified in criminal appellate law is expected to understand the entire process of appeals of state and federal criminal cases, as well as applications for extraordinary relief and post-conviction writ proceedings in state and federal court including:
Attorneys who are board certified in criminal appellate law have demonstrated their ability to: