The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) is now accepting attorney applications to become board certified in Child Welfare Law in 2022. The application filing deadline is March 31, 2022. Successful applicants will be notified during the summer of their ability to sit for the certification exam in Fall 2022. The Children’s Commission will continue to reimburse exam fees upon request for attorneys who pass the exam and become board certified as detailed on the Children’s Commission website.
Additionally, please note that TBLS recently clarified its policy regarding the Child Welfare Law Specialist (CWLS) certification offered by the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC). Beginning in 2009, TBLS accredited NACC to certify Texas attorneys as CWLS. The CWLS examination only covers federal law, and no TBLS certification for Texas child welfare law existed at the time. However, TBLS has certified child welfare law as a specialty area since 2018 and the practice of child welfare law includes a substantial component of Texas law. Per TBLS accreditation standards, because TBLS certifies child welfare law as a specialty and child welfare practice is substantially based on Texas law, NACC will no longer be able to certify Texas attorneys as CWLS who have not previously been board certified by TBLS in child welfare law. NACC was notified of this provision in the accreditation standards in 2020 and the provision only applies to Texas attorneys seeking CWLS certification after January 1, 2021. Texas attorneys who obtained CWLS certification prior to January 1, 2021 are not required to first become board certified by TBLS.