The Texas Board of Legal Specialization is seeking input from State Bar of Texas members on the creation of a new child welfare law specialty area.

The Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families—backed by the Texas Supreme Court—has submitted an application for board certification in the field.

The board currently certifies attorneys in 22 areas, including criminal, family, and tax law. To hold board certification, a lawyer has substantial, relevant experience in a specific field of law and has demonstrated and tested special competence in the area.

The State Bar of Texas Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect supports the proposal, and more than 100 Texas attorneys have expressed strong interest in seeking the new certification to help ensure that the state’s most vulnerable citizens receive high quality, competent legal representation when dealing with the child protection system.

The proposed child welfare law certification focuses on attorneys who serve as ad litems for children and parents or who represent the state in child protection cases brought by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

The certification does not include specialization in legal representation in private child custody or adoption matters where the state is not a party.

TBLS seeks any comments from bar members regarding the proposed standards for certification and the potential adoption of the new specialty area, as called for in the Texas Plan for Recognition and Regulation in the Law.

Send comments by May 31 to or 505 E. Huntland Dr., Ste. 400, LB 28, Austin, 78752.