Two hundred and sixty-six attorneys and 35 paralegals were certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, or TBLS, during its annual induction ceremony at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin on March 1.

The freshly certified attorneys and paralegals represented myriad areas, including family law, criminal law, and oil and gas law. The ceremony also saw the first group of certifications for child welfare law and property owners association law. The new inductee class is an increase from 2018’s 194 attorneys and 30 paralegals.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown delivered the keynote address, drawing comparisons between the Texas Lawyer’s Creed and the 12 points of Boy Scout law. He gave the newly certified attorneys some general advice: be friendly to more than your friends, treat everyone from legal secretaries to people in the mailroom to baristas with respect, work on making yourself happy, and respect the beliefs of others. “Justice, justice shall now pursue,” Brown said. “Congrats to you and welcome to the rank of the board certified.”

TBLS Executive Director Leo Figueroa recognized the work of TBLS staff, including Assistant Executive Director Odessa Bradshaw; Denise Schumann, website coordinator; Priscilla Leal, lead certification analyst; Brenda Martinez, certification analyst; and Molly Galvez, certification analyst. He then presented the Tom Garner Award to former TBLS Chair David Dickson in recognition of his contributions to the certification program. Dickson is a former State Bar of Texas director and was chairman of the bar’s Professionalism Committee.

TBLS Chair William Frank Carroll—who is certified in civil appellate law and civil trial law—recognized leadership of the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division, including, Brenda Colvin and Board Advisor Stephanie Sterling, and Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown and recently retired Justice Phil Johnson. Carroll then presented the John F. Sheehy, Jr. Distinguished Attorney Award to Johnson.

For more information about the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, go to