In an earlier blog, I explained how a bankruptcy attorney gets certified by the American Board of Certification. I noted how, in every profession, it seems there are only a few who do the extra work and fulfill all the strict requirements to be certified in their field of specialty. In my case, I explained, I am one of only fifteen attorneys in Indiana board certified as Consumer Bankruptcy Specialists.

That might sound impressive, but why would a client care one way or the other? Well, in order to gain, and then to maintain certification, an attorney must satisfy some pretty strict requirements. If you want to be considered a specialist in the bankruptcy field, the American Board wants you to really be one. That means proving, first of all, that any attorney applying to be certified spent at least 30% of his work time (make that 100% for me!) actually handling bankruptcy matters.

Second, the attorney has to keep up with changes in the law by taking at least sixty hours of continuing education every three years (make that a whole lot more for me!).

Lastly, the American Board wants its certified attorneys to participate in bankruptcy proceedings and contested matters, and to do that at least thirty times every three years. In short, bankruptcy can’t be just a sideline for board certified attorneys, it has to be “their thing”!