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Texas Board Certified Attorney in Criminal Law 

A member of the Texas Bar since 2003, Matt Horak earned the distinction as Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2014. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization operates under the authority of the Supreme Court of Texas.

Board members are appointed by the President of the State Bar of Texas. The TBLS administers the program by which an attorney may earn a certificate of special competence in a particular field of law such as criminal law. TBLS created the specialty area of criminal law in 1975. Since then, specialty certification in criminal law has stood the test of time.

When you begin your search for a criminal defense attorney in Houston, TX, consider whether the attorney has earned this important distinction. If you are looking for a board certified specialist in criminal law to help you fight your pending charges, then contact Matt Horak at (713) 225-8000. 


What is Board Certification in Criminal Law?

Under the current Criminal Law Board Certification standards, attorneys seeking certification must:

  • have practiced a minimum number of years;
  • devote a minimum percentage of their practice to criminal law;
  • have handled a minimum of a specified number of criminal law matters and trials;
  • receive a specified number of hours of continuing legal education per year;
  • be evaluated by peers including other attorneys and judges, and
  • pass a rigorous written examination.

To retain board certification, the attorney must request and receive re-certification every five years.


How is Criminal Law Defined for Purposes of the Board Certification Program?

TBLS defines “criminal law” including misdemeanor and felony crimes, arrest, detention, plea bargains, jury and non-jury trials (for individuals 17 years of age or older). Attorneys in Texas who become board certified in criminal law including private attorneys, public defenders and prosecutors working within the criminal justice system.


Why is Legal Board Certification Important?

Through Board Certification, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization evaluated the attorney’s level of competence and expertise. As explained by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization:

“Board Certification is a mark of excellence and a distinguishing accomplishment. Within the Texas legal community, Board Certification means an attorney has substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law as well as demonstrated, and tested, special competence in that area of law.

Board Certified lawyers earn the right to publicly represent themselves as a specialist in a select area of the law. In fact, they are the only attorneys allowed by the State Bar of Texas to do so. This designation sets them apart as being an attorney with the highest, public commitment to excellence in their area of law.”

Any attorney holding a current certificate of special competence in criminal law is entitled to state in recognized and conventional legal directories or law lists that the attorney is certified by the TBLS in criminal law by using the following words: "Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.”


Additional Resources

Texas Board of Legal Specialization - Visit the online attorney directory for Board Certified Specialist in Texas in one of 22 select areas of law. Established in 1974 by the Supreme Court of Texas at the request of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Board of Legal Certification (TBLS) is the only governing board authorized to certify attorneys in legal specialty areas. The TBLS features an easy to use search feature that allows you to begin your search for a Board Certified attorney here. At last count, only 7,450 attorneys in Texas have earned the right to be publicly recognized as a Board Certified specialists. Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Texas Board of Legal Specialization
505 E. Huntland Dr., Ste. 400
Austin, TX 78752
1-855-277-TBLS(8257)

Board Certification in Criminal Law by TBLS - Visit Matt Horak's profile on the website of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization to confirm the attorney's status as a board certified specialist in criminal law. 

Board Certified Attorneys in Criminal Law in The Woodlands, TX - Visit the website of Lawyer Legion to find a directory of criminal defense attorneys who have earned the distinction of being board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization who practice in The Woodlands, TX, located in Montgomery County and Harris County.


This article was last updated on Friday, January 27, 2017.

Our Office in The Woodlands
1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 The Woodlands, TX 77380 (281) 907-4990
Our Office in Houston
5300 Memorial Dr #750 A Houston, TX 77007 (713) 225-8000
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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014