I received confirmation last Friday from The Texas Board of Legal Specialization that I successfully passed the Board Certification exam in Criminal Law. I cannot express how happy, excited, and humbled I was when receiving this news. This was a goal I had set out to achieve many, many years ago. The application process in and of itself is vigorous. Over the past years of my law practice I wrote many appellate briefs, most of which for free, to help try and ensure I met the qualifications to at some point sit for this exam (I am not an appellate attorney, but needed to have authored a certain number of briefs in order to meet the qualifications to be eligible to take the exam).
I have worked hard for a very long time to try and obtain this exclusive designation. I received notice that my application was approved in July of 2016 to take the exam, and from that point forward, I cannot begin to calculate the hours, time, and energy I spent studying for this very difficult test. I truly wanted to leave it out on the field - regardless of the outcome. I received the official notice that I successfully passed and completed all the requirements, and have now achieved the designation for being Board Certification in Criminal Law. The exam was undoubtedly the hardest I have ever taken - and I was a bit worried after I took the test that my efforts in studying may have been spent in vain. This is one of the few professional achievements in my life that I am actually proud of - mostly because of how much I wanted to complete this goal, and how hard I worked to achieve it.
The other thing I proud of (I am not particularly proud of receiving my undergraduate degree, graduating from law school and earning my JD, passing the bar, winning jury trials, etc.) - is something I accomplished over 16 years ago when I graduated salutatorian of my high school class in Austin, Texas. Though that was many years ago - I am still proud that I was able to graduate 2nd in my class at a big high school with a large graduating class. I am pretty confident this goal I achieved will also be something I am proud of many years into the future, just as that was back then. I am very thankful, humbled, and honored that my application was accepted in order for me to take the exam by The Texas Board of Legal Specialization, those who generously provided professional references for me during the application process, and that I was able to successfully meet the requirements in passing the exam to achieve this very prestigious designation. The road was very difficult, at times frustrating, and incredibly time-consuming – but I suppose there are not many things in life worth anything of value that come easy. I am very thankful to those who helped me along the way (those who allowed me to try numerous jury trials to gain experience early on in my career), and am very honored to be included as a member of TBLS, a distinction very few attorneys in Texas possess.
The formal induction is on February 10th, 2017. I did not think enough of my achievement to walk across the stage after graduating in less than 3 years with a degree in Finance from the Red McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, I did not formally walk across the stage after graduating from law school and earning my Juris Doctorate in just under 22 months, and after I passed the Texas Bar examination, I missed the formal swearing-in most people attend because I was somewhere traveling around the world - I believe at the time in Thailand. This, however, is something I very much want to attend.