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Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 5, 201012:00 PM EST

Certification applications for education, adoption law now available online


The first application filing deadline for education and adoption law certification is July 31 and exams are scheduled for March 2011.

Adoption Law Certification Committee Chair Michael A. Shorstein of Jacksonville said adoption law board certification will provide a necessary and important protection for consumers by distinguishing attorneys who have special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in adoption law along with superior professionalism and ethics in their practices.

“Florida adoption laws have changed almost every year over the last decade, and what once was a simple, form-based process now requires an experienced, intuitive approach to our complicated statutory framework,” Shorstein said. “Our state is among the top pro-adoption states in the country, so licensed and unlicensed agencies, facilitators, and others saturate Florida consumers with adoption solicitations. Many of these offers violate Florida law, but our citizens currently have no way to distinguish between valid offers and fraudulent inducements.”

Adoption law certification is for lawyers who deal with complexities and legalities — both prior to and after placement of a child for adoption — in interstate and intrastate adoption placements, civil controversies arising from termination of biological parents’ parental rights, and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Education law encompasses a wide array of disciplines ranging from First Amendment rights and Sunshine Law to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act — a broad spectrum of laws with education of students at the center, according to Education Law Certification Committee Chair Marylin Batista-McNamara of Ft. Lauderdale.

“Education law certification evaluates lawyers’ proficiency in various legal areas and allows the public to differentiate those attorneys from others who have not demonstrated their experience and expertise,” said Batista-McNamara, who serves as deputy general counsel for Broward County Public Schools. “Board certification is a voluntary pursuit that requires time and resources, and as such demonstrates a lawyer’s commitment to quality in the delivery of legal services and highest ethical standards in the practice of law.”

Education law certification is for lawyers who deal with the legal rights, responsibilities, procedures, and practices of educational institutions, students, personnel employed by or on behalf of educational institutions, and the guardians and parents of students participating in education.

For more information call 850-561-5842.

— Courtesy Florida Bar News

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