What is a certified lawyer in Oklahoma?
Looking for a certified lawyer in Oklahoma? The truth is: There are no lawyers certified in any specialty other than patent law, in Oklahoma. So, if you’re looking for an Oklahoma lawyer certified in a particular specialty, you won’t find one.
Many people access Google and type in queries such as:
Certified elder law attorney
Certified family lawyer
Certified immigration lawyer
The fact that people type these search queries into Google, indicates a misconception that many people have about lawyers. Many people believe that lawyers are certified to practice law in certain specialties.
The truth is: There are no lawyers, certified in any specialty other than patent law, in Oklahoma. So, if you’re looking for an Oklahoma lawyer certified in a particular specialty, you won’t find one.
To become an attorney in Oklahoma, a person must graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, and pass the bar exam. The person is then a licensed attorney.
A licensed attorney in Oklahoma may, with a few exceptions, practice any type of law. A lawyer does not need to be certified in a specialty in Oklahoma.
Moreover, Oklahoma lawyers, other than patent lawyers, aren’t even allowed to claim to be certified as specialists in any field of law. Oklahoma Rule of Professional Conduct 7.4(b) says:
A lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law except as follows:
(1) a lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation;
(3) a lawyer who is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law or law practice by the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma may communicate that fact, but only in accordance with the rules prescribed by that Court.
This means that, a lawyer may not claim to be certified as a specialist in Oklahoma, unless
the lawyer is admitted to practice patent law before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or
the Supreme Court of Oklahoma has certified the lawyer as a specialist.
However, as of this writing (November 2019) the Oklahoma Supreme Court does not certify any lawyers as specialists.
So, this means, that, except for patent lawyers, there are no lawyers certified to practice in any specialty in Oklahoma.
Many lawyers choose to limit their practice to one area, or to only a few areas. However, no lawyer is required to limit his practice to any field.
The confusion, which leads people to search for lawyers certified in a particular specialty, likely arises from the fact that medical doctors are certified to practice in specialties. A medical doctor must graduate from medical school, complete an internship, and then complete several years of residency training in a specialty, before the doctor is board certified in that specialty. But, there is no similar specialty certification scheme for lawyers.
Even patent lawyers, who are certified to practice before the Patent and Trademark Office, don’t have to undergo post-graduate training in patent law. The Patent and Trademark Office, only requires that lawyers admitted to practice before it, possess a law degree, pass an examination, and possess “scientific and technical qualifications” (which normally means a four-year undergraduate degree in science or engineering.)
It’s perfectly understandable, if you want a lawyer who is experienced in the specific area of law in which you need assistance. To find a lawyer who has the experience you need, your best bet is to contact a few lawyers and ask them if they have experience in a particular area of law, and how much experience they have. Just don’t look for certified legal specialists.