Is it demanding? Yes. Is it challenging? For sure. Will it make you a better lawyer? Hell yes. And that reason alone is why you should take NCDD’s Board Certification Exam. I practice in Washington State, where specialties and Board Certifications are not recognized by my State Bar Association. I had the same thoughts that many good DUI lawyers have – why should I take it? What is the benefit? Since my state doesn’t recognize it, it’s not for me. Then I talked to a number of board certified lawyers who I had met through the College. And I realized I was applying the wrong standard.
I knew that the challenge was great. I knew that I would be held accountable for a mountain of material, but I felt that I was up to the challenge. Now to make things worse (or better depending on how you look at it) my wife gave birth to our second son in October of 2009, or just about the time I was to start studying for the exam. For those of you that have children, you know that just “checking out for a couple of months” so that you can prepare for an exam, is not going to go over well on the home front. And so, I decided to forego taking the exam in 2010 simply because I did not feel as though I could adequately prepare to the level necessary to tackle this project. That left me with one chance to pass this exam. Again, no pressure.
But starting in early November of 2011 I dedicated myself to studying for Board Certification in much the same way that I dedicated myself to studying for the Bar Exam. I read all the “suggested” materials. I read every NHTSA study multiple times. I read Garriot’s, and yes, I read Taylor and Oberman’s book, cover to cover, more than once. But by mid-December, not only had my anxiety significantly decreased, but my confidence in court was at an all-time high. Why? Because I was studying for Board Certification. To say that this exam makes you a better lawyer is a massive understatement. This exam will revolutionize the way you practice. And whether or not you can advertise your Board Certification in your state is irrelevant. Because the knowledge that you will earn, and the confidence that you will gain will take your practice to the next level. I promise that if you just study for this exam, it will take your practice to levels you never imagined.
You joined this College because you wanted to become a better DUI defense attorney. You want to go from being a good DUI lawyer, to a great DUI lawyer. There are many, many ways that NCDD will assist you in this endeavor, but nowhere will you learn more and challenge yourself to a greater degree than Board Certification. It is a challenging exam, but it is a fair exam. There are no tricks, no hidden traps, no impossible questions. Yes, you will be held accountable for lots of material, but afterall, aren’t you held accountable everyday in court for the knowledge necessary to defend your clients?
So I encourage all of you to apply for and take NCDD’s Board Certification Exam. It is the only ABA recognized exam in this area of the law. Take the time necessary, do the required work, put in the necessary effort, and watch your practice go to levels you never imagined.
William Kirk is a Board Certified member of the Board of Regents and practices exclusively in the area of defending impaired drivers in Seattle, Washington. Learn more about William right here. For more information about NCDD’s Board Certification Program, click here.
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