On February 14, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court officially recognized Child Welfare Law as the 20th area of certified legal specialization. JIR Judge Dean Rucker serves as the chair of the Advisory Commission which considers applications to become board certified in child welfare law and has the authority to review and suggest changes in standards. Staff Attorney Dylan Moench serves as the chair of Exam Commission, which is responsible for drafting and grading the certification exam.

The Children’s Commission offers financial support to those attorneys and seeking certification as a National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Child Welfare Legal Specialist (CWLS) by way of a reimbursement scholarship for their application fee or exam fee for those applicants who successfully pass their CWLS exam. The scholarship includes the NACC Red Book Training to help applicants prepare for the exam and obtain a copy of the Red Book. Additionally, assistance is available to Texas attorneys and judges who are seeking re-certification of their CWLS every five years. As of June 2017, the program is open in 44 states and there are over 550 CWLS across the country. Texas is currently in the top five states for the number of certified attorneys/judges.

For scholarship details, please navigate to the following: