Texas Board of Legal Specialization Reappoints James Whalen to Criminal Law Exam Commission

The Whalen Law Office is proud to announce the reappointment of Managing Partner James Whalen to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization’s (TBLS) Criminal Law Exam Commission. Mr. Whalen has served as a member of the commission for the past three years and has agreed to continue his service for another term.

“In asking me to return for another term, the TBLS board members have shown great confidence in my contribution to upholding the exacting standards of practicing criminal law in Texas,” said Mr. Whalen. “I am honored to join my fellow commission members in ensuring that the designation of board certification continues to have real meaning – one that can assist businesses and individuals when choosing the right counsel for their particular challenge.”

The Criminal Law Exam Commission oversees the actual test that evaluates the competency of attorneys choosing to navigate the complex system of laws that identify, acknowledge, punish and educate the greater community and would-be offenders about the consequences of their actions through the criminal justice system. This is a comprehensive 6-hour examination during which candidates must demonstrate substantial knowledge of significant legal concepts and corresponding skills in criminal appellate law.

Other qualifications include:

  • Practice law full time for at least 5 years as an active member of the State Bar of Texas;
  • Possess at least 3 years of Criminal Law experience with a yearly minimum 25% substantial involvement in Criminal Law matters;
  • Handled a substantial number of Criminal Law matters involving State and Federal misdemeanors, felony trials and State and Federal appeals;
  • Qualified vetted references from judges and lawyers in the area;
  • Complete 60 hours of TBLS approved continuing legal education in Criminal Law; and
  • Meet all of the TBLS Standards for Attorney Certification

For information about the TBLS board certification process, please click here.

Mr. Whalen has been Board Certified in criminal law since 2002 and criminal appellate law since 2017. A veteran criminal defense lawyer, Mr. Whalen is a tireless advocate for fair and equal treatment under the law and holds himself and his firm to the strictest personal and professional ethics. He regularly appears in the annual rankings of Texas Super Lawyers and was most recently named to D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas. To learn more about Mr. Whalen, please click here.


The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) was established in 1974 by the Supreme Court of Texas at the request of the State Bar of Texas to “promote the availability, accessibility and quality of the services of attorneys to the public in particular areas of the law… and advance the standards of the legal profession.” The TBLS certifies attorneys in 25 areas of law and paralegals in 8 specialty areas. The TBLS is the only organization authorized to provide this service to the citizens of Texas. To learn more about the TBLS, please visit TBLS.org.

Author Bio

James P. Whalen

James P. Whalen is the managing attorney and founder of Whalen Law Office, a Texas criminal defense firm offering personalized legal representation for various federal criminal charges. With a commitment to providing comfort and guidance during challenging times, Mr. Whalen serves as both an attorney and counselor to his clients, helping them navigate their cases while striving to restore normalcy to their lives.

In an inherently unbalanced criminal justice system, Mr. Whalen takes on cases with unwavering dedication. With decades of legal experience, he offers representation across various criminal charges, including white-collar crimes, violent crimes, drug charges, and more. Mr. Whalen’s numerous accolades, including Super Lawyer recognition and board certification in Criminal Appellate Law and Criminal Law, reflect his unwavering commitment to ethical and high-quality legal representation.

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