Preparing for Board Certification

Posted on December 30, 2018 in Board Certification


One of the very best experiences in preparing for Board Certification was that I talked myself through the fundamentals of being a successful DUI specialist: Knowledge, Preparation, Training and Talent. Reviewing the knowledge that I gained by being in court every day, running motions, talking with other DUI attorneys, reaching out to my mentors and getting "back to the basics," helped me organize and prepare for the written and practical part of the test. I also spent time reviewing a long list of materials suggested to me (see the NCDD website on Preparing for the NCDD Board Certification Examination). Reviewed in their entirety before the exam, and still reference books that I pull out regularly are Drunk Driving Defense by Taylor & Oberman, Medical Legal Aspects of Alcohol by Garriott, California Drunk Driving Law by Burglin, Simons and Kuwatch, and all of the validation studies.

I further prepared by organizing and thinking through the fundamentals such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (take a class with one of our Listserve experts if you have not already done so). That training has been invaluable, not just for passing the exam, but to truly understand the process and procedures used incorrectly by officers in the field. Being able to properly administer HGN to clients in the office, as well as exposing weaknesses and inconsistencies with the W&T and OLS testing procedures in trial is a blast.

Training through attendance at the "Summer Session" over the past decade (our next one is July 20-23, 2016) and joint NCDD and NACDL seminars on "DWI Mean Defend With Ingenuity"™ Seminar (Las Vegas on September 22-24, 2016) and the "Mastering Scientific Evidence" annual spring meeting in New Orleans gave me the ability to pass the Certification Exam. "Metrology: Science as Your Best Defense" (San Diego November 4-5, 2016) and "Serious Science Advanced Course In Blood Drug Analysis and Trial Advocacy" (Arlington, Texas December 10-14, 2016) push that training to another level of expertise. Couple that training with a dedication to maintaining knowledge about current SCOTUS issues (during my time it was Crawford and Melendez-Diaz), helped me to think about topics of potential testing. In essence, preparing for the Board Certification Exam made me a better and more prepared attorney to fight my clients' battles in court. Talent comes from training. Take it, do it, learn it!

The recognition and distinction that comes from being at the top of your field after passing Board Certification has been tremendous. Not only for me as an individual, but for my clients. If it was easy, everyone would do it. If you want to be the best you can be, work hard and study for it. You can't pass this exam without Knowledge. You won't pass this examination without Preparation. You shouldn't take this exam without our NCDD Training. Take your talent to the next level: apply for Board Certification!

Virginia Landry is a Board Certified member of the Board of Regents and practices exclusively in defending those accused of impaired driving in Orange County, California. For more information on NCDD's Board Certification Program, click here.

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