AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo Attorney Cindi Graham was named as the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Board Chair.

Graham received her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law after graduating with an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech.

Becoming a lawyer was in Graham’s future from an early age. During high school, her dad was in law school.

In 1994 Graham opened her own law firm and in 2002 became board certified in family law. From the beginning of her career, Graham has been active locally and statewide.

“I had been very involved basically since I started out being a young lawyer and very involved in the Texas Young Lawyers Association, as well as other organizations here in town,” said Graham. “Statewide I’ve been involved with the State Bar, which governs all the lawyers, I’ve been doing that my entire career.”

After serving the community for almost thirty years and being asked to be on the board of legal specialization, in November of 2022 Graham assumed her new role.

“The outgoing chair was outgoing, and I was voted in as the new chair, stated Graham.

Becoming board-certified means meeting a long list of criteria.

Graham continued, “to even become board certified, you have to go through a litany of criteria. So you have to do an application and you have to have certain proficiency in your particular area, typically, you’ll have to have handled a certain type of number of cases, you have to have pure recommendations, as well as recommendations from judges.”

Additionally, you must pass the ethics portion of the application process and take a test. That takes place over one day and is separated into two portions.

In her new role, Graham will have a long list of responsibilities and duties.

“You have to recertify, and make sure that your credentials are up to par every few years,” stated Graham. “So our staff looks at that and makes sure that that’s the way it needs to be our staff override oversees and runs the tests that are administered every year. We also are in charge of approving new specialty areas. So we have to vet those specialty areas and make sure that that there’s enough interest, and then also that there’s a way to make sure to test for that specialization.”

Graham, along with other board members is also responsible for looking into violations, sanctions and other disciplinary actions that board-certified lawyers may face.

In addition to being board chair, Graham continues to run her own law firm. Balancing the responsibilities is made possible in part due to Graham’s staff.

Graham continued, “first of all, I have a great staff, my staff really helps me, and they really helped me put out a great product for my clients. I am dealing with people at one the most difficult times of their lives, and other than the death of the child, I don’t know that they’ll ever experience anything as traumatic as a divorce can be, or even a custody fight. So, my staff helps me stay on top of everything.”

In addition to having a team that helps keep everything organized Graham continues to take educational courses to help better serve clients.

“I think probably having attended a lot of different continuing legal education courses, and then some other courses just on how to deal with trauma and how to deal with people who’ve gone through trauma and even how to deal with people who have high conflict personality disorders,” said Graham.

“So I really try to stay abreast of current topics on those issues. Just to help my clients make sure that they’re headed in the right direction,” stated Graham.

For young people who want to one day become an attorney, the advice is simple.

“I would say always follow your dreams,” said Graham. “Don’t ever let anything stand in the way of becoming what you want to be. You know, we live in a great country, we are afforded all sorts of opportunity to go out and get educated. So, I think it’s really important to make sure that if it’s your dream Find a way to get it done.”