Effective January 1, 2014, the State Bar has reorganized the rules governing the program in Legal Specialization primarily to make them easier to read.
As part of this reorganization, effective in 2015, specialists will begin to report their legal specialist education at the same time that they normally report MCLE. More information will be forming on full procedures.
In the meantime, anyone recertifying this year (2014) should do so in the same way as it has been done in the past, including 60 hours of education over the past five years.
Becoming a certified specialist
Future applicants: Although the next Certified Legal Specialist examination isn't until October 27, 2015, you can begin your preparation toward the other requirements by:
- Documenting your tasks and standards
- Register for the examination, which will be held in October 27, 2015 for all specialties
Applicants can find locations in Northern California and Southern California. The examination date and logistics will be posted in January 2015.
Already a certified specialist?
It's time to enjoy the many benefits of being a certified specialist:
- Rules have been Reorganized. Effective January 1, 2014 the State Bar has reorganized the rules govering the program in Legal Specialization primarily to make them easier to read. As part of this reorganization, effective in 2015, specialists will begin to report their legal specialist education at the same time that they normally report MCLE. More information will be forming on full procedures. In the meantime, anyone recertifying this year (2014) should do so in the same way as it has been done in the past, including 60 hours of education over the past five years.
- Update your profile through My State Bar Profile to add your firm's website, photo and spoken languages. Certified Legal Specialists are automatically listed by their specialty on the State Bar website and only certified specialists can be searched by practice area on the State Bar of California website.
- Ready to retire or resign your Certified Legal Specialist status permanently? Fill out the Certified Specialist Retirement/Resignation Form and send it to the address on the form.
- Need brochures for your office? Order "What Can A Certified Specialist Do for You?" brochures, which include a place for you to include your own firm's business cards.
Want to be on the radio? San Francisco Bay Area certified specialists can audition to be part of the radio call-in panel for "Your Legal Rights" to appear on-air or take off-air calls. Contact LegalSpec@calbar.ca.gov if you are interested.
For educational providers
Apply to offer Legal Specialization credits and MCLE.
Search for a list of approved educational providers in your area of certified specialty.
News you can use
- Apply to serve on an advisory commission or the CBLS. First- and second-term certified specialists are especially encouraged to apply. Applications are due February 3, 2014, but it is to your advantage to apply early, as application will be reviewed as they are received.
- The rules governing legal specialization will be reorganized effective Jan. 1, 2014. Until further notice, please continue to use the current forms for certification and re-certification located on this website.
- Examination Results mailed in March. Examination results will be mailed via U.S. mail to the address found on your State Bar profile by March 15, 2014.
- The American Bar Association Annual National Specialization Roundtable is coming to Long Beach, California on May 30-31, 2014. Attend to network with specialists from all areas around California and the nation and to learn innovative ways to spread the news of your certification.
- Read about the importance of certified specialist status to consumers and attorneys here: Q+A Legal Specialization a Boon for Consumers.
- Don't miss the radio program on KALW 91.7FM "Your Legal Rights," featuring certified specialists from around the state every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Not in San Francisco? Download the free Tune-In app for Android or Apple to listen.
- Refer a specialist. Search by county, city or ZIP code for a certified specialist in your area.
- Submit articles for the Legal Specialization Digest of up to 500 words to LegalSpec@calbar.a.gov.
Contact us at LegalSpec@calbar.ca.gov or 415-538-2120.