REGISTER TO TAKE THE LEGAL SPECIALIZATION EXAMINATION
IN ONE OF THE 11 SPECIALTY AREAS ON OCT. 22, 2013
The legal specialization exam is an all-day exam held on:
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 at the
South San Francisco Conference Center in Northern California
Pasadena Convention Center in Southern California
Examination Fee: $350 (late registration available at additional fee until Oct. 15, 2013 if space available)
Additional Laptop Fee: $150 (to use your personal laptop to type the exam using Examsoft)
The Legal Specialist Exam is the first step in the two-step certification process. After passing the one-day exam, you must submit an application detailing your compliance with the remaining certification requirements, primarily task and experience, legal education and positive references.
AREAS OF LAW TESTED, CERTIFIED SPECIALTY EXAM SPECIFICATIONS
Click on an area of law to review the standards for certification, exam specifications and sample exam questions.
Hotel, Transportation and Parking Information
There are many hotels near the testing sites. Some applicants choose to stay at a hotel nearby the night before the examination. The doors will open at 7am on the day of the examination at the testing sites.
Parking is available for a fee at the Pasadena Convention Center testing site. Free parking is available at the South San Francisco Conference Center testing site.
Exam Format and Purpose
Each exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions and eight essay questions. There are no optional questions; each examinee is expected to answer all questions on the exam.
The purpose of the exam is to verify that an applicant has a basic knowledge of the usual procedures and substantive law that should be common to certified specialists in a particular field of law. The exam asks applicants to demonstrate their proficiency in an area of law by
- using and applying legal principles rather than merely repeating them
- analyzing the facts presented
- selecting material from immaterial facts
- discerning the points upon which the case turns
- identifying and resolving issues
- showing knowledge and understanding of pertinent principles and theories of law, their relationship to each other and their qualifications and limitations
After passing the exam, applicants must file a post-exam application (which some people start well before the exam) documenting completion of required tasks and education and providing the names of references.
Reference materials are allowed during the exam only for the following subject matter areas:
Bankruptcy Law: Bankruptcy Code and Rules
Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law: California Probate Code
Immigration and Nationality Law: Immigration & Nationality Act only
Taxation: Internal Revenue Code only
Publications must be completely free from markings, writing, highlighting, underlining, or tabs of any kind. Only the publications listed above will be allowed, and only for applicants taking examinations in the subject areas specified.
Use of Laptop Computers
A laptop bulletin will be posted shortly.
Release of Results
Legal Specialization exam results are generally released approximately four months after the examination is administered. Results will be mailed to the applicant at his or her address as listed on the applicant's My State Bar Profile. No public pass list will be posted.
Questions about the examination or eligibility for certification can be directed to:
Department of Legal Specialization
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639