REGISTER TO TAKE THE LEGAL SPECIALIZATION EXAM
IN ONE OF THE 11 SPECIALTY AREAS ON OCT. 25, 2011
The legal specialization exam is an all-day exam held on:
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 at the
Oakland Convention Center/Oakland Marriott City Center in Northern California
Pasadena Convention Center in Southern California
Examination Fee: $350 (additional late fee of $150 if received after Sept. 26, 2011; registrations accepted after Sept. 26, 2011 on a space-available basis only)
Additional Laptop Fee: $125 (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 AND STUDY AIDS
Click on an area of law to review the standards for certification, exam specifications and sample exam questions.
Hotel, Transportation and Parking Information
While there are many hotels near each of the two testing centers, The State Bar of California has arranged for a limited block of rooms at special rates at the following hotels. Please mention that you will be staying there to take The State Bar of California's Legal Specialization Examination to access these rates.
Near the Northern California Site:
Oakland Marriott at City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607, 510-451-4000
Near the Southern California Site:
Sheraton Pasadena, 303 East Cordova Street, Pasadena, CA 94111
(walking distance to the testing center), 626-449-4000
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.
A passing score is 70 percent. Exams with scores between 65-70 percent are re-read by a Committee of Reappraisers. The decision of the committee is final, pursuant to section 8.3 of the Rules Governing The State Bar of California Program for Certifying Legal Specialists. Results are mailed only after all reappraisals have been completed.
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: Code of Federal Regulations and Immigration & Nationality Act.
Taxation: Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations.
Publications must be unannotated and free of any stray marks. Handwritten notations (other than underlining or highlighting) will not be allowed. The use of "post-its"-type tabs to mark specific book sections is acceptable, but the tabs must not have writing on them.
Use of Laptop Computers
Information regarding laptop instructions will be posted four months before the exam date.
Testing accommodations are available to qualified individuals (see form below). For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-538-2120. If speech- or hearing-impaired, call 711 for telecommunications relay services.
Release of Results
Legal Specialization exam results are generally released approximately four months after the examination is administered. results will be mailed to each applicant to the State Bar address on record or to the address provided at the time of registration.
Questions about the exam 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