Criminal Law (state) and Criminal Law (federal)
APPLY TO BECOME A CERTIFIED SPECIALIST
Certification is a two part process, and the parts can be completed in any order:
1. Register for the legal specialist examination on October 22, 2013 in Pasadena or South San Francisco. The application deadline is October 15, 2013 or until a particular test center's spaces are full.
Fees increase as of October 2, 2013.
NO REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER OCTOBER 15, 2013.
Note: You will choose one examination, either the Criminal-State Law examination or the Criminal-Federal Law examination. Use the same application to register for either examination, marking your preference on the form.
2. Access a free Criminal Law Legal Specialist Examination Preparation Packet including key facts about examination logistics, the topics that can be tested on the examination, and all released essay questions. No multiple-choice questions are released. The same packet applies to both the Criminal - State Law and Criminal-Federal Law examinations. If you wish to take a preparation course, scroll below to see if the Department of Legal Specialization is aware of a course being offered in this area of law.
1. Started practicing after January 2012? You'll be eligible to register for the examination in 2015, but you can still work on the other requirements now. Use a Sample Post-Examination Application
or the program rules listed below to track your experience, education and references. You can fulfill these requirements before and/or after you take the examination.
No known preparation courses are scheduled in this area.
Note: The Department of Legal Specialization is not affiliated with this preparation class or any commercial preparation class and derives no financial benefit from any educational provider. The Department provides this information solely for your convenience.
Rules and Standards
The Standards for Certification in Criminal Law (revised 5/16/08)
The standards must be read in conjunction with the Rules Governing the State Bar of California Program for Certifying Legal Specialists, which govern the program requirements.
Click here to access the application for testing accommodations for qualified individuals during the examination. Note that you must also still register for the examination using the form above and in accordance with the standard deadlines for registration.
CURRENT CERTIFIED SPECIALISTS
RECERTIFICATION: Applications are due every five years after your initial certification date. Please click here to download a Recertification Application.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THOSE WHO PASSED THE 2011 LEGAL SPECIALIST EXAMINATION
Passing the examination is the first step in the certification process. Post Examination Applications were due on April 25, 2013. If you need an extension for good cause shown, such as completing five years' experience in your area of legal specialty, please draft a letter to the California Board of Legal Specialization at 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 or e-mal the letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions? Contact the Department of Legal Specialization at email@example.com or at 415-538-2120. If speech- or hearing-impaired, call 711 for telecommunications relay services.