News Update

Thank you to all those who took the Legal Specialist Examination on Oct. 27, 2015.

  • Results were sent via U.S. mail on March 15, 2016 to the address listed on your My State Bar Profile.
  • For security reasons, results will not be posted electronically nor released over the phone.
  • If you do not receive your examination results by April 1, 2016, first please ensure that your address listed on your My State Bar Profile is current and then submit a written request for duplicate letter of results to or by fax to 415-538-2180. Please do not request duplicate results prior to April 1, 2016.
  • This year, 75 percent of examinees passed the 2015 Legal Specialist Examination.
  • Please scroll down to find Post-Examination Applications by specialty area.



Examination Registration

The next examination will be held on Tues. Oct. 24, 2017. Registration will open January 2017. If you have been practicing in the specialty area since January 2016, you are eligible to register and can do so if you can complete the other experience, education and reference requirements by January 2021.

  • If you would like to get a head start on the other requirements as well, use one of the post-examination applications listed below in combination with the program rules and standards to track your experience and education requirements. You will have time to continue to meet these requirements up to three years after the examination if you prefer.
  • Petition for Testing Accommodations when taking the 2017 legal specialist examination
    • These forms request accommodations, but you must register for the examination separately. It is the fully completed registration form with payment that holds your seat. There is no fee to apply for testing accommodations. Your fee for registering for the examination is based on the time that your examination registration is received.



If you passed the legal specialist examination administered in 2015, congratulations! Your post-examination application or a request for an extension to submit the application is due April 27, 2017. To request an extension to submit your application, please email To complete your application, access the Post-Examination Application in your area below.

Keep in mind that although you have passed the examination and completed an important step in the certification process, you are not yet entitled to hold yourself as a certified specialist. Take the next step to becoming a certified specialist by completing the appropriate post-examination application above. After completing this step, your application will be ready for Board review. The process is interactive and you are encouraged to contact the California Board of Legal Specialization with questions.


Report your 36-Hour Legal Specialist Education Compliance every three years during your Compliance Period

Compliance Group 3: Certified Specialists now report their legal specialist education compliance of 36 hours of legal specialist education along with their MCLE Compliance Group. While compliance for Certified Specialists in Compliance Group 3 (N-Z) was due on Feb. 1, 2017, compliance cards reporting completion of the 36 hours of legal specialist education will be collected as timely through June 30, 2017.

On a one-time basis, only attorneys in Compliance Group 3 may include courses taken over the past four years (2013-2017) towards their 36-hour requirement.

Legal Specialization Education Compliance Card - Compliance Group 3
(Compliance Cards will only be available when each Compliance Group is due to report. Attorneys who are not in Compliance Group 3 should not complete this form.)

Informational Letter describing compliance options and alternatives - Compliance Group 3

Legal Specialist Recertification every five years

Certified specialists must re-certify every five years using the forms below. 

How to Apply to the California Board of Legal Specialization or an Advisory Commission

Apply at

Tolling Forms for Judges

Judicial Service Declaration - Requesting Tolling of Status and Annual Fee (see Rule 3.118)

Retire or Resign Your Certified Legal Specialist Status Permanently

Please complete the Certified Specialist Retirement/Resignation Form and send it to the address on the form.

Logo Information

A logo has been created that can be used in lieu of text by specialists certified by the Board of Legal Specialization to state the name of the certifying body. The logo is available for use in printed material, such as stationery, business cards, etc., and electronic media. It can be reproduced in either color or black and white. Click here for the Logo and Advertising Information Page. The logos themselves are located halfway down the page after some pointers about using them and advertising.

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.


Applications for Approval of Individual Education Activity (for educational providers)

Apply here to request approval to grant legal specialization credit for your educational program in these substantive areas of law. Securing approval will also allow you to provide MCLE credit for these programs. For more information, please refer to Educational Provider Information. Providers can apply for this approval in advance or up to two years after the program is offered.

Sample Evaluation Form This is a sample form that contains the required questions that must be asked on a program evaluation form at the conclusion of the activity. Providers must ask all of the questions on California's sample form, either by using this official California form or by including California's questions on their own evaluation form.

Application for Multiple Activity Provider Status (for educational providers)

After a provider has had four activities approved during the preceding two-year period, a provider can apply for Multiple Activity Provider (MAP) status, which allows the provider to offer an unlimited amount of qualifying courses for legal specialization credit in the approved substantive certified specialty area for a single fee for up to a three-year period, including tapes, rebroadcasts, and identical repetitions of past programs. Access a MAP application here.


Application for Proposed New Specialty


Questions? Contact the Department of Legal Specialization at or at 415-538-2120.