Quick Reference - Educational Compliance Letter

More detail is available below, but the educational compliance form for certified specialists can be accessed here.


  • The next legal specialist examination will take place on Tuesday, October 27, 2015. If you have been practicing since January 2014 in the specialty, you will be eligible to register when registration opens in Spring 2015.
  • Get started on the other requirements today. 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 2015 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.
    • You can apply now to for testing accommodations to ensure that there is ample time to complete your application. This can be done even before the examination registration opens.



If you passed the legal specialist examination administered in 2013, congratulations!  Access the Post-Examination Application in your area below.

Congratulations on successfully passing the October 2013 examination. 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 the 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.

Those who passed the 2011 Examination may also use these forms. Such applications are due in accordance with any approved extension.  


Legal Specialist Educational Reporting

Certified Specialists report their legal specialist education compliance along with their MCLE Compliance Group.  Those whose names began with H-M at the time of bar admission are reporting currently by February 2, 2015. 

Certified Specialist Compliance Reporting Form

Informational Letter Sent to Certified Specialists in Compliance Group 2

Legal Specialist Recertification

Certified specialists must re-certify every five years using the forms below.  Note that new forms will be posted shortly reflecting the new reporting schedule for legal specialist education.  In the meantime, you may use these forms, skipping over the educational section.

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

The application period has closed for this year.  The Board of Trustees will be considering those applications already filed at their July meeting and applicants can expect a response by early August.  Thank you for your applications!

The period for applying for a State Bar commission closes on February 2, 2015, with application posted at for four-year terms beginning in the fall of 2015.

Tolling Forms for Judges

Judicial Service Declaration - Requesting Tolling of Status and Annual Fee (see Rule 3.119)

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.

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 A sample of the type of form to be distributed to attendees of your approved programs. Providers must ask all of the questions on California's sample form, either by using the 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.