The certified specialist examination tests whether an attorney has basic knowledge of the usual procedures and laws in which a certified specialist should be prepared to demonstrate their proficiency. It includes questions about:
The examination is held every two years and is next scheduled for:
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 Locations: Northern California - Oakland Convention Center, 1001 Broadway Ave., Oakland Southern California - Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green St., Pasadena Registration deadline: Oct. 2
The fee for the exam is $350.
Test-takers can choose to handwrite their essays or to type their answers on their own computers. There is no additional fee to use a laptop for the exam. If you choose to use a computer, you will be sent a link to download ExamSoft SofTest's software onto your computer.
Bring your computer for the morning session only. Test-takers will use pencil and paper to take the multiple-choice portion of the exam in the afternoon and computers will not be allowed in the testing room.
The one-day exam is broken into two parts administered in the morning and afternoon:
Doors to the test centers open at 7:00 a.m. All applicants must be seated no later than 7:30 a.m. The examination will begin immediately following the instructions. Additional information concerning the timing and other administrative rules and policies are contained in the bulletin that will be provided with your admittance ticket for the examination.
There are no optional questions. Your score is based on how well you answer all questions on the exam.
Some applicants choose to stay at a nearby hotel the night before the examination to get an early start the next morning. There are many hotels located near the testing sites. Testing sites open at 7 a.m. on the day of the examination. Parking is available for a fee at the testing centers.
Most applicants will not be allowed to bring reference books into the examination rooms and those examinations have been designed with this in mind. However, test-takers in one of four specialty fields are allowed to bring in one of the following code books, in either the annotated or unannotated version:
Only the publications listed above will be allowed. You cannot use digital or electronic versions, homemade or home-printed copies. Publications must be bound, commercial volumes and completely free from markings, writing, highlighting, underlining or tabs of any kind.
Department of Legal Specialization
State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-538-2120Fax: 415-538-2180