california Board of Legal Specialization
The California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS) administers the State Bar of California Program for Certifying Legal Specialists with the assistance of specialty advisory commissions. The program was created by the California Supreme Court to provide consumer protection and encourage attorney competence.
- recommends rules and provides policies and guidelines for certification of specialists;
- develops testing and legal education criteria for specialists and outreach efforts to increase awareness of the program;
- advises the Board of Trustees on establishment of specialty fields and appointment of advisory commissions;
- consists of 11 members and one advisor; at least three must be non-lawyer public members;
- meets approximately six times per year in State Bar offices, and participation on at least one subcommittee via teleconference is mandatory.
Lawyer applicants to the CBLS must be certified specialists in their fields unless a specialty does not currently exist for that field (e.g., labor and employment law). Currently, lawyers can earn certificates of specialization in the following areas of law: Admiralty and Maritime Law, Appellate Law, Bankruptcy Law, Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, Family Law, Franchise and Distribution Law, Immigration and Nationality Law, Legal Malpractice Law, Taxation Law, and Workers' Compensation Law.
CBLS tries to achieve a balanced representation of geographic and certified speciality areas (based on the size of the speciality), and also looks for experience in areas such as education, examination development, public relations. Non-lawyer applicants are selected when their experience will contribute to the program's goals, particularly in the areas of outreach and/or strategic planning.
- Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 4 (lawyer and non-lawyer positions)
- Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
- Chair: Bryan Hartnell, Redlands
- Staff contact: Scott Kiddy 415-538-2125
Deadline for 2014 applications: Feb. 3, 2014
2014-15 terms begin: Conclusion of 2014 State Bar Annual Meeting (Sept. 14, 2014)