What is a Certified Specialist?

Attorneys and other professionals often use terms to differentiate themselves from others who perform the same service. But that is not true when an attorney uses the title: Certified Appellate Specialist, Board of Legal Specialization, State of California.
California has licensed over 250,000 attorneys to practice law but has only permitted about 275 attorneys to call themselves Certified Appellate Specialists.
To earn this title, the attorney must prove to the satisfaction of the State Bar of California that the attorney:
  • Has extensive experience in appellate law by earning points based on the number of appeals and types of appellate procedures the attorney has engaged in.
  • Successfully completed a peer review process of experienced appellate lawyers and justices.
  • Demonstrated successfully taking and passing extensive additional legal courses in appellate procedures.
  • Demonstrated a record of ethical conduct
  • Established that the attorney spends a signifcant amount of his/her time practicing the appellate speciality.
  • Passed a rigorous written examination in appellate law.