Certification as a specialist in
criminal law and criminal trial advocacy
The State Bar of California offers California lawyers the opportunity to become certified in several areas of
law practice, including criminal law. In order to be certified as a specialist by the State Bar of California,
and attorney must, within the five years preceding their written application:
Pass a difficult written examination in their specialty field;
Demonstrate a high level of experience in the specialty field including at least ten jury trials,
(at least five of which had to be felonies), forty additional criminal matters, and at least two of the following 1. Three appeals, 2. Three motions to suppress evidence and three petitions or answers filed in
extraordinary writ proceedings; or 3. Five additional jury trials.
Fulfill rigorous ongoing continuing legal education requirements;
Be favorably evaluated by prosecutors, defense attornys and judges familiar with their work.
Possess a reputation for excellence in their practice and ethics; and
Be subject to a thorough investigation of their practice and ethics.
To review the most current requirements, check out the California State Bar website’s
STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION AS A CRIMINAL LAW SPECIALIST
The National Board of Trial Advocacy has similar, rigorous standards for certification.
Check out the National Board of Legal Specialization website for the most current requirements for certification. - Click Here
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