Certified Specialists

Certified Family Law Specialists in California are the bar certified experts in the field of family law.  The California Bar Association provides the following information about what it takes to become a bar certified expert:


The general requirements to become a certified specialist include:

  • passage of a written examination in the legal specialty area
  • practiced law continuously for at least five years, spending at least 25 percent of the time given to occupational endeavors practicing in the specialty area
  • completion of continuing education in the specialty area greater than that required of general licensees of the State Bar
  • demonstration of a broad-based and comprehensive experience in the specialty area based on completion of a variety of matters in the specialty area
  • favorable evaluations by other attorneys and judges familiar with the attorney’s work in the specialty area of law

The State Bar of California must approve each attorney’s application. Organizations whose certification program is State Bar-accredited can also certify attorneys, but their certification requirements must equal or exceed those of the State Bar of California’s program.

Once certified, specialists must maintain their certification by:

  • paying the Legal Specialization Program Annual Fee each year;
  • reporting compliance of the education requirement by completing 36 hours of LSCLE every three years, due at the same time as their MCLE reporting date; and
  • reporting compliance of the task & experience and reference requirements by recertifying in five years.

Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP has multiple certified experts in family law throughout over offices, including Julia Schneider in our Los Angeles office. Contact her today.