Imagine that you’ve gone to a university and obtained a four-year degree. Now you’ve decided that you’d like to go to law school, so you spend hours studying diligently for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This test consists of sections on logical and analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and writing with an argument that includes support. This exam will run about four hours and you might take it multiple times to get the score you desire to get into a good law school. Once you’ve gotten into a law school and received acceptable grades after an academically rigorous three years, you must pass the state bar exam. The California pass rate for the exam averages 50%. Then, If you get this far, you can practice law!
But what if you kept going? A Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) is someone who takes it upon themselves to become certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS), despite this certification not being required to practice Family Law.
What Does A CFLS Require?
The requirements to be a CFLS are comprehensive, competitive, and ongoing. Practitioners must take a written test that involves writing eight essays in four hours and completing 75 multiple choice questions in two-and-a-half hours. Family Law Practitioners are not allowed to use any reference materials. According to the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization , this test only had a pass rate of 74.9% in 2017.
Applicants also need to have at least 45 hours of continuing legal education beyond law school, practiced for the last five years with at least 25% of their work encompassing family law, and completed more than 30 family law cases. Even if a family law practitioner fulfills all of these requirements, they also need to be in good standing with their peers, including judges and other attorneys in their field.
On top of all of these requirements, once an attorney receives a CFLS, they need to be re-examined every five years and receive ongoing evaluations from their peers. Because of this high-stakes process, a CFLS is a rare find. Only about 3% of attorneys are currently certified by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Here at Negley Law, APC, we have not one, but two attorneys with this specialization: John Negley and Michael Rutkowski.
When you need a family law attorney in Ventura County, or if you have questions regarding your divorce settlement, spousal support, child support or other family law issues, do not hesitate to contact our law firm which specializes in family law and related issues. Our initial consultations are free. Contact Negley Law, APC today to learn more.
John J. Negley, Jr., CFLS*
NEGLEY LAW, APC
200 E Santa Clara St #200, Ventura, CA 93001
*Certified Family Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
The State Bar of California