California has extremely strict rules about when an attorney may call himself a “specialist” in a particular area of law.
In order to become a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, an attorney must pass a state-administered exam. The pass rate for the exam is generally around 60-70%. (Remember, these are lawyers who already have been working for years as attorneys and who have devoted a large amount of time studying for the test.)
Passing the exam is only the beginning. (And this is all on top of graduating from three years of law school and passing the three day California Bar Exam.)
Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law must complete 60 hours of classes and further education specific to the specialty. They also have to demonstrate that they have completed a minimum of 120 cases for different clients demonstrating a high level of skill and knowledge in specific areas such as tax matters, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, conservatorships, and advance health care directives.
All of this practical case experience and educational training must be recent and current.
If this seems like a very high bar for lawyers to be able to call themselves “Certified Specialists,” it is.
Want proof? California Bar stats show that in 2010 there were 153,000 attorneys actively practicing law in the state of California. Of those, fewer than 1,000 total were certified.
Scott Grossman of The Grossman Law Firm is proud to call himself a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law.
AttorneyThe Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307