Friday, December 2, 2016

No fee for Appellate Specialists for 2017!

This just in:

The California Board of Legal Specialization is pleased to inform you that the annual certified specialist fee will be waived for 2017.
Image result for no fees this yearWhy is the CBLS able to provide this one-time benefit?  When the legal specialist program implemented the first specialist annual fee increase in nearly two decades in 2011 and 2012, projections were made using the limited data available. The fee increases were necessary because the legal specialization program must be self-supporting, and the program was facing a deficit.  Since that time, the program’s financial health has been restored.  Retention of current specialists remained strong, the number of applicants taking the legal specialist examination increased and a number of cost-cutting measures were taken.  As a result, there is a surplus in the legal specialization fund exceeding the reserve limits recently established by the State Bar’s Board of Trustees.  As a way to spend down the surplus, the Board approved a one-time fee waiver for certified specialists.

To assist in the effort to grow the legal specialization program, you are encouraged to refer qualified candidates to register for the legal specialist examination at a special one-time reduced rate.  The examination will take place on October 24, 2017 in all eleven specialty areas of law. Candidates interested in registering for the legal specialist examination can visit the State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization web page to register.


Speaking of Bar dues, see Annual bar fee statements available soon, which notes:

The court authorized a fee of $412 for active attorneys, which includes a base assessment of $297, which is 5.7 percent less than the amount approved by the Legislature in 2016. In addition, existing legislation allows the bar to bill active attorneys $25 for disciplinary activities, $40 for the Client Security Fund, $10 for the Lawyer Assistance Program and $40 for legal aid nonprofits.

Once an attorney’s fees are paid, a paper bar card will be conveniently available for download through My State Bar Profile. Plastic bar cards will still be made available, but only upon request and can also be ordered through My State Bar Profile.

The due date for payment of fees will be March 1, one month later than usual.