Excerpted from the State Bar of California Web site
you had a serious illness, wouldn't you want to be treated by
a doctor who specialized in that area?
more complicated your situation, the more reason to consider hiring
an attorney who specializes in criminal law and who is committed
through certification to keeping up her or his proficiency through
continual practice and continuing education.
The State Bar of California offers California lawyers the opportunity to become certified in nine areas of law practice.
In order to be identified as a "certified" specialist in California, an attorney must be certified either by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, or an organization whose certification program has been accredited by the State Bar. (Such an organization must have requirements for certification that are at least equal to those of the State Bar's program.)
California attorneys certified as specialists must pass a written examination in their specialty field, demonstrate a high level of experience in the specialty field, fulfill ongoing education requirements and be favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with their work.
Attorneys should refer to the State Bar's certification requirements and list of specialty areas for additional information.
Members of the public can find a certified legal specialist in their county by accessing Legal Specialist Search.