Frequently Asked Questions

​Here are some frequently asked questions about completing the application and certification process. Keep in mind these are general certification requirements. For specific requirements for your specialty area please refer to the information and standards:

Q: "I have been practicing in my specialty field for many years. How can I possibly list all of my court and practice activities in the application for substantial involvement?"

A: You don't need to list the specifics of each and every case. Check the types of cases and/or matters in which you have participated on the application. Estimate the number of activities in which you have participated in the last three-four years. Remember, the board is looking for 25-35 percent minimum involvement in your specialty area. This is generally defined as a minimum of 520 hours per year in the specialty field of your overall practice.

Q: "What is the time frame for counting my CLE hours and what CLE courses count toward my certification?"

A: Any approved course taken in the three years prior to the application date will count towards certification. Any course which is designated by the CLE sponsor as intermediate or advanced in nature and meets the CLE requirements in the standards. The CLE topic must be in the practice area of which you are applying for certification.

Q: "Will I receive specialization credit for teaching a CLE course in my specialty area?"

A: Yes, an applicant can receive credit for teaching any level of CLE in the specialty area.

Q: "How many peer references do I need to provide in my application?"

A: Five positive and complete references must be returned to the OSBA for your peer reference portion of the application to be considered complete. We encourage the applicant to provide seven names in the initial application.

Q: "Who can I use as a reference?"

A: A qualified reference is someone who is familiar with your work in the specialty area and they themselves meet the substantial involvement requirements as written in the standards. The reference may not be related to or associated in their practice of law.

Q: "What if I am a government attorney and don't carry liability insurance?"

A: Attach a written statement to that effect in the application.

Q: "What if I don't have all my attachments (transcript, certificate of good standing, liability insurance declaration page) prior to the application deadline?

A: Submit your application and attach a note explaining that you will supplement the application.

Q: "How do I prepare for the exam?"

A: Your day-to day practice is your best study guide. Review which topic areas will be covered in the standards. Check the OSBA CLE schedule for courses that may be helpful.

Q: "How long is the exam?"

A: All exams consist of 100-120 multiple choice questions. It is a four hour timed exam, however, most people complete the exam in two to three hours.

For more information on the Specialization Program contact Melissa Quick, Manager of CLE Certification and Specialization, at (800) 282-6556 ext. 4411 or email



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