OSBA Attorney Certification Process

​​​​​Step one: Review Requirements of Certification

The Ohio State Bar Association is currently accredited to certify specialists in nine practice areas. Standards for certification for different practice areas vary, so make certain you carefully review the appropriate standards for your particular practice area. Please also review Rule XIV of the Rules for the Government of the Bar for general information about specialty certification in Ohio.

Specialty Information and Standards

Step two: Complete and submit application

The OSBA certifies specialists annually in each practice area. The application deadline for all practice areas is June 30. Applications may only be submitted online.

To apply:

  • Before you begin, please READ the Information and Standards (requirements) for your practice area (above).
  • Begin the process by clicking the "My Certification Profile"  link below.
  • Complete the Short Form. You will receive confirmation to begin the Full Application for Certification.
  • Complete the Full Certification Application.


You will need to log in using your OSBA login name and password. Once you are logged in, you will be able to track your annual reporting, biennial reporting and recertification status. Please direct any questions you may have to Melissa Quick at mquick@ohiobar.org or (800) 282-6556.

Step three: Take written examination

The respective Specialty Board will review your completed application to determine eligibility to sit for the written examination. The written examination is administered annually, usually in November at the OSBA offices in Columbus for eligible applicants. The examination is completely in a multiple-choice format and you will be allotted four hours to complete it. You will receive more information about the examination after your application is approved.

ELDER LAW ONLY: Please refer to the National Elder Law Foundation website (www.NELF.org) for specific information regarding the Elder Law exam.

Links to the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists
Standards for Accreditation of Specialty Certification Programs for Lawyers

The Standards for Accreditation of Specialty Certification Programs for Lawyers is provided by The Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists (Adobe Acrobat PDF).

Public Service Announcement (PSA) Regarding Attorney Certification
To access the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Certification of Attorneys as specialists Web site. Then click on either PSA-1 for the public version or PSA-2 for the attorney version. (Requires Real Media's REAL Player®.)

If you have questions about the OSBA certification programs, please call Melissa Quick, Manager of CLE Certification and Specialization​ at (614) 487-4411, toll free (800) 282-6556 or email mquick@ohiobar.org.

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