CCLS Certification

Certification is achieved by passing a comprehensive examination. Candidates are tested in California legal procedures, legal terminology, performance skills, reasoning and ethics, law office administration, communications, and legal computations. A minimum of two years experience is required. Continuing legal education requirements must be met for recertification.

Benefits of Certification

  • Qualify for professional, personal and economic reward
  • Improve your knowledge of California legal practice and procedure
  • Broaden your opportunities for job advancement
  • Enhance your self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Gain further recognition and respect within the legal environment
  • Click here to read an article about becoming a CCLS

Please review our tools to use in studying for the CCLS Certification.

The Next Move Is Up To You

  • Set your goal
  • Register for the exam
  • Study for the examination
  • Pass the examination!


Once you have become a California Certified Legal Secretary, you must complete 15 hours of continuing legal education within a 3-year period in order to maintain your certification. Every 3 years, you must submit proof of attendance of at least 15 hours of continuing education to the CCLS® Certifying Board with the Application for Recertification and a fee. A member of the Certifying Board will send out notices and applications 6 to 8 weeks prior to expiration of the certification term, but it shall be the responsibility of the CCLS® whose certificate is expiring to contact the Certifying Board to obtain an application if none is received by mail. It is always possible that within the 3-year period a CCLS® has moved from the address last known to the CCLS® Certifying Board. Therefore, please notify the CCLS® Certifying Board at P.O. Box 2879, Cupertino, CA 95015-2879, or use the  Change of Address form to advise the CCLS® Certifying Board of any address and/or name change. In order to qualify for recertification credit, any program, course of study, or class of an hour or more duration must have a substantive handout. Further, recertification credit may be obtained as follows:

  1. Through self-study by listening to audio or watching videotaped legal education courses approved by The State Bar of California for MCLE credit (use the Certification of Completion form);
  2. The instructor of an approved program (use the Certification for Instructional Credit Hours form);
  3. Attendance at seminars and workshops that focuses on the duties of legal support staff and is an approved provider (use the Certificate of Attendance form).
  4. You may want to keep track of your MCLE credits with a Recertification Log.
  5. To help you get ready, please use the Recertification Checklist

For more information concerning the recertification process, you may download the Standards for Recertification.

To register for the September 2019 or March 2020  exams, you may complete the application form.

Contact the CCLS Certifying Board

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