Proposed Amendments to Standards for Certification in Immigration and Nationality Law.


The Immigration and Nationality Law Advisory Commission (Commission) noted that attorneys who practice immigration and nationality law tend to focus on either employment-based immigration cases or removal (deportation) and family-based immigration cases.  The Commission determined that the current requirements are significantly easier to meet for an attorney whose practice focuses on removal and family-based immigration.  The number of attorneys who apply for certification in immigration and nationality law is decreasing, and the Commission hopes that the amendments will increase the number of applicants. 

The proposed amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Law Standards were approved in principle by the Board of Legal Specialization during its April 2010 meeting, and during its July 2010 meeting, the Board Committee on Member Involvement Relations and Services approved sending the proposed amendments out for public comment.


The Board of Legal Specialization recommends that Sections 2.1 and 2.1.2 of the Standards be amended to make the task requirements achievable for an attorney who specializes in employment-based immigration.  A proposed change was also made to Section 4.1. to further identify what is meant by the use of the word “participation.” 


If the proposed amendments are ultimately approved, more attorneys are expected to seek certification as legal specialists in the area of Immigration and Nationality Law, which would result in additional revenue through receipt of the application and examination fees.

  1. Proposed Amendments to the Standards For Certification and Recertification In Immigration And Nationality Law.

Board of Legal Specialization


Sept. 10, 2010 


Linda Knitter
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 538-2135
Fax Number: (415) 538-2180
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