Exam Bulletin - Attorney

State of California

Exam Code: EX-1579

Examination Plans Included:

  • ATTORNEY - Open

Final Filing Date: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Classification Details

ATTORNEY: $7,737.00 - $11,173.00 per Month

View the ATTORNEY classification specification.

Application Instructions

This is not a timed examination. If you request a Reasonable Accommodation, your account will be locked and you will not be able to proceed with the examination until the request is processed.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):

  • ATTORNEY - Open

For all Classifications, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 9 months:

Exam Code(s):


For ATTORNEY, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 9 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-01579

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.

00105778 - ATTORNEY

All Attorney Levels

All classifications require active membership in The California State Bar. (Applicants who are not members of The California State Bar but who are eligible to take the California State Bar examination or are in their final year of law school will be admitted to the examination but will not be considered eligible for appointment until they are admitted to The State Bar.)


Membership in The California State Bar.

Position Description

00105778 - ATTORNEY

This is the entry level for persons qualified to practice law in the State of California. Incumbents are assigned legal work relative to their appointing authority's responsibilities. Under direction, incumbents may review, analyze, interpret, and apply laws, court decisions, and other legal authorities in the preparation of cases, opinions, and briefs; prepare legal documents, memoranda, digests, summaries, and reports; assist in the presentation of cases before courts and administrative bodies and independently present the less difficult cases; assemble and evaluate evidence; secure and interview witnesses; assist in and hold hearings; conduct special investigations involved in the enforcement of state laws and departmental rules and regulations; assist with the drafting of legislative measures and departmental rules and regulations; conduct legal research; and advise staff members regarding the legal effect of rules and regulations, proposed legislative measures, statutory law, court decisions, and administrative actions. Incumbents may also assist attorneys in higher classifications or ranges with more complex legal work.

Attorneys assigned to Range A perform the least difficult legal work for their department. Attorneys assigned to Range B independently perform professional legal work of average difficulty.

For information regarding position location(s), please refer to the Eligible List Information section.

Examination Information

We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, or Edge for optimal performance when accessing the examination.

This examination consists of the following component(s):

Component OrderComponent TypeComponent DuePercentage of Final Score
1CalHR Online ExamN/A100%

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

Knowledge of:
  1. Legal research methods and performing research
  2. Legal principles and their application
  3. Scope and character of California statutory law and of the provisions of the California Constitution
  4. Federal and state statutes and rules
  5. Rules of professional conduct
  6. Principles of administrative trial and hearing procedure and rules of evidence
  7. Court procedures
  8. Legal terms and forms in common use
  9. Statutory and case law literature and authorities
  10. Professional and ethical rules as they relate to the practice of law
  11. Appellate proceedings
  12. Rules of evidence and conduct of proceedings in trial and appellate courts of California and the United States and before administrative bodies
  13. Provisions of laws and Government Code sections administered or enforced
Ability to:
  1. Research
  2. Analyze, appraise, and apply legal principles, facts, and precedents to legal problems
  3. Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action
  4. Prepare and present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form
  5. Prepare correspondence and memoranda involving the explanation of legal matters
  6. Draft opinions, pleadings, rulings, regulations, and legislation
  7. Negotiate effectively and conduct crucial litigation
  8. Work cooperatively with a variety of individuals, organizations and maintain the confidence and respect of others
  9. Independently present difficult and complex cases before Administrative Law Judges
  10. Prepare, present, and handle legal cases
  11. Direct the work of clerical and professional assistants
  12. Edit written documents written by oneself, as well as those produced by others, for accuracy and effectiveness
  13. Reason logically
  14. Exercise good judgment
  15. Effectively plan and engage in discovery, including depositions and interrogatories, and to compel production or attendance of/at same
  16. Independently prepare and present difficult and complex cases before boards, commissions, trial courts, and appellate courts
  17. Independently present difficult and complex cases before administrative bodies

Eligible List Information

A Servicewide Open eligible list for the ATTORNEY Classification will be established for:

  • State of California

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 12 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. Veterans' Preference is an assistance program for veterans, veteran widows and widowers, and spouses of 100% disabled veterans who seek employment with the state. Veterans' Preference is also extended to currently serving military members nearing their retirement or separation date.

You are not eligible for Veteran's Preference if you are:

  • A veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.
  • A veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran who currently has permanent civil service status. (Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This does not include limited term).

Veterans' Preference is codified in Government Code Sections 18973 – 18979.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Attorney Training and Experience Examination Preview

Rate your experience performing specific job-related tasks.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In responding to each statement, you may refer to your FORMAL EDUCATION, FORMAL TRAINING COURSES, ADVOCACY TRAINING (e.g., Moot Court, Mock Trial, Jessup Court, Trial Advocacy), LAW REVIEW or WORK EXPERIENCE at an organization (e.g., law clerk, internships), whether paid or volunteer.



1. Analyze legal documents (e.g., pleadings, motions, briefs), evaluate arguments, and determine an appropriate response.
2. Analyze a case file (e.g., investigative reports, discovery materials, administrative record, trial or deposition transcripts) to determine appropriate further action.
3. Analyze, review, or draft legal opinions and advisory memoranda.
4. Analyze, review, or draft regulations, statutes, or policies.
5. Conduct research on the legislative history of a federal or state statute.
6. Analyze, review, or draft terms and conditions of contracts and proposed amendments to contracts, and suggest changes as appropriate.
7. Analyze legal authorities to determine their applicability to a particular case and/or statute, policy, or issue.
8. Analyze correspondence to determine its purpose, significance, and appropriate actions to be taken.
9. Keep current on developments in particular areas of law in order to acquire and/or maintain knowledge. (e.g., membership in Bar associations, subscription to magazines, forums)
10. Locate primary and secondary legal sources pertinent to a particular case or issue, using both text- and computer-based resources.
11. Validate the case citation (e.g., verify that it has not been overruled, modified, or limited) using print (Lexis Shepard's) and either of the two computer-based services (Lexis Shepard's or West KeyCite).

Project Communication and Case Management


12. Draft documents to be filed in court(s) and/or administrative tribunal(s).
13. Draft memoranda to colleagues, superiors, or clients seeking or providing advice, recommendations, comments, etc.
14. Consult with a client on a pending matter or case in order to develop a strategy, prepare witnesses, or review evidence.
15. Participate in selecting and/or preparing witnesses for depositions, trials, or administrative proceedings.
16. Participate in depositions, trials, or other civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings.
17. Participate in settlement negotiations of pending cases (civil, criminal, or administrative) on behalf of a client.
18. Draft legal correspondence to entities (e.g., clients, opposing counsel, or other interested parties).
19. Draft legal research memoranda and, when requested, make recommendations for appropriate action.
20. Edit written work (e.g., for content, tone, organization, grammar, and format) to produce a final version.
21. Prepare written outlines to ensure complete, accurate, and effective oral presentations.
22. Take accurate notes during meetings or proceedings.
23. Participate in representing a client in civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings.
24. Orally communicate with clients, potential clients, and/or witnesses regarding a case or matter.
25. Orally communicate with colleagues and supervisors regarding procedural and substantive issues, strategy/tactics, court decisions, new legislation, office policies, or client relations.

Decision Making and Workload Management


26. Use appropriate time management methods to ensure work is completed properly and on time (e.g., calendaring, monitoring the status of all assignments, and anticipating future tasks).
27. Know where to find information or resources when working on a project with issues not familiar to you.
28. Identify issues raised in a case or matter based on an analysis of the applicable facts and law to determine the best way to proceed.
29. Prioritize arguments in order to be effective and persuasive when advocating a position.
30. Determine whether a proposed course of action is legal and ethical, and decide how to proceed.

Testing Departments

  • State of California

Contact Information

Questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

State of California
CalCareer Service Center
1810 16th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Phone: (866) 844-8671

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

State of California reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)