Attorney Class
Consolidation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Attorney Class Consolidation FAQs
May 16 Implementation Update

The June 1 effective date of the Attorney/DAG class consolidation and classification update project is quickly approaching. In preparation for the implementation of revised classification minimum qualifications and other changes to the exam process, exams for Attorney and DAG classes will be temporarily offline from May 25 until the updated exams are released on June 1. What does this mean for you:

Fortunately, CalHR has reversed an initial plan to abolish all eligibility lists. This means if you are currently eligible for hire on the Attorney/DAG I, III, IV, or V list (under the soon-to-be-outdated exam), you will not need to retake the exam. You’ll maintain your eligibility for the standard amount of time (based on when you first were placed on the list). 

If you’ll qualify for Attorney/DAG III or IV or Attorney V under the new minimum qualifications that become effective June 1, you should take the exam for the appropriate class, starting June 1. 

The DAG V exam is not continuously open like the III and IV exams. DOJ will announce the schedule for the updated DAG V exam when it is finalized.

If you failed an exam during the last 12 months for failure to meet the minimum qualifications, you’ll have the opportunity to take the exam again under the updated minimum qualifications starting June 1.

Those on hiring lists for any department-specific classification list (for example: Tax Counsel III), should take the new corresponding Attorney exam that becomes available on June 1. 

The current Assistant Chief Counsel list will soon be abolished and those wishing to apply for the newly re-titled and updated “Attorney, Assistant Chief Counsel” classification should take the exam for that class on June 1. 

The newly created “Attorney Supervisor” class and exam will also be available June 1. 

We encourage everyone to check their current list eligibility now and after June 1 via the CalCareers website to confirm what lists you may still be on and what exams you may need to retake.

All exams posted on June 1 will reflect the updated minimum qualifications for all classes. Please see the below for the new MQs for each class.

Where can I read the revised class specifications?

The new Attorney class series job descriptions can be found here. The revised Deputy Attorney General class series job descriptions can be found here.

Did CASE take a position on this proposal?

Yes, you can read CASE’s letter of support here.

Does the consolidation plan affect DAGs?

Yes. While the DAG series and Attorney series remain separate, the minimum qualifications for DAGs I-V and for Attorneys I-V remain parallel. The changes to the minimum qualifications for I-V in either DAG or Attorney class series remain aligned.

Are the minimum qualifications to classes changing?

Yes, the minimum qualifications are changing. Please see the following chart for more details:

Minimum Qualifications

Attorney Series

DAG Series


Minimum qualification changes apply to Attorney I-V Classifications as well as to DAG I-V classifications.


Elimination of prior Ranges A and B; incumbents move into Ranges C and D, which are retitled back to A and B.

Eligible to move from Range A to Range B after 2 years’ experience.


Minimum qualifications reduced from 6 years to 5 years


Minimum qualifications reduced from 10 years to 6 years, one of which must have been at a level equivalent to Attorney/DAG III


Minimum Qualifications reduced from 13 years to 8 years, two of which must have been at a level equivalent to Attorney/DAG IV

Attorney Supervisor

A new classification available to Departments minimum qualification of 8 years legal experience, two of which at Attorney IV equivalent or three years at Attorney III equivalent.


Attorney, Assistant Chief Counsel

Originally proposed to be called “Attorney Manager,” requires 9 years of legal experience, two of which at Attorney V equivalent or three at Attorney IV equivalent or four at Attorney III equivalent.


Deputy Attorney General, Supervisor


Change to civil service classification title. “Supervising Deputy Attorney General” may still be used as a working title by incumbents. 

Removal of requirement that the 2 of 8 years legal experience equivalent to DAG III be obtained within the State Civil Service. 

Since the minimum qualifications have changed, does this mean I will move automatically to the next higher Attorney classification?

No. Meeting minimum qualifications does not guarantee a promotion. Movement from Attorney to Attorney III, III to IV, or IV to V is still a promotion that requires passing an exam, being included on the hiring list, applying, interviewing, and being selected for appointment to the higher classification.

Does this plan create more Attorney IV and V positions?

No. The class consolidation plan was adopted by the State Personnel Board – the state agency with jurisdiction over defining state civil service classifications. 

CalHR retains the jurisdiction over the allocation of positions – which is how many of any given position is needed at each state department.

What are some benefits of consolidating classifications?

Streamlined classifications mean fewer exams and eligibility lists for you to take or keep track of. Transfers between Departments will be easier. In cases of layoff, it will also be easier to find positions within the civil service to retain Unit 2 employees.

Which classes are being abolished?

The following classifications will be abolished and incumbents moved into the equivalent Attorney Series Classification unless otherwise noted.

      • REAL ESTATE COUNSEL I (5539)
      • TAX COUNSEL (6278)
      • TAX COUNSEL IV (6722)
      • ASSISTANT CHIEF LEGAL DIVISION DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (5876) (becomes Attorney, Assistant Chief Counsel)
      • SUPERVISING DEPUTY STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER (5743) (becomes Attorney Supervisor)
      • ASSISTANT CHIEF COUNSEL (5871) (becomes Attorney, Assistant Chief Counsel)
      • ASSISTANT CHIEF PUBLIC UTILITIES COUNSEL (5810) (becomes Attorney, Assistant Chief Counsel)


Abolished after empty by attrition:

      • CHIEF COUNSEL I, C.E.A. (5872)
      • CHIEF COUNSEL II C.E.A. (5873)
What happens to me if my class is slated for abolishment?

You will be moved to the equivalent Attorney series classification.

Why are the FPPC Classes not included?

There are three classes specific to the Fair Political Practices Commission that are created in and required by statute. The names of these classes will be updated, but they will remain separate from the Attorney Series:

      • Fair Political Practices Commission Counsel (6185) becomes Attorney, Fair Political Practices Commission
      • Fair Political Practices Commission Counsel-Enforcement (6186) becomes Attorney, Fair Political Practices Commission-Enforcement
      • Senior Commission Counsel (Specialist), Fair Political Practices Commission (6204) becomes Senior Attorney III, Fair Political Practices Commission
Did CASE secure any beneficial changes to CalHR’s original proposal?

Yes. While not perfect, the final approved consolidation plan was vastly improved thanks to CASE’s advocacy. Among the changes:

      • Broadening Career Paths for CASE Members: CASE objected to CalHR’s plan to limit the minimum qualifications for the proposed Attorney Manager class (now the “Attorney, ACC” class, see below) to experience gained as an Attorney IV or V. In response to CASE’s advocacy, the SPB directed CalHR to maintain a pathway for Attorney IIIs to promote into ACC positions. 
      • Addressing MQ Concerns: SPB also agreed with CASE’s concerns that the proposed 10-year legal experience qualification for the proposed Attorney Manager (now “Attorney, ACC) class and directed a reduction to 9-year minimum qualification, which aligns with the new minimum qualifications for the Attorney Class series.
      • Assistant Chief Counsels were originally slated to become “Attorney Managers,” a title change to which many members objected. CalHR wanted “Attorney” in the title to make the position easier to find and understand for those in and out of state service who use the civil service listings to plan career moves. As a compromise, the SPB adopted “Attorney, Assistant Chief Counsel” as the new class title. Departments retain the discretion to allow the use of working titles and we assume most will allow incumbents to omit “Attorney,” and retain their current “Assistant Chief Counsel” title.
Why did CalHR request the State Personnel Board delay implementation of the consolidation plan?

During our extensive negotiations and many meetings with CalHR, they failed to disclose to CASE the time required to complete what they characterized as extensive revisions to the impacted classifications’ exams. On January 27, they notified Departments that many Unit 2 classification exams were to be taken off-line for up to 6 months, starting at 5pm on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.


CASE immediately demanded to meet with CalHR to seek mitigation of this unexpected delay.

Through extensive negotiations, CASE secured a Side Letter to provide a 5% pay differential to CASE Members who were due to move up in their Ranges on February 1, but would now be delayed from doing so with delayed implementation of the consolidation plan. You can review the Side Letter here.  As part of the agreement, the implementation timeline was reduced from 6 months to 4 months. While the original proposal would have only provided relief to those in Ranges A and B currently, CASE successfully advocated for the inclusion of those in Attorney I/DAG I (and equivalent) classes in Range C to be included as, by definition, they will move to Range D upon implementation of the consolidation plan. CASE also negotiated required, regular meetings to assess CalHR’s examination revision process to ensure timely implementation.


With those concessions, CASE lifted its opposition to CalHR’s request to delay implementation. Holding to the February 1, 2023 date would’ve blocked access to relevant exams for six months for everyone in the Unit – a delay that CASE (and, it should be noted, most departments), could not accept.


The Attorney Classification Consolidation plan will now take effect on June 1.

Do the exams available now include the reduced Minimum Qualifications?

No, the exams available right now are based on the Minimum Qualifications in place through January 31, 2023. The reduced Minimum Qualifications will create the standard for replacement exams that are not yet available.

I’m already on the eligibility list for one or more of these classes – what happens to me? 

If you have already successfully taken an exam for one of these classifications and are reachable (in the top 3 ranks), then you will remain reachable and may apply for and be hired for positions. Current eligibility lists are not impacted. We recommend that you check your current list eligibility to ensure you are still on the eligibility list for the classes in which you are interested in. You can check your exam history and list eligibility status via the CalCareers site.

I don’t yet meet the current Minimum Qualifications for these jobs, but I will in 6 months, can I take the exam?

Yes, generally those who will meet the current Minimum Qualifications within 6 months are permitted to complete the exams. Please check the exam bulletins for the job in which you are interested to confirm exam entrance requirements.

I meet the current Minimum Qualifications for Assistant Chief Counsel, but I won’t when the MQs increase on June 1, can I take the exam today? 

You can take the exam today, but once the new Minimum Qualifications are in effect on February 1, it is unlikely that you will remain eligible to be hired into the newly-revised Attorney, Assistant Chief Counsel classification.

Will there be any time period when exams will be unavailable? 

CalHR has indicated there will be a 2-4 week period of time when the exams change over to the new Minimum Qualification-based version where exams will be unavailable. This is likely to occur in mid to late May.

What happens when the new exams are released?

If you are currently on a DAG or Attorney classification hiring list, you will retain your eligibility on that list. If you now qualify for a higher classification, you can take the exam for those classes on June 1. If you are on a department-specific class list (for example: Tax Counsel III), you will need to take the new Attorney III (or appropriate class) exam on June 1.