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148 longtime legal specialists honored

Lillian Wyshak, a California attorney for 48 years, has completed her coursework towards a PhD in art history at UCLA and three months of field work in Egypt. Her resume includes membership in numerous professional and public service organizations.

Lillian Wyshak

And last month, she was one of 22 certified legal specialists who were honored for 30 years in the State Bar’s specialist program. A certified specialist in taxation law, Wyshak worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney before starting a practice handling estate planning and probate issues as well as federal and state tax controversies and the interaction of bankruptcy and tax law.

In addition to the 30-year honorees, 42 legal specialists were recognized for achieving the 20-year mark, as were all 84 California judicial officers who also are legal specialists.

“California was the first legal specialization program in the country and continues to be a model for other attorney certification programs, both state and national,” said John Munsill, chair of the Board of Legal Specialization.

California certifies specialists in eight areas of law: appellate, bankruptcy, criminal, estate planning, trust and probate law, family, immigration and nationality law, taxation and workers’ compensation law.

Candidates must pass an exam and complete 45 hours of continuing education in their field in order to become a certified specialist. They then must complete 65 MCLE credits in their field every five years to maintain the specialty.

Currently, 3,896 lawyers and judges are certified specialists.

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