What is a Tax Specialist?
Anyone can claim they are a tax specialist. However an attorney who is a "certified" tax specialist must meet certain standards. If an attorney is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, it means that he or she has had to pass a written exam, demonstrate experience based on the performance of a variety of activities related to the area of law in which he or she specializes, participate in continuing education activities in that area of law, and be favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with the tax lawyer's work. Under the California Rules of Professional Conduct 1-400(D)(6), a tax attorney advertising as a "certified tax specialist" must be certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization or a certifying organization accredited by the State Bar. Currently the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization is the only organization which may certify a California tax attorney as a tax specialist.
As of the Fall of 2013 there were only 340 tax attorneys in the entire state of California who were certified tax specialists, including 109 in Los Angeles County. That's out of a total of almost 250,000 attorneys."