Benjamin H. Yip of the Renkin & Associates family law firm already had an impressive resume before joining the firm, but his stellar track record has recently been bolstered with a Certified Family Law Specialist designation. Awarded by the State Bar of California, the program allows attorneys to earn designations as specialists in various fields of law.

The State Bar Legal Specialization program is based on California Rule of Court 9.35, which outlines the terms and conditions of the program. It is designed to promote attorney competence and improve public protection by ensuring Californians have access to lawyers with expertise in specific fields of law.

California’s legal specialization program was the first such program in the United States, and many other states have since turned to it as a blueprint for similar programs of their own. 

The State Bar of California requires the following criteria for family law attorneys who want to become certified specialists in their field of law:

  • Pass a written test on family law
  • At least 5 continuous years of practicing law, with at least 25 percent of their working time spent on their specialty area
  • Complete continuing education in family law beyond the general licensing requirements of the State Bar
  • Demonstrate broad-based and comprehensive experience in family law through various matters in this area of law
  • Provide references from other attorneys and judges with knowledge of the lawyer’s work in family law

The Family Law Specialist Certification requires applicants to have real-world practice experience in several different areas of family law, including:

  • Divorce (dissolution of marriage), annulments, and legal separation
  • Child custody and child support
  • Restraining orders and other domestic violence matters
  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • Modifications for spousal and child support
  • Confirmation of separate property and division of community property in divorce proceedings
  • Divorce-related tax issues 
  • Mediation and negotiation in family law disputes
  • Contempt and enforcement matters
  • The psychological aspects of divorce

Certified specialists also must meet certain requirements to maintain their certification. Along with annual fees, certified specialist attorneys must continue their education by completing 36 hours of Legal Specialist Continuing Legal Education every three years. They also must recertify every five years by reporting compliance and experience, along with reference requirements.

Benjamin H. Yip’s certification is the latest addition to an impressive resume. Benjamin holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and has over 8 years of experience as an attorney, with a specialization in family law. He is also a member of both the North County and San Diego County Bar Associations. 

Yip has a comprehensive perspective of the legal field, thanks to his experience working for both an international law firm and as a solo practitioner. 

Renkin & Associates has a longstanding reputation as one of San Diego’s premier family law firms and has served clients since 1991.

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