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Gary A. Ficek

logo Social Security Advocacy Specialist

 

On October 17, 2008, I was certified as a specialist in Social Security Disability Advocacy by the National Board of Social Security Advocacy. To become a board certified specialist, I had to meet objective and rigorous standards approved by the United States Supreme Court and the American Bar Association.

In addition to providing proof of having appeared in no fewer than 100 Social Security Disability hearings, filing of no fewer than 20 Appeals Council briefs, and no fewer than 10 briefs in United States District Courts, I had to provide the names of 10 peer practitioners, opposing counsel, district court judges and administrative law judges who had seen and could comment on my Social Security Law skills. There was also a day-long written exam which needed to be passed, along with proof of participation in 36 hours of continued legal education in the area of Social Security Disability.

Codes of Professional Responsibility, which I am bound by, provide strict guidelines on who can communicate that they are a specialist and in what manner the specialization can be communicated to the public. Attorneys are permitted to say that their practice is limited to certain areas of practice but the bar associations and the codes jealously guard an attorney's use of the terms specializing and specialist.

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