Do you dream of having a career as a personal injury attorney? It’s a long road of education and exams before you can even begin to be considered for a job.
There are about 129,000 personal injury attorneys employed in 56,000 firms in the U.S. You may have plenty of opportunities to get hired.
What does it take to start your law career as a personal injury attorney? Keep reading to find out.
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?
Personal injury attorneys often get a bad rap because they’re seen as ambulance chasers. That’s due to the publicity of some major awards, like when someone spilled a cup of coffee on their lap.
While there are some unscrupulous attorneys who are out to capitalize on someone’s pain, most personal injury attorneys have much better intentions.
Personal injury attorneys represent people who were physically or emotionally injured by a person, public agency, or business.
In many of these cases, there was negligence involved and that’s what caused the accident. Without some kind of accountability, people would be left to take care of themselves and pay
Personal injury lawsuits hold these people and organizations accountable and make them take responsibility for their actions or inactions.
A personal injury case award usually covers medical expenses, additional damages, and attorney’s fees. Here’s what it takes to become a personal injury attorney.
Know It’s the Right Path for You
Now that you know what a personal injury attorney does, you need to decide that it’s a good fit for you. Do you tend to side with the underdog that lost so much or want to hold those in power accountable?
Then personal injury law may be the right path for you. You may feel that you side with businesses or that you don’t think that most personal injury cases warrant legal action.
In that case, you’ll want to look for another career path.
When you have dreams of becoming a lawyer, you know the first thing that you have to do. That’s to get into a good law school. You need a four-year degree and you need to have a good score on the LSAT Law School Admission Test.
Law school will be the most difficult thing you’ve done in your life. It is intense and everyone is fighting to stay on the good side of the bell curve.
You have to work hard, reading up to 100 pages of cases each day just to keep up. Law school professors are famous for employing the Socratic method of teaching. They will call your name randomly and expect that you’ll know the answer.
That means that you need to be prepared for anything and everything, just like a day in court.
You’re expected to be analytical and understand highly complex problems. You’re preparing yourself to have a legal mind where you can look at a situation objectively and see all of the potential outcomes for it.
A typical law school program is for three years. However, some programs can be completed in two and if you go part-time, you can expect to earn your J.D. Degree in four years.
Begin the Job Search In Law School
You might think that all of your time is going to be spent working on things like reading and studying. You have to make room to get out and network while you’re in law school.
This is the essential piece of laying the foundation of your career. Networking can lead to internships which can lead to more exposure and legal experience.
That can ultimately lead to a job right away. You don’t want to rely on your resume to get hired. Law is still a very competitive field and knowing the right person can go a long way to getting a great job.
You want to be able to get as much legal experience as possible while you’re in law school. This can be difficult since you’re still in school.
You may get incredibly lucky and find a firm that will hire you and allow you to work in some capacity as you prepare for the bar exam.
Passing the Bar
If you think that law school was hard, wait until you take the bar exam in your state. The bar exam varies from state to state.
You can expect to see multiple-choice questions, essay questions, and you need to know the laws in your state. It’s a very difficult test to pass.
You should give yourself several months to prepare for the bar exam. It can take several months to see the results of the exam, which can be agonizing.
If you fail the exam, you can take it again. Don’t get too far down about it. Many people have had to take the bar several times before finally passing.
If you pass the exam, you can then get sworn in and licensed to practice law in your state. If you don’t have a job waiting for you upon passing the bar, here are the next steps you need to take.
Looking for Work
Now that you passed the bar and you’re able to be hired in a firm, it’s time to look for a job. Before you get your resume together, you want to do some research as to how law firms hire personal injury attorneys.
These tips offer a lot of insights into what firms are looking for in candidates. You can then position yourself to fill the needs of personal injury firms.
You do need to have a good resume that outlines your skills and experience in the legal field. You want to have a list of people to reach out to and let them know what you’re looking for in a position.
Starting Your New Law Career
It’s an exciting time to become an attorney, even more so as a personal injury attorney. You can do the work to legally protect those who suffered legitimate injuries due to someone else’s actions.
In some cases, you’ll get to hold the powerful accountable. Check out this site often for more great information to help you build your law career.