You see all of the ads through town, so there must be something to this personal injury lawyer career, right? If they weren’t making so much money, they wouldn’t be able to pay for all of the billboards, benches, TV commercials and other advertisements.
If you’re considering a career as a personal injury lawyer, you need to understand what goes into it so you can see if it is a path you’re willing to undertake. Continue reading this article and we are going to show you what you’ll have to do if you want to work as a personal injury lawyer.
What Is a Personal Injury Attorney?
As a personal injury attorney, you’re a civil litigator. Your job is to help clients that allege they have been injured either physically or psychologically.
Since personal injury is tort law, you’ll need to specialize in tort law. The goal of tort law is to help the other plaintiff become whole again after the incident.
An attorney working in this field helps plaintiffs get compensation for any loss, pain and suffering and medical expenses and more depending on the case.
Insurance companies don’t always offer fair settlements so it is the responsibility of the attorney to make sure the insurance companies don’t take advantage of their clients.
Before getting into what to do after you’re ready to practice, let’s talk about education. Before you can do anything, you have to have the proper education to work in the personal injury field.
First, you need to set aside seven to eight years for education. And this is if you’re working on your education on a full-time basis.
- Get Your Bachelor’s Degree
- Get Admission to Law School
- Juris Doctor Law Degree
- Pass the Bar Examination
While this education does take a lot of time, effort and energy, if you’re persistent, you can complete it and go on to have a successful career as a car accident lawyer.
When you start working toward this goal, you have to get your bachelor’s degree but there isn’t a specific major needed.
Becoming Successful At What You Do
Once you pass the bar, you might think you can breathe easy — but that’s not the case. You’re just getting started with what you have to do to make it as an attorney.
If you sit back and take a break now, you’re going to lose your momentum. While education gets you in the game, it doesn’t get you in the door with clients.
A great deal of business is who you know. While you’re in school, you need to network but after you finish, you need to keep networking. Part of networking is keeping in touch but also grow your network by having your current network introduce you to other people.
Don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction to someone that would make a big difference in your business. Most people are more than happy to help you out.
Join associations, keep up with any clubs you were a part of and go to events for alumni of your school.
2. Gain Experience
The more experience you have, the more likely people are going to be willing to let you handle their case.
While you can start your own firm, this is a difficult task. Without experience, you’re likely to find it even more difficult since people will always ask you how many cases you’ve won and what your background is.
Gaining experience will set you up to start your own practice if that is what you want to do.
3. Develop Communication Skills
Communication is key. You need to be able to understand your clients and help your clients understand you. Without proper communication, your case could go awry very quickly.
4. Develop Negotiation Skills
A major part of personal injury settlements and getting compensation for your clients is learning how to negotiate. If you don’t know how to negotiate to get what you want, you’re not going to go far in this business. No clients want to lose money because of your poor negotiation skills.
One of the ways to learn negotiation skills is to listen to other people negotiate and win cases. Sit in on a case or watch a video of successful negotiators. If you can get a successful attorney to mentor you, that’s even better!
7. Keep Learning
The laws never stop changing. There are new developments in law and you need to stay abreast of what is going on so you can provide the best service to your clients.
Attend conferences, take continuing education courses and make sure you’re in the know. Many of your clients are likely to ask you about continuing education to ensure you’re not resting on the laurels of what you’ve already learned.
The longer it’s been since you got out of school, the more important it is that you continue to learn about the laws since even a couple of years can make a major difference.
Now You Can Become a Personal Injury Lawyer
Now that you know the process of becoming a personal injury lawyer, there’s nothing stopping you. While it does take time and commitment to get to a place where you’ll be able to practice, the rewards can be great.
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