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How to Become a Personal Injury Lawyer

Rahul Pandita
If you are someone who is looking forward to some information on the prospects of a career as a personal injury lawyer, then this article will definitely help you. Read on to know the educational qualifications, job description, and the outlook of a career as a personal injury lawyer.
Personal injury law is one of the most lucrative fields of law and is concerned with providing compensation for injuries, both physical and emotional. Personal injury lawyers are also referred to as trial lawyers and represent people who are involved in vehicle collisions, work injuries, assaults, medical errors and other accidents. The injury claim settlement often run in thousands of dollars, making for a large percentage for the lawyer.
Personal injury law or tort law helps individuals to claim relief for the damages suffered because of a third party. The third party can be a government agency, large corporation, medical institution or a person. Personal injury law deals with charges such as assault, trespass, battery, negligence etc.
Personal injury law is categorized into three broad categories. These are:
  • Intentional torts
  • Negligent torts
  • Strict liability torts

Educational Requirements

Individuals who wish to take personal injury law as a career field should have completed a four-year degree course and a law degree from a accredited institution. After completing the law degree an individual is required to pass the following bar exams:
  • Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
  • Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)
  • Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
After passing these examinations, it is important for an individual to get certified by the American Bar Association to be recognized as a specialist in personal injury law. Some of the best institutions to study personal injury law are
  • Harvard Law School
  • Stanford Law School
  • Yale Law School
  • Columbia Law School
  • University of Chicago Law School
  • Cornell Law School
  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • Northwestern University School of Law
  • University of Michigan Law School
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School

Job Description

A personal injury lawyer has to research all the aspects of the case to determine whether he or his law firm would benefit from representing the client. If he feels that the case is strongly in his client's favor, then he starts the paperwork for the case by conducting researches, interviewing clients and evaluating the strategies. 
Some other duties and responsibilities are
  • A personal injury lawyer has to gather evidence that can be produced in court like medical records, police records, etc.
  • He has to prepare legal briefs and testimonies for case preparation.
  • Personal injury lawyers are entrusted with advising corporate clients on various legal matters as large organizations are most vulnerable to lawsuits.
These were some of the duties and responsibilities of a personal injury lawyer. The demand for personal injury lawyers has increased in the last few years and the employment outlook for this field is positive. Let us now more about the career opportunities and average salary of a personal injury lawyer.

Employment Outlook

Like other branches of law, personal injury lawyers either work independently or with a firm. Initially, they work as associates, but with experience, they can work as partners in a firm. The lawyers who work independently usually work for lower fee and are willing to take up smaller cases. The employment outlook for personal injury lawyers is positive with estimates pointing out that this field will see a growth of 13% by the year 2018.
The average salary of a personal injury lawyer depends on certain factors like the state that they are working in and the size of the firm that has employed them. The salary range for personal injury lawyers in America is between $51,700 to $90,000.
New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are the cities that offer the best compensation packages to personal injury lawyers. As far as the state wise ranking is concerned, California leads the list, followed by New York and Florida.
This was some information on the average salary and employment outlook of personal injury lawyers. As accidents, bankruptcy cases, work related accidents continue to rise, personal injury lawyers are being sought after by organizations and individuals.
A career as a personal injury lawyer is financially rewarding and provides you with numerous growth opportunities for advancement.