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Representing the Injured: What It’s Like to Be a Personal Injury Attorney
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Personal injury law is known for being a lucrative field of law. Lawyers typically are paid from part of the settlements they obtain for their clients—which can easily reach millions of dollars. Personal injury attorneys take cases where clients have been injured or physically or psychologically harmed owing to negligence on someone else’s part. These cases fall under tort law and include automobile accidents, workplace injuries, medical malpractice, defective products, slip and fall accidents, and more.
What does it take to become a personal injury attorney? To get into a good law school, you need to take the LSAT after you complete your college education. After law school, you need to pass both the state bar exam and a written ethics exam. Other required examinations include the Multistate Bar Examination, the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, the Multistate Essay Examination, and, in some jurisdictions, the Multistate Performance Test. After you are licensed to practice law, you’ll be required to attend continuing legal education seminars to learn the latest developments in personal injury law to better represent your clients.
Personal injury attorneys must be able to investigate facts of their cases intelligently. They must be observational and must be very analytical. Good communication skills are also essential. Effective attorneys will apply a focused and determined approach to excel in their cases.
The responsibilities of personal injury attorneys vary. Professional and ethical rules differ by state bar associations. Common tasks personal injury attorneys must undertake include filing legal complaints, preparing legal documents, and offering legal consultancy to their clients. These attorneys must also interrogate their clients to learn more about the case and determine its strong points. Personal injury attorneys also argue in court and keep their client’s information confidential.
To grow a personal injury practice, independent attorneys must invest in advertising. Another option is to join an existing firm, where the attorney should be able to earn a good salary dependent on experience, expertise, and qualifications.
To learn more about personal injury attorneys and their daily practice, read the article below.
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Personal injury attorneys work almost daily for their clients to use their knowledge to help their clients obtain money they are legally entitled to. To do this, these attorneys must not only be well versed in personal injury laws, but also medical conditions and the human body.
To be a competent, respected personal injury attorney, it’s important to start your training as early as possible. You must go to a four year college. Some attorneys suggest majors such as political science, pre-law, or criminal justice. Classes in social work or sociology would also be beneficial to understand the effect a traumatic event has had on your client. During your senior year, or perhaps even your junior year, you’ll need to begin preparing your application to law school. Talk to your professors to get three outstanding letters of recommendation. You’ll need to study hard for the LSAT, the Law School Admission Test, so that you score highly enough to be accepted to a good law school. You’ll need to pay your application fees for law schools and obtain your transcripts as well.
Once you’ve been accepted to law school, you must study hard so that you are successful. If you set the bar low in law school and do not do well, you may set yourself up for a low income. Take classes in the area of law you plan to practice in after graduation. To prepare for a practice in personal injury, network as much as possible to find an attorney who can serve as a mentor. This mentor may also eventually help you find a job.
Internship programs and working in personal injury firms will help you gain experience before you graduate. After you pass your state’s bar exam, you’ll be well prepared for a career as a personal injury attorney.
For more tips on a successful personal injury practice, see the link below.
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Want to know what it’s like to be a personal injury attorney from one of the best injury lawyers in the country? Brett A. Burlison offers his guidance and tips below.
Brett A. Burlison practices personal injury, products liability, workplace injury and wrongful death law. He specializes in traumatic brain injury and mild traumatic brain injury cases, largely inspired by a massive stroke his mother suffered. Mr. Burlison states he’s always been fascinated by how the brain functions and how these injuries are largely “invisible” ones as they are not always detected by diagnostic tests.
Mr. Burlison’s practice has offices in both Texas and California. He went to the University of Texas—Austin and earned his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 2001. He proudly recalls that he earned the highest grade in his contracts class and was invited to join the school’s law review at the conclusion of his first year.
He was drawn to personal injury law because he wanted to help people who would not otherwise be able to afford an attorney. He liked the idea of helping people who were injured through no fault of their own. He states the best part of his job is helping people who come to him at the most stressful moments in their lives.
Mr. Burlison has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and as a Rising Star. He states that he keeps his word and procures a high quality of work product. He lists empathy, a strong work ethic, and paying attention to detail as his strengths. His weakness? Worrying too much. Mr. Burlison has also been involved in nonprofit causes. He has served as the vice president of the Palo Alto Area Bar Association and is a member of his local trial lawyer organization.
When asked what he’d change about the current state of the practice of law, he observes that the industry has changed—the country has grown, but the judiciary and court systems have remained the same. He suggests that more courts, clerks, and court reporters are needed at both the state and federal level to make the practice of law more efficient. He also would like to see more internships in law school, as he feels law students suffer a shortage of mentors. What is also frustrating to him is that law schools have grown although there are not enough jobs for their students. He states that these schools can charge high fees and get away with it since they mostly borrow money to attend law school.
For more about Mr. Burlison’s career, continue reading below.
Conclusion: Personal injury law can be a difficult, but extremely rewarding area of law. It can offer the attorney financial stability while at the same time allow the attorney to represent clients who may have never been able to afford an attorney. With a well-rounded education and experience, you’ll be able to build a successful personal injury practice in your community.
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Photo credit: www.burlisonlaw.comBlending Law and Medicine: Representing Clients in Personal Injury Cases by Noelle Price