Medical negligence is probably one of the most competitive areas of law there is – although there are literally thousands of potential clients out there, there are also thousands of law firms. The stakes are high – cases can be worth millions of pounds, but the competition is also fierce. There are literally thousands of lawyers out there that could snatch your case from under your nose, offering a more competitive rate than you and your firm. So how can you tell if medical negligence law is right for you?
Medical negligence law differs to other areas of law in that it is very technical. Lawyers wanting to specialise in medical negligence, or students wishing to pursue a career in medical negligence, need to have a wide and varied knowledge of medicine, medical law and the human body – so if you’re a little bit squeamish, or if you wouldn’t be confident using medical jargon, medical law probably isn’t for you.
Some medical negligence cases can also be quite graphic in nature, while others can be very sad and distressing – some of your clients could be severely disabled as a result of negligence, or you might even have to deal with the partner or child of a deceased individual. As such, emotions can run high, so it’s important that you keep your cool and are able to cope with potentially upsetting and distressing information. You have to be a tough cookie to work in medical negligence law, and if you’re not it might be worth exploring a different career.
If you do like the sound of a challenging, interesting and ever-changing career, with different cases everyday – some days you’ll deal with broken limbs, some days you’ll deal with birth injuries and sometimes you’ll be claiming for clients that are suffering from psychological disorders – medical negligence law could be for you. You’ll deal with clients from all walks of life and you’ll gain new insight and knowledge everyday. It could potentially be a very rewarding career, if you could handle it. So what do you need to do to become a medical negligence lawyer?
An A level in biology should help somewhat, although you will need more in-depth information as you move through your law degree and onto your legal practice course. A class in medicine or biology will be particularly useful, and if you can, get some work experience at a medical negligence law firm throughout your degree and while doing your legal practice course. Once you’ve completed your LPC, apply for a training contract with a medical negligence firm. Look for firms that have had numerous success stories, so that you know you’ll be working with a reputable and successful firm. If the firm isn’t willing to show you any success stories, they are not the right firm for you.
While you’re applying for your training contract, show some inspiration and a little bit of chutzpah. Demonstrate that you have a background in medical negligence law, show that you’re compassionate and able to deal with clients from every walk of life with every type of injury, and you’ll soon be on your way to becoming a qualified lawyer that will easily be able to get a position within medical negligence law.