Personal injury lawyers represent injured parties, helping them get a fair settlement. They do this either by negotiating with the other party’s (at fault) insurance company or in litigation, where the case proceeds to trial.
If you are a law student or a law school graduate, a career in personal injury law could be what you are eying. Before you can begin this amazing career, we’ve highlighted three things you should keep in mind:
A career in law can be fun and fulfilling or hectic and stressful. It all depends on your whys for choosing the profession and your motivation to keep pushing despite the adversities. A good way to know if a career is worth holding on to is to evaluate your interests. Great careers give you some sense of purpose and help orient you to the outside world.
For instance, you may be interested in vehicle accidents; hence you want to become a car accident lawyer, a truck accident attorney, or choose to specialize in motorcycle accidents. Others would go for wrongful death, workers’ compensation, or social security disability.
At the end of the day, you want to ask yourself, who do I help? Why choose to represent injured people? What connects you to this specific field, and what are your intentions?
To succeed as a new lawyer, you need to be active within your community and continually upskill to stay relevant in the competitive market. As far as the skills to develop are concerned, you need to polish your emotional intelligence skills. The goal is to build on your communication, empathy, self-awareness, and analytical capabilities.
Once you are out of law school, you can choose to start your career in a firm that gives you full exposure to the industry. That would be an insurance defense firm where you learn how the different sides operate. After some years, depending on your practice goals, you can move to a specialty firm to gain more skills and experience.
Besides working on your reputation as a lawyer, you also want to learn from those ahead of you. Regardless of their practice states, pick a couple of mentors doing exceptionally well in specific fields within the personal injury niche. You can look up to seasoned law firms such as Wilshire Law Firm (LA), Cellino & Barnes (NYC), pr Redmann Law (NO).
A career in personal injury law comes with some risks, especially financial ones. You may spend your time and money in a case, only to lose it after a couple of months or even years. Since you only get paid for successful cases, the challenge is often identifying those you can handle successfully. If you prefer a more stable income with guaranteed hourly rates, you may want to rethink your priorities.
New lawyers often choose two practice fields: personal injury and criminal or personal injury and family law. This can be a great way to minimize the risks of going a full year without pay. However, this shouldn’t be your long-term strategy as the law is broad and complicated to excel without disciplined and dedicated focus. You can also minimize risks by avoiding those cases involving minor injuries or those with low insurance policy amounts.
As a broad and complicated field, personal injury law can be segmented further into vehicle accidents, workers’ compensation, social security disability, premises and product liability cases, and medical malpractice cases. Most personal injury law firms will have associate attorneys who focus on each of these specialties. If considering a career in personal injury law, there are several options for you to choose from. First, pay keen attention to the three factors we’ve highlighted above.