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Becoming a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

published November 02, 2009

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( 265 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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Medical malpractice attorneys often fall into this category. These professionals are commonly viewed as protectors of the underdog as they wage a righteous war against the powers that be. Okay, perhaps that's taking things a bit too far. But malpractice lawyers often do go to bat for the average Joe who has (allegedly) been hurt or harmed by the medical establishment.

What exactly do they do?

Medical malpractice attorneys help clients who believe that a doctor or hospital's negligence caused them harm. This is an area of law that often requires lawyers to undergo additional legal training so that they can understand and gain experience with medical terminology and procedures. Oftentimes, these attorneys are board-certified in their own area of expertise.

In the rest of this article we will discuss what it actually takes to become a medical malpractice lawyer.

How to become a Malpractice Attorney

If you know that you want to be a malpractice attorney early on, you should major in either pre-law or business in college. Then, once you graduate, you must take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and score well on it. Remember, malpractice attorneys go to trial often, and trial lawyers are expected to have superior, sometimes even impeccable credentials.

Next, you must apply to law school. This will likely be the hardest three years of your life, so you want to make certain you choose the right school. That means you must do your research and apply early and often.

Once you have been accepted to a school, you will have to start defining yourself as a future medical malpractice lawyer. This means applying for internships and clerkships at medical malpractice law firms. But don't worry...this shouldn't be all that difficult. These firms are always on the lookout for ambitious young lawyers-in-training who also tend to work cheap.

This will be the time in your early career when you will truly pay your dues and burn the candle at both ends. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for ambitious law students to get as little as three or four hours of sleep a night. So make sure you take your vitamins and drink a lot of coffee because there will invariably be a lot of late nights.

But even so, many older lawyers look back on these days nostalgically. After all, these are the times attorneys learn most of what they need to know to be successful in their field. This is why it is important and even necessary that every young lawyer gains practical, real world experience before graduation. Otherwise, he will find himself having to play catch up while he looks for a job.

Oh, we almost forgot...the bar exam. That's right, the dreaded bar exam. As you probably already know, every lawyer must take and pass the bar exam after he graduates from law school. This means that you have to study, obviously. In fact, most law students spend much of their last semester in school simply studying, or cramming for the bar.

How hard is the bar?

Well, over forty percent of students fail on their first attempt. So, we'd have to say it's pretty hard. But the great thing about the bar is that you can take it again, and again, and again, if necessary. However, you don't want to fail the bar too many times because it can and often will make you less attractive to potential employers. That is why you should set aside as much time as you possibly can after graduation to simply study for the bar.

After you pass the bar, you must find a job with a law firm that specializes in malpractice suits. Once you secure employment, you can then apply for board certification in medical malpractice. But before you do this, you will need to obtain at least six character references-three from other attorneys and three from judges. This means you will have to have quite a bit of practical and trial experience before you can apply for board certification.

published November 02, 2009

( 265 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.