As you navigate law school, you will undoubtedly study high-profile criminal cases and learn about some of the greatest defense attorneys and prosecutors. There will likely be lectures from accomplished constitutional lawyers sharing the important work they have done. Yet, there is one practice area that may have been overshadowed, leaving you to wonder how you can break into that field. That field is personal injury law. You can do certain things, however, both as a law student or a new graduate, that can help you land your first personal injury legal job and find success.
Tips of the Trade
Practicing personal injury can be rewarding. Every day, people are injured across the United States and left to foot the bill for someone else’s mistakes. They need help from lawyers who earnestly want to offer them guidance and support. Navigating the personal injury world right out of law school can be daunting, so here are some tips to help with that transition.
Grow Your Own Network
Developing your own support network is more accessible than ever. You can join email lists, participate in legal forums, or join professional online networks that span almost every area of law. Take time to connect with lawyers throughout the country through online groups. These relationships will provide the support and knowledge you need as you navigate the personal injury space. Lawyers elsewhere will be facing the same challenges as you, so sharing successful motions, ideas, and strategies can help you hone your skills in a fraction of the time it used to take.
By joining listservs, you can access dedicated forums designed for lawyers in particular practice areas. For instance, there are listservs dedicated specifically to car accidents, brain injuries, and even personal injury law in every state. Some groups also include doctors and lawyers working together from around the country to provide a support network. These groups constantly interact, emailing one another helpful articles and useful ideas.
Resources like these were not always available, so take advantage of them now. Search them out, join them, and be an active participant. This will provide competitive advantages in the future.
Find a Reliable Mentor
Many law schools encourage students to find a mentor. However, not all practicing lawyers are well suited to serve as mentors. That’s why it is essential to find mentors that you truly learn from. Search for mentors who are the best and most respected in the personal injury field. You can verify this based on their trial record, leadership positions they’ve held in legal associations, reputation within the industry, and whether or not they are invited to speak on the subject.
If a personal relationship with a mentor is not possible to develop, some of the best lawyers that have ever practiced have produced podcasts, videos, and written countless books. Draw from their experiences and expertise.
Go to Seminars
If you are serious about understanding your practice area better, attend seminars as a law student. These conferences and seminars can last for several days and will provide you with the latest techniques on client advocacy and persuasion from some of the top lawyers in the field.
Do Your Own Professional Development
Investing in your own growth and development is one of the best things you can do, regardless of what practice area you go into. Set aside anywhere from half an hour to an hour a day to study professional development. You can choose from a wealth of information. Dive into the fundamentals of specific cases and specific issues that you may face one day. Read what has been written by those most respected in your field.
While you read, create your own filing system. If you come across an inspired opening statement or a compelling analogy, copy it and put it in its designated folder. Having this will provide you with an advantage over your peers and help you as you prepare your cases or for trial.
A Future in Personal Injury Law
A future in personal injury law can be immensely rewarding, but working your way through the industry can be difficult. Because of the competitive nature, it’s vital as a law student or recent graduate to put yourself in a position to be successful in the field.