Today we’re going to answer a question from Michael in Dover Delaware. Michael wrote in he said I am currently in high school I want to know essentially how do we become a Personal Injury Lawyer.
That’s a really good question essentially you’ve got four years of college three years of law school take the bar exam in the state where you want to practice. And you have a license to practice law and there’s no real in most states. There’s no real specialized training that you have to undergo in order to call yourself a personal injury lawyer. Essentially you know important things that you need to know to be a personal injury lawyer things that you learn while doing them.
There are things that you learn essentially through on-the-job training. I have to say that if you know if I were if I were in high school now and I want it to be a personal injury lawyer. I’ll tell you what I would do first off in high school.
There are opportunities for you to get skills one skill that you need is you need to be able to read and write very very proficiently. Because what a lawyer does is makes a living through communication. So I would say taking any advanced English courses any writing courses through high school through college that’s a good thing because when you get the law school what you find is it’s mainly reading cases in books. In case books reading old cases a lot of them are from the 1800s from the early 1900s and it’s hard to read these cases.
It’s hard to understand them I noticed when I was in law school that the students there who had English Lit backgrounds seemed to have a much easier time with reading and pretending what was being said in these cases in the casebooks.
So I would say right now you should do is prepare yourself by reading as much as you can. Writing as much as you can take courses in high school and college that have to do with reading and writing.
I would also say that a big part of what a personal injury lawyer does is public speaking. And so if we can find that opportunities now to do things in front of audiences so that you don’t have cold feet when it comes time to try a personal injury case that would be a good thing. So what could you do now in high school to get yourself in front of audiences so that you can warm up to the idea and get rid of stage fright?
You could give a volunteer to be in drama club or you could get into Speech and Debate. Basically what we want to do is you want to find opportunities to be in front of people so that when you’re standing in the courtroom. You know once you graduate from law school down the road you’ll be 26 27 years old you’ll be standing in the courtroom hopefully not too long after you graduate from law school. And you’ll be standing there the judge will be on the bench.
You’ll have 12 jurors plus two or four alternates in the jury box you’ll have people out in the audience. You’ll have the defense attorney who’s sitting there watching you and taking down every word. You’ll have your client and their family sitting there a counsel table. You’ll have all these people and you’re going to stand up and you’re going to perform in front of all these people. And you’re going to stay focused calm cool and collected.
Well like where do you get that ability to do that the answer is I think you develop it now. When you’re in high school by doing things like drama club or Speech and Debate or something that gets you in front of people where you have to think on your feet. You have to be calm cool and collected and you get used to appearing in front of people. But those are the things that I think I would be doing now and then you’re going to go to college take college courses that focus on reading and writing.
It expands your mind as much as you can then you’re going to go to law school and you’re going to enjoy three years of law school. You’re going to take and pass the bar get into private practice and learn to find a good mentor and learn from the mentor.
It’s not this is not a business where everything is written down you know taking a doctor’s deposition or doing a direct examination of your client in the jury trial or picking a jury or doing a closing argument. There are books written about these things but the honest-to-god truth is that the books you might read about doing these things don’t necessarily give you the skills to actually do them.
There these are things that you learn from doing and so what you want to do is you want to find a good mentor go to work for a personal injury lawyer find one who’s really interested in his craft and learn from him or her. And get the on-the-job training that way and in that site, you become a personal injury lawyer.
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