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Injury Attorneys

Mar 18, 2008
As specialization in medical treatment has accelerated, so has the need for lawyers to become more skilled as specialized injury attorneys. The number of lawyers who are also doctors, for example, has been steadily rising during this period of increased specialization. More and more often, finding a qualified injury attorney is vitally based on just how hard your attorney has hit the books after law school, too.

Minimum Education: Granting, lawyers have spent a fair amount of time in college (generally, four years for an undergraduate degree and three more in law school). A popular saying, however, has more than a little truth in it: "Law school can only teach you the vocabulary." This is why so many lawyers who have just started practicing go to work with large firms...lawyers often need the benefit of tutelage from a longer established law firm's associates. Additionally, many law firms are the only practical way for a new lawyer to learn the specific aspects of the trade they are interested in. There are also significant costs associated with learning the fine elements of injury attorney practice. But the larger the firm, the higher the fees usually associated with an injury case.

In this article, let's look at many of the ways injury attorneys have learned the more discrete methods of specialization. In looking for the best injury attorney, it pays dividends to look for or ask about any of a number of skills sets acquired outside of law school.

Certifications: Some special areas of injury attorney litigation give an opportunity to be specially certified. Because these certifications are heavily regulated by the state bar where you live (or need an attorney), it pays to ask in detail what certifications an attorney has. Think of it as a real job interview, for the job you need done. Because so many people don't feel they know anything about the law, they tend to underestimate the importance of learning about a special certification. The moral is that you should ask for specific certifications: and then ask what that certification has meant to the attorney (how much time it has taken, for example, to acquire the certification).

Self-described Expertise: Believe it or not, it has not been that long since lawyers have been allowed to advertise that they have expertise as injury attorneys. If you look at any ad for an injury attorney, write down the specific memberships that are listed. Comparing expertise between lawyers will help narrow down the best injury lawyers. If the expertise is important, never forget to ask the important question: how long has the injury attorney been involved in that expertise?

Continuing Legal Education: In order to keep their licenses active, every state requires all lawyers, including injury attorneys of course, to update and upgrade their skills. There are a varied number of "continuing legal education" credits. These CLEs are sometimes only a minimum standard. But if used correctly, an injury attorney specialist should be a member of appropriate associations, such as a medical malpractice association. Just be careful that the areas of specialization benefit your side of litigation...there are tools for either side of the court, defense and plaintiff. Good training for an injury attorney includes a thorough knowledge of both. Be sure any lawyer you hire has extensive trial experience on either, or both, sides.
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