A personal injury, or PI attorney handles claims for a personal injury – anything from a dog bite to a car accident, or a fall in the workplace. If your goal is to work in the legal field, this area of the law can be fascinating and satisfying, and the average salary is around $73,000 per year. An attorney working for a large law firm or an expensive area of the country can potentially earn up to $170,000, even more. In general, the outlook for jobs in this field remains high, as personal injury lawyers are always in high demand. You should expect to work long hours, handle plenty of paperwork, and be able to deal with clients from a wide range of backgrounds.
The career structure of a PI attorney typically starts at college or university. Before you can start thinking about law school, you will need a four year college degree, and although there are no firm requirements, studying social science, political science, history or English are all good foundations. Your next step is to pass the LSAT – the Law School Admission Test – which has been around since 1948. The half day test is carried out at numerous locations several times each year, and consists of analytical and logical reasoning, and reading.
Attending law school for several years is the next step in the career structure of a PI attorney. Subjects studied include the history of law, as well as classes tailored to more specific and specialized areas of the law. As well as studying hard at law school, it is also highly recommended to become familiar with the different types of injuries, medical conditions and treatments that you might come across as a personal injury lawyer.
The final hurdle in the career structure of a PI attorney is to take and pass the bar exam, a tough test that lasts up to several days, although the exact nature of the exam varies by state. Once you have passed, you are able to practice law, either by working for a legal practice, or branching out on your own. Regardless, you will be expected to keep up with the latest legal requirements and changes in the law that might affect you or your clients. There’s no doubt that a career as a PI attorney can be stressful and challenging, but it can also be rewarding and lucrative.