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How Do I Become a Medical Malpractice Attorney?

Prospective medical malpractice attorneys must pass the bar exam.
In the US, each state has its own bar examination, most with multiple choice questions.
Some attorneys focus on medical malpractice cases.
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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 February 2015
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When something goes awry during a medical procedure, some people turn to a medical malpractice attorney for help. A medical malpractice attorney will work with the patient to sue the doctor or the company insuring the doctor. To become a medical malpractice attorney, there are a few basic steps that must be taken. In addition, specialized training may be necessary before someone can become a medical malpractice attorney at certain law firms.

Before anyone can become a medical malpractice attorney, she must graduate from law school and pass the state bar examination. Most law schools have minimal requirements before potential students are granted admission. These requirements include a minimum grade point average, a minimum score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), recommendation letters, and even volunteer experience.

Many law schools offer classes that specialize in medical malpractice topics. For someone who wants to become a medical malpractice attorney, taking these classes will give students a good overview on the issues and legal concepts they will encounter. Often, the medical malpractice classes are taught by area attorneys, giving students more practical information beyond textbook legal concepts.

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Some law schools encourage their students to complete an internship. If someone wants to become a medical malpractice attorney, she may try to find an internship with an attorney who practices medical malpractice. The internship will provide valuable hands-on experience and will enable the student to decide whether she really does want to become a medical malpractice attorney. A student may find that the actual practice of law is completely different than what was expected from studying the issues in a classroom setting.

In the United States, before law school graduates can practice law and become medical malpractice attorneys, they must pass the state bar exam. Each state has its own bar examination, with multiple choice and essay questions based on general legal topics, such as criminal law, tort law, family law, and constitutional law. Many other countries, such as Brazil, England, the Philippines, Ireland, Hungary, and Poland, also have exams that students must pass before they can practice law.

Although science classes are not a requirement to become a medical malpractice attorney, they can make the job easier. Understanding the way the body, different medicines, and various medical procedures work is necessary; however, those things can be learned through the course of practicing law. In addition, there are often courses geared for those wanting to become a medical malpractice attorney or those already working as a medical malpractice attorney. The courses keep the attorneys updated on legal concepts, medical procedures, and current laws related to medical malpractice.

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Vincenzo
Post 3

@Terrificli -- And all of that is why you will not find any malpractice attorneys who will take on one of those cases unless he or she is fairly certain it can be won. Because those cases are backed by money from either attorneys or law firms with money to spare, taking on a case viewed as an easy win is considered a good investment. Taking on a case that cannot be won easily is too risky.

The shame of all of that is some law firms tend to cherry pick. They want the easy cases, but not the tough ones.

There is some good news, though. If a lawyer won't take your case, shop it around some. You

may find other lawyers willing to take on a bit of a risk and agree to represent you. If you are convinced you are in the right and have been wronged, don't let one lawyer telling you he or she won't take your case discourage you.
Terrificli
Post 2

@Markerrag -- That is exactly why most successful malpractice attorneys work in large, lucrative firms that they either started or joined after someone else grew that business to the point where it has money to spend to pursue contingency cases.

The same thing is true of personal injury attorneys, really. Those contingency cases have to be backed by either an attorney with a lot of money to spend or a law firm with piles of cash.

Markerrag
Post 1

One of the most important things a medical malpractice lawyer can have is financial backing. You had better believe that those insurance companies that sell medical malpractice insurance to doctors have almost unlimited resources when it comes to cash to spend on defending suits.

Most medical malpractice lawyers take cases on contingency, meaning they don't collect unless they win. Their clients pay them nothing, so that means the expenses involved in pursuing a malpractice claim fall on the attorney. Without the money needed to pay for things like depositions, medical records, etc., the case will get nowhere.

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