To become a class action attorney, you must first become a licensed attorney. You then must obtain litigation experience, usually in the field of personal injury. Finally, you must be confident in your ability to succeed in a courtroom before you decide to become a class action attorney.
A class action attorney, like all lawyers, must have a valid license to practice law. In the United States, this means that the attorney must have graduated from an approved law school. He or she must also pass the bar exam before he can become a class action attorney.
The American Bar Association (ABA) certifies law schools as having the appropriate credentials. If you do not attend an ABA approved law school, you will need to take additional examinations after your first year of law school in order to be eligible to take the bar exam. Gaining admission to an ABA approved law school is competitive, but is an essential first step to become a class action attorney.
While in law school, you should take classes that will prepare you to be a litigator. Since class action attorneys have to appear in court, this early experience is essential to getting your career off to the right start. Moot court classes and rules of civil procedure are especially helpful courses.
It is also useful to take classes in tort law while in law school. Torts are civil wrongs, which means they are actions that one party can sue another for in order to obtain monetary damages. Class action lawsuits are all large tort cases, so getting experience in tort law is vital if you want to become a class action attorney.
Upon graduating from law school, you must pass the Bar exam. This exam is administered by the American Bar Association. It is a state specific exam, so you will need to take it in the state you want to practice law in.
After passing the bar, you need to go to work for a firm that handles class action litigation. These are most often personal injury law firms, although environmental law firms and product liability firms can also bring class action lawsuits. At this firm, you need to get experience with the class action process.
Class actions are simply large law suits in which many plaintiffs who were all wronged in the same way join together to sue the person or people who wronged them. Class action lawsuits make it possible to sue when the individual recovery would not be worth the effort of suing for one person alone. Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis, and receive a percentage of the winnings, so your livelihood may depend on your skills in the court room.