How do I Become a Toxic Tort Lawyer?

Brittany Golledge

Toxic tort attorneys handle legal claims involving exposure to dangerous substances and toxic chemicals. These lawsuits can be brought as a class-action injury claim or on behalf of individuals who have been exposed to toxic substances. To become a toxic tort lawyer, it is necessary to earn a law degree, pass a professional exam, and obtain a license to practice law. No specific post-graduate training is required to litigate toxic tort claims, but it is helpful to have a background in toxicity and a thorough understanding of laws regulating toxic exposure in the environment and workplace.

Toxic tort lawyers handle claims involving exposure to toxic chemicals.
Toxic tort lawyers handle claims involving exposure to toxic chemicals.

The education requirements for practicing toxic tort law are similar to the requirements for practicing any other type of personal injury law. After completion of high school or its equivalent, a person must obtain a college degree from an accredited university. There is no specific course of undergraduate study required to gain entrance to law school, but a person who wants to become a toxic tort lawyer can benefit from a curriculum that includes liberal arts and science courses.

Toxic tort attorneys handle legal claims involving exposure to dangerous substances and toxic chemicals.
Toxic tort attorneys handle legal claims involving exposure to dangerous substances and toxic chemicals.

To become a toxic tort lawyer, the next step is to attend law school. During the first few years of law school, students complete general education courses to gain a basic understanding of the law. Some law schools allow students to focus their education on the area of law they wish to practice, but it is not necessary to study toxic tort litigation exclusively to become a toxic tort lawyer. Toxic tort attorneys typically gain much of their practical knowledge on the job rather than in law school.

After completion of law school, a person who wishes to become a toxic tort lawyer must pass a professional exam and obtain a license to practice law. The best way to gain experience with toxic tort litigation is to find a job or internship with an established law firm that handles these types of claims. Working alongside experienced toxic tort attorneys and scientific experts can be helpful for any attorney who wants to focus on toxic tort claims.

Toxic tort law is unique in that it involves facets of defective product litigation, medical malpractice, environmental law, and workplace injury law. Though toxic tort attorneys are not required to have a technical background in all of these areas of the law, familiarity with a broad spectrum of legal theories relating to toxic exposure can be beneficial. Developing relationships with medical experts and scientists is also a good idea for anyone who wants to handle toxic tort claims.

Some employers may knowingly expose workers to toxic chemicals.
Some employers may knowingly expose workers to toxic chemicals.

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