It’s the job of a personal injury lawyer to make claims on behalf of clients who’ve been injured. Their role is to guide the injured party through the process of pursuing compensation, and getting blame officially recognised by a court of law.
Injuries are often physical, but not exclusively. A victim of an accident might well be psychologically effected for a long time afterwards – and the assistance of a specialised legal professional can make the difference in getting that compensation.
Personal injury law is typically the purview of highly specialised law firms, with highly-specialised legal expertise at their disposal. Since a precedent has been set whereby individuals and organisations can quite easily be held accountable for injuries suffered by others, it’s likely that personal injury law will remain an attractive field for the foreseeable future.
As well as being financially rewarding, personal injury lawyers enjoy the personal satisfaction of seeing justice served. Competition for entry-level positions can be fierce – but by informing yourself, you can stay ahead of that competition.
What Qualifications do I need?
There is more than one way to become qualified to practice law. You can obtain a degree in law, which will form the basis for a legal practice course. Having completed both, you’ll start on-the-job training, and eventually apply to be a solicitor.
Another option is to take a course from the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, or CILEx. This is a longer part-time course that can be undertaken by those already at work in the legal profession – perhaps as assistants. To practice as a personal injury lawyer, you’ll need the level 6 professional diploma.
What Skills Do I Need?
Personal Injury lawyers, perhaps more than any other specialist lawyer, are dealing with highly emotional cases, and highly sensitive clients. A degree of sensitivity and interpersonal empathy is therefore enormously beneficial.
You’ll also need the technical and research skills common to other areas of law, as well as a detailed knowledge of precedent. Experience in the day-to-day running of a law firm is also highly beneficial – which is why most personal injury lawyers undergo a prolonged period of training and induction.
How much will I earn?
In your first year of work in this field, you can expect to earn around £25,000 if you’re outside of London, and perhaps around £35,000 inside it. If you decide to transition into clinical negligence law, then you might find that you early slightly more.