Once licensed, a lawyer is free to take on any kind of case that he feels comfortable with. He can take on a complicated personal injury case involving a doctor and patient, or a copyright violation case involving an author and a publishing company. Although there is no experience required, ethics rules have certain requirements that the lawyer must meet. For example, if the attorney is inexperienced and he doesn’t feel comfortable pursuing a case, he should get assistance from a colleague or anyone who knows what they are doing. In addition, he can take the time to learn what it takes to litigate a case, but this would not be efficient because by the time he learns, the client could have hired someone else and been done. That is why most lawyers will stick to one area of the law and gain a lot of experience in that area so they can help their clients for years to come.
Read the website of a Los Angeles personal injury attorney and you will see that personal injury law is a highly specialized and multidisciplinary field. It is specialized because it takes special knowledge of torts law to understand who is at fault, and what an injured party deserves as far as the law is concerned. Car accidents require knowing insurance laws and what an insurance company is responsible for, and more importantly, what it’s not responsible for. Traffic accidents could also involve vehicles other than cars, they can involve a truck, a bus, a bicycle. All of these fall under personal injury and such attorneys should be able to help. An example of why this field is multidisciplinary can be highlighted if we look at medical malpractice. This field almost always requires hiring an expert witness (someone knowledgeable in the medical field) so they can testify whether or not a doctor’s diagnosis or action was reasonable under the given circumstances. If there is no experts to testify, then there is no way to prove to someone if a doctor was negligent.
You will soon realize that litigating such cases can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. It is not cheap, and most of the time, if a law firm believes their client has a viable case, they will bear all the costs until the case is won. If the case is not won, then the firm ends up losing money. That’s why most law firms will not take these cases because the risk is too high.
As with any other business, a lawyer can choose to open his own solo practice, or join an existing firm. If you choose to join a firm, you must have good credentials. You would need to have attended a reputable school, and maintained a high GPA to impress the supervisors. If they see that you have experience, that’s even better, but it’s usually not required because the higher ups usually understand that you are fresh out of law school and you didn’t have an opportunity to try cases yet. They just want to see a hint of intelligence, and good scores. According to the Fordham Law School, if you went to a school that is not accredited or accredited but not so reputable, you may have a hard time convincing the partners at a firm why they should hire you; but you can make up for that by experience. For example, if you litigate a lot of cases and show that you have a high rate of success despite your lack of academic credentials, they may be impressed and hire you.