There are different types of lawyers, ranging from family lawyers to employment and labor lawyers. While they all earn good money, each category handles various cases.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a medical lawyer then you’re at the right place. In this article, we not only defined the career path but explained how to get into medical law.
Now, let’s get right into it.
Who is a Medical Lawyer?
A medical lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in the medical or healthcare field. Most successful medical lawyers have a medical background or experience. So what does a medical lawyer do for a living?
First of all, these types of lawyers represent patients who have suffered an illness, injury, or death due to the negligence of a medical professional or institution. For example, if Joe discovers his doctor misdiagnosed his condition when in reality he has cancer, he can hire a medical lawyer to sue such a doctor.
The medical lawyer will need to know when the incident occurred, ask for more details from the patient, conduct some research, and collect evidence before moving on with the case. Most claims end in settlements before or during trial proceedings.
If Joe is right, he’ll be compensated for economic and/or non-economic damages caused by medical malpractice. The medical lawyer gets about 33% of the settlements and everyone goes their separate ways.
On the other hand, you can be a lawyer for the defendant (the one who committed medical malpractice) and represent he/she in a court of law.
Lastly, medical lawyers can work in other healthcare law fields and :
- Work in government healthcare programs
- Educate doctors on complying with healthcare regulations
- Deal with health insurance issues
- Provide legal advice for medical businesses.
- Show businesses how to comply with healthcare regulations
This list is endless, however, I hope by now you understand who medical lawyers are and what they do. Alright, let’s move to the process of becoming a medical lawyer in 2022.
How to become a medical lawyer
Here are the steps to becoming a licensed medical lawyer in 2022.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming the medical lawyer you’ve always dreamed of is to get a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While there’s no specific field of study recommended by law schools, you should try something medical-related.
You are not planning on becoming a physician, all you need is basic medical education that will help you in your career as a medical lawyer. Study something like healthcare management, public health, health sciences, premed health studies, etc.
Generally, this will take about 4 years to complete and you should do so with flying colors. Now, let’s talk about getting accepted into law school.
Get into Law School
Contrary to the public opinion that law school admission is tough as old boots, they are what you make of them. Of course, there are some highly competitive law schools in the US but it all depends on how much you are willing to sacrifice to get in.
Trust me if you are qualified enough, it’s not as hard as getting into med school. There’s a compulsory examination you need to pass to proceed, it’s called the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and is done 4 times annually.
If you prepared very well and pass the LSAT, the next thing in line is to find law schools to apply to. You should be on the lookout for how close it’s to your residence, the cost of attendance, financial aid options, and if it’s fully accredited.
On that last part, you want to make sure the school is accredited by the ABA (American Bar Association). This is just to make sure your J.D (Juris Doctor) Degree counts. After selecting the schools you can start submitting applications.
- Cheapest Law Schools in Ohio Reviewed
- Best Law Schools in The UK For International Students
- Cheapest Law Schools in Michigan Reviewed
- Best Countries For Doctors To Earn Money
Once in law school, you are going learn everything you need to know about law ranging from human rights to criminal law. Although optional, you can take some elective classes in year 2 that may be related to medical malpractice.
While in your final years you can gain hands-on experience through internships and other fieldwork. After spending about 3 years in law school, it’s time to graduate.
Become a licensed lawyer
While you may have a law degree, you are not yet legally privileged to work as a lawyer unless you pass the state bar exam and obtain licensure. To practice in a particular state, you need to pass its bar examination. We outlined some of the hardest bar exams in this article.
The bar exams are completed within three days and those successful are allowed to practice fully as licensed lawyers in that state. If you were unlucky, you still have another chance at it since the exam is done twice per year.
Don’t set your expectations so high that you think you can start your firm as a beginner in this field. Begin by working as an associate at a law firm near you or work for companies with legal departments.
This period which may last about 1 to 5 years or more is for gaining as much experience as you can and building your portfolio. You can start pivoting to medical malpractice law when it seems fit.
Further your education or Continue the grind
Learning hasn’t stopped at this stage no matter the amount of cheddar you are making annually. You can still earn a Master of Laws (LL.M.) to learn new topics and boost your educational qualifications.
Most lawyers don’t even care about getting an LL.M. degree in a related field and that’s their choice. The truth is that medical malpractice cases are not easy and it takes an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to win.
How much do top medical lawyers make?
According to ZipRecruiter, top medical lawyers in the US make up to $500k annually before tax. How much medical lawyers earn per year depends on their specialty, experience, location, and level of education.
As a starter don’t expect to earn anywhere near $50,000 in your first year as a medical lawyer. While medical law is a lucrative career, not all medical lawyers make good money.
It takes about 7 years to become a professional medical lawyer give or take and in this article we explained everything you need to know about the profession if you are planning to become one.
Let us know what you think about this article or the topic discussed in the comments. Hitting the share button won’t take you less than 2 seconds.