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How do I Become a Worker's Comp Lawyer?

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  • Written By: Alexis W.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 April 2018
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To become a worker's comp lawyer you need to become a lawyer and you need to specialize in administrative law. Worker's comp claims are handled on a state-by-state basis by the workman's compensation or worker's compensation board of the relevant state. This means that a state agency action occurs when there is a dispute, as opposed to a trial in a court of law as in standard cases.

The worker's comp system is an alternative to the tort law system, and it is compulsory. This means that all workers injured at work have to recover through the worker's comp system as their exclusive method of recovery. Workers can't sue their employers. Workers have to contact the insurer that works with their employer first to make a claim; if that claim is denied, the worker may then appeal to the state agency in question and may be represented by a worker's comp lawyer who appeals to the agency and helps the worker present his case.

The first step to become a worker's comp lawyer, just as to become any type of lawyer, is to get the required education. This means first getting a bachelor's degree. Your undergraduate major doesn't matter very much if you wish to become a worker's comp lawyer, but you need to do well in school and get good grades so law schools will look favorably on your application. You also need to take the law school aptitude test (LSAT) in the United States, as this is a prerequisite to getting into law school.

Once you have been admitted to law school, you are well on your way to become a worker's comp lawyer. Law schools do not generally have specialties in worker's comp law since it is a specialized area of law, as opposed to business law or public interest law, which many law schools offer specialized certification in. Although you can't get a specific certificate in worker's comp law, you can still take relevant courses, such as agency law.

After graduation, you need to take the bar examination in the state where you want to become a worker's comp lawyer. You will then be sworn in as an officer of the court and can begin to recruit clients or to work for a firm that handles worker's compensation issues. As you are dealing with agency law as a worker's comp lawyer, you need to know and understand the requirements for appealing to a worker's comp agency and for having a hearing with an administrative judge or board in your particular state.

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