How do I Become a Worker's Compensation Lawyer?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2019
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A worker’s compensation lawyer typically represents the legal interests of workers, employers or insurance companies. To become a worker’s compensation lawyer, there are a few basic steps that generally must be completed and a few specialized steps that may make the job easier. The basic steps include attending law school, passing the bar exam, and finding a job in the worker’s compensation arena. Specialized steps may include taking classes related to human anatomy, physiology, drug interactions, and other medical-related courses. These steps are usually completed in college and can be quite helpful to someone wanting to become a worker’s compensation lawyer.

To become a worker’s compensation lawyer, a person must graduate from law school, preferably with a good grade point average. Although an internship at a law firm or company that specializes in workman’s compensation laws may be an advantage, it is by no means necessary. In addition, it is often beneficial to take a worker’s compensation class during law school. The class will teach students general laws related to the field of worker’s compensation, and it is often a good starting point for someone who wants to become a worker’s compensation lawyer.


During law school, moot court or mock trial competitions are useful practice for students of almost any kind of law. The competitions give law students an idea of what it feels like to be in a courtroom. There are judges, juries, witnesses, and opposing counsels pretending to try legal cases during the competitions. Although worker’s compensation cases are typically settled through the employer’s insurance company, if a case appears doubtful in the eyes of that insurance company, it will go to trial. Consequently, any trial practice is favorable.

Once a student graduates from law school, she must study and pass the bar exam in her state—if she wishes to practice law in the United States. The United States is not alone in its requirement that students pass an exam to show they understand the basic laws in general legal subjects. Other countries have similar examination requirements, including England, Ireland, Brazil, Poland, and Hungary. Regardless, once the student passes the examination, she is ready to practice law and become a worker’s compensation lawyer.

Finding a job may be the most difficult part for someone who wants to become a worker’s compensation lawyer. It is easiest if the person keeps an open mind before turning down less desirable job offers. For example, someone may prefer to represent injured workers; however, if she receives a job offer from a law firm that represents employers, she may have to accept it. Lawyers often represent one side of the law at the beginning of their careers and then switch gears, representing the other side during the second half of their careers.

If an aspiring lawyer knows she wants to become a worker’s compensation lawyer while in college, it is helpful to take basic anatomy, physiology, and pharmaceutical classes. These classes will give the person a better understanding of the science and medicine involved in each worker’s compensation case. For example, if someone claims they suffered nerve damage to their arm at work, it is useful to understand the way that nerve works and whether it could be damaged as the employee claims. In the alternative, there are classes available for lawyers that teach these basics as well. So, if a student missed the opportunity to take the classes in college, she can take them as a practicing lawyer instead.



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