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How Do I Become a Judgment Attorney?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

To become a judgment attorney, you'll need to first qualify to become licensed as an attorney in the jurisdiction where you wish to live and work. After completing the educational and exam requirements to receive your law license, you may wish to get experience working for a litigation law firm or perhaps doing work for a consumer law practice. Depending on the types of judgments you wish to either enforce or defend your clients against, you may also want to take continuing education classes or seek experience in different types of law, such as divorce law or accident law. Enforcing or settling judgments is often a matter of developing shrewd negotiation skills, so it may be to your advantage to take classes in negotiation or even mediation so as to best assist your clients in achieving their legal goals.

The process for becoming a licensed attorney varies by jurisdiction. Typically, you will be expected to complete a course of study and pass a professional licensing exam sometimes known as a “bar exam.” You may also need to submit a lengthy application to a licensing committee detailing why you want to become an attorney. In addition, you may be expected to undergo, and pass, a criminal background check. If you know that you want to become a judgment attorney, you may wish to request an internship working for a judgment attorney while you are still in law school.

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Woman posing

After you receive your law license, you may wish to seek out work in a law practice that specializes in collecting or settling judgments. It may be to your advantage to get experience in both assisting clients in collecting their judgments, as well as helping clients who have had court-ordered judgments issued against them cope with their new financial obligations. If you are working with clients who wish to collect judgments, you may wish to become skilled in tracking down both judgment debtors and their assets. After you become a judgment attorney you may want to hire private detectives to do this work, but it may be to your advantage to do some of this work for yourself.

In many cases, you will find that the best resolution in a court judgment will be negotiated as a settlement between both parties. This may be particularly true if you become a judgment attorney for plaintiffs in cases where they have sued someone who is likely to be bankrupted by paying the judgment. In such cases, there is a significant risk that the judgment may never be paid if the defendant feels that he has no other choice but to file for bankruptcy. You may be able to protect the interests of your client if, after you become a judgment attorney, you work to hone your negotiation skills so as to maximize the amount of money your clients can realistically hope to receive.

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