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How do I Become a Product Liability Attorney?

Elva K.
Elva K.

Product liability attorneys defend makers of defective products who get sued by individuals who say they have been injured by the products. Problems could have occurred with the manufacturer, the owners of stores that sell the product, or those who market the product. Product liability attorney work might involve legal research, legal writing, and speaking on behalf of clients in a courtroom setting. To become a product liability attorney, you generally will need a college degree and a law degree.

Your bachelor's degree in college degree need not be in any particular subject if you want to become a product liability attorney. Just getting a college degree in a subject you are interested in is sufficient. Doing an internship in a product liability law firm during college can also be an asset. Internships are useful because they help supplement information learned in a college classroom setting. Also, an internship can be useful because an internship in a product liability law firm will give you a chance to observe the work that product liability attorneys do and you will be able to determine if you really want to become a product liability attorney.

Legal library.
Legal library.

If you want to become a product liability attorney, it can be helpful to be academically talented; however, it is also necessary to have high tolerance for repugnant or morbid things. Injuries that people suffer can be severe at times and you have to be able to accept that and remain calm and professional at all times. You also need to have sufficient interest in complex technical jargon that you can ask experts the right questions and be able to communicate your findings in a court of law such that the judge and jury can readily understand the things you are saying.

A product liability attorney needs to be skilled at research.
A product liability attorney needs to be skilled at research.

Typically, you will apply for law school during the final semester of your college degree. If you opt to attend law school full time, law school will be a three-year process. While in law school, you will typically pursue a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) degree in law. The JD degree will include courses applicable to law in general and courses applicable to product liability as well.

After the second year of law school, if interested in a career in product liability law, you will typically pursue a summer internship at a product liability law firm. By contrast, you could choose to do an internship with a company that sometimes gets sued for defective products. Working in a company is a less-chosen option, but it could nonetheless be useful in helping you to learn about product liability law.

The summer law internship that law students do is much different than a college law internship; law students do work that is very similar to the type of work that lawyers at the firm do. Also, during the summer internship, law students are exposed to the law firm's culture and social events. If law students are successful during the summer internship, it is possible that the law firm will offer the student a job as an associate after the student completes law school. Becoming an associate in the law firm means you will be a product liability attorney and you could eventually become a partner in the product liability law firm pending several years of hard work and consistently good work evaluations from other members of the firm.

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    • Legal library.
      By: Steven Pepple
      Legal library.
    • A product liability attorney needs to be skilled at research.
      By: George Wada
      A product liability attorney needs to be skilled at research.