How Do I Become an Economics Expert Witness?

D. Nelson

To become an economics expert witness, it often is necessary to earn a high level post-graduate degree in the economics field. Economics is a broad discipline, so you should make sure that you choose to focus on a particular concentration. In most cases, expert witnesses are expected to speak only about their specializations. For example, an economist who specializes in capital markets probably would not be asked to testify as an expert on a case dealing with insurance fraud. Once you have earned your degree, it can helpful to get years of experience developing a reputation as a specialist in your field.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

An economic expert witness is a specialist who appears in court to explain complex economic principles in clear, understandable language. This kind of specialist might also be responsible for explaining to litigators, judges, and juries how certain damages, such as identity theft, can be assessed. An expert witness can provide objective interpretations of cases or help attorneys to create their arguments.

Any individual who would like to become an economics expert witness should aim to become a renowned expert in his or her field. For this reason, many expert witnesses have earned doctorate degrees in economics. These prestigious degrees normally are awarded to individuals who have dedicated many years to their studies and who have produced unique dissertations based on strenuous research.

It also can be helpful to publish papers or books on your area of expertise. To become an economics expert witness, your colleagues should consider you a top authority in your field. In order to reach this level of prestige, it is often necessary to produce work that impacts economic practices and can be taught in academic courses.

Many attorneys choose to hire expert witnesses who have proven that they are comfortable in courtroom situations. Practices such as cross-examination can be stressful, especially for individuals who never have acted as witnesses before. To become an economics expert witness, it can be a good idea to get some legal training so that you understand typical courtroom procedures.

Once you have earned all of the qualifications necessary to become an economics expert witness, your next step can include building a practice. You may want to hire a staff of researchers or consultants who can gather and organize documents you need to provide economic analysis. Communicate with attorneys in your area and notify them that you are available for consultations. Many expert witnesses create websites where they list areas of expertise and basic contact information.

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