How Law School Prepares You to Represent Others

By Uloop Guest Writer on August 26, 2015
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The point of law school is to prepare you to represent others in their time of need. Whether you’re going to be an Oregon personal injury lawyer or are planning to work in another field of law, it’s important to be prepared to build your case and have a good client-attorney relationship.

It prepares you to listen.

What you think happened and what really happened are two different things. In order to help your client, you need to understand what happened from his or her point of view. Not having this very basic understanding can put your client-attorney relationship in danger, because your client may not feel you’re doing your best to protect her to to present her case.

In law school, you’ll learn to listen to your client first. You need to know the entire story before you can start sussing out the details. Once your client has told you everything that happened, go back and discuss the event again, this time asking questions about more specific parts of the case that you’ll need information on for the case.

For instance, if the personal injury stems from a car accident, you may ask what the driver was doing when the crash happened, where the driver was looking, or even for the color or make of the car that hit the client, especially if it was a hit-and-run case that is now coming to court.

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It prepares you to build a case.

Even the most difficult cases still have some points that you can build on to help your client. Is the other party accusing your client of libel or defamation? Can you explain why the injury was the defendant’s fault? Even if you can’t, can you show why your client believes the other party is responsible?

There are a number of things you need to do while building a case, like:

*Collecting evidence

*Hearing testimony

*Researching state laws

*Researching injury information

*Collecting expert testimonials

These aren’t the only things you’ll need to do, but the right law school will prepare you to do these things and more.

It prepares you to negotiate and present strong cases at trial.

For an Oregon personal injury attorney, nothing is more rewarding than winning a case for a client who has suffered. Law school prepares you to help your client win by teaching you how to negotiate and work through a trial if the case has to go to court.

Many times, negotiations take place and settlements result. As an attorney, you need to help your client understand when to accept an offer and when to walk away or ask for more. For instance, if your client is offered a settlement for $3 million and has few medical bills or future costs expected, this may be a good settlement to take.

However, if your client needs ongoing surgery and care and is only offered $500,000, that may not be enough to cover his lost wages, medical bills, and other financial needs.

When a client can’t take a settlement for whatever reason, the case must go to trial instead. There, it’s up to a judge or jury to decide what kind of award the client should receive. You’ll need to present the case in a clear, logical manner, so your client has the best chance of being awarded the most compensation. Your law school helps you learn to be an effective communicator, so you can do just that.

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