Does a Law Career in Clinical Negligence Pay Off?

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A medical malpractice attorney is a type of personal injury lawyer who advocates and advises for clients involved in clinical negligence cases. Although the hours are long and some cases are stressful, the money can be tremendous.

Job duties

A medical malpractice attorney can specialize in certain types of medical negligence such as dental malpractice, birth injuries, nursing home abuse and surgery mistakes. Job functions include working with medical experts to develop expert reports, testimony and theories to support the case. This means that the lawyer must take depositions from third parties, review medical records and perform medical research about the plaintiff’s condition. In order to obtain an objective evaluation of the injuries, an independent medical examination must be set up. The lawyer’s duty is also to teach their customers how to claim for medical negligence, because this is usually a delicate and complicated process where every step counts. The smallest mistake can make a case lose validity, the loss of a single piece of evidence as well, so some form of training and preparation must be done. When learning how to claim for medical negligence, you also have to be prepared mentally and spiritually for the stress of having your claim questioned, so a good lawyer will at least prepare their clients for that. If you want to know what type of cases you will be dealing with and how you should prepare your clients for court, visit

Education and qualifications

A medical malpractice lawyer must complete seven years of post-high school education in order to obtain an undergraduate degree and law degree. Moreover, a lawyer must pass a bar exam in the state in which he or she desired to work. A board certification from a certifying organization can make a medical malpractice attorney stand out, although passing requires extensive knowledge in areas such as ethics, experience, professional liability law and examination. Furthermore, a malpractice lawyer needs knowledge in the field of medicine and that is why some attend nursing school, medical school or have a science background.

Job demand

Approximately 195,000 people die in the U.S. Because of preventable medical errors. According to the National Institute of Health, medical negligence kills 225,000 patients each year, while 1,500,000 people suffer physical and emotional injuries. Even if not every injured patient pursues legal action, the malpractice claims are rising. Job demands for a malpractice lawyer will remain strong in the future years.


Medical malpractice lawyers are among the highest-paid lawyers in the U.S. with a national median average salary of $110,590. Lawyers who work in state government earn an average salary of $78,540 and those who work in large companies average $145,770. Most malpractice attorneys charge on a contingent fee basis and take 33% to 45% percentage of the plaintiff’s net recovery. Awards in medical malpractice are 17 times greater than in tort jury trials, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Job outlook

The Bureau of Justice Statistics states that job opportunities for lawyers will continue to be competitive because each year the number of law school graduates increases and are higher than the existing job openings. Moreover, individuals spend less on legal services such as estate planning when the economy is down. However, in the medical malpractice field jobs will continue to increase because of the changes of the health law that allows more individuals to seek medical care.

June 2022