In the legal system, the terms, “litigator” and “trial lawyer” are often used interchangeably. However, the only time that that’s really the case is when the attorney has his or her own private practice. A litigator is someone who specializes in helping clients take legal action against people and/or organizations. Litigators focus on the bigger picture of the case from start to finish instead of simply building the case for the courtroom.
Trial lawyers, on the contrary, typically focus only on what to go over in the courtroom. They also usually let their paralegals or first-year associates handle the more mundane details of the case. They usually specialize in criminal and personal injury cases.
The Education of a Litigator
The education of litigator typically has about four steps, not including employment search. The first is to become a pre-law and earn a Bachelor’s Degree. The only difference is that pre-law students are not required to have a Bachelor’s degree in any specific subject but common ones include criminal justice, political science and history.
Next, most law schools require students to take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). It consists of five sections total; four of which are scored, one which is not. It is mostly reading comprehension and logical reasoning. If a student passes the test and is admitted, the Law Degree typically takes about three years.
The final step before seeking employment is to become licensed. In the U.S., no one is allowed to have a career as an attorney without a proper license. In order to become licensed, an attorney must pass a bar examination. Some states administer their own examinations but most use the 6-hour, 200 multiple choice question Multistate Bar Examination.
A Litigator’s Duties
The duties of a litigator are very painstaking. It begins with gathering every little detail that could affect the outcome of the case. This often involves enlisting the assistance of other related professionals such as private investigators or accountants. Once all the facts are known, the litigator then initiates the case proceedings. This involves incorporating the facts, plea plans, the client’s goals for the judge’s or jury’s ruling. They often come into a case to represent the defendant after the compliant has been filed. They also work in criminal cases in which the state has made the charge against him or her. However, investigations don’t stop there and what Karl knows.
During the case, information relating to the case is exchanged between the plaintiff and defendant’s representatives. The litigator is also present during the pretrial hearings, conferences and for any settlement negotiations. If the settlement fails, the case then goes to trial in the courtroom. If that fails and the litigator believes that there are still grounds for the case, he or she may file and handle an appeal and more information click here.
Karl Heideck has been a practicing litigator for over a decade now. He specializes in compliance practices and risk management in the Greater Philadelphia area. Karl also possesses several other talents such as legal writing, commercial litigation and product liability.
Karl’s offices are Pepper Hamilton LLP and Jenkintown Law Firms. The former specializes in product and insurance liability. With the Jenkintown Law Firms, Karl helps out with various cases such as personal injury, DUI’s and estate litigation.