How to Become a Nursing Home Lawyer

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Nursing homes provide necessary care to a variety of residents and there are many different laws that nursing home facilities must abide by. Nursing home lawyers are highly trained legal professionals that specialize in the laws that govern nursing home facilities.

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What does a nursing home lawyer do?

Nursing home lawyers provide representation and legal advice on a variety of issues related to nursing homes. They often handle cases that involve mental and verbal nursing home abuse, neglect, medication errors, and violation of nursing home resident rights. They also provide representation to nursing home residents that have suffered from injuries. Nursing home lawyers obtain the necessary information and evidence and interview witnesses to build their cases. They often provide emotional support to residents and families.

What kind of training does a nursing home lawyer need?

Nursing home lawyers must have a bachelor degree and law degree from an accredited law school. All law schools require candidates to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Law school provides intensive instruction and offers a variety of practical learning experience such as legal clinics and moot court competitions. Most law schools require students to complete an internship prior to graduation. Many aspiring nursing home lawyers complete internships or clerkships at firms that specialize in nursing home laws to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. All states require nursing home lawyers to pass the written bar examination to become licensed to practice law. Many states also require nursing home lawyers to pass a separate ethics examination. Nursing home lawyers must complete regular continuing legal education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills current, and stay up to date with advancements and changes in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a nursing home lawyer?

Employment of all lawyers, including nursing home lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The aging population and increase in nursing homes will drive job growth of nursing home lawyers.

Job prospects should be good with strong competition. Nursing home lawyers with excellent academic records and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.

How much do nursing home lawyers make?

As of February 2010, the average annual salary for nursing home lawyers is $97,000; average annual nursing home lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a nursing home lawyer is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in the laws that govern nursing home facilities. Nursing home lawyers must have a solid understanding of the laws, rules, and regulations related to nursing homes and nursing home litigation. Patience, perseverance, critical thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Nursing home lawyers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work with a variety of nursing home residents and their families.

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