To successfully practise personal injury law, passing a written bar exam is mandatory in addition to a written ethics exam. These examinations vary from state to state. The majority of states require applicants to have a college degree and a law degree from an institution that is accredited. Non-accredited law schools have minimum set requirements before they are permitted to offer these courses.

As a prerequisite, most states require a Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), a Multistate Essay Examination, a Multistate Expert Responsibility Exam and a set state bar exam as a prerequisite. Other states incorporate a Multistate Performance Test as well.

Once qualified and admitted to the bar, they are required to keep abreast with the current development in their fields by continually taking legal education courses. These courses are designed to ensure that personal injury lawyers remain updated in law-related developments, with the number of required hours varying from state to state.

Personal injury lawyers tend to concentrate on specific areas of law. By specializing, they are able to amass the required knowledge and experience to take them to the top of their field. There is a special certification program that personal injury lawyers must complete before they are referred to as specialists. The American Bar Association is responsible for this certification. Although individual states regulate their own lawyers, they still adhere to rules of professional responsibility as stated in the United States Constitution.

These certification programs come with set standards of knowledge, competence and experience that must be attained before personal injury lawyers are called specialists.

Once personal injury lawyers pass the bar exam and are licensed, they can deviate to any specialty within the law profession. However, legal ethics demand that inexperienced lawyers should not represent a client without first enlisting help or learning the issue at hand. To provide the highest quality representation for their clients, most lawyers prefer sticking to a particular area of law, thereby dedicating all of their resources to this area. Within personal injury, a lawyer has a massive number of possible claims. These include accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workplace injury and more. Some lawyers choose to go further and devote all of their energy and time to a single area of litigation in the personal injury law field, becoming very thorough and experienced at arguing specific types of cases such as work accidents, aviation accidents or medical mistakes.