Careers Involving Law and Medicine

Jul 29, 2021

Career Options Involving Law and Medicine

People with experience or a degree in law or medicine can choose from a variety of careers. Career options include positions in nursing and pathology, as well as medical malpractice. The five careers profiled below are just several examples of positions that combine law and medicine.

Job Title Median Salary (2021)* Job Growth (2019-2029)**
Forensic Psychologist $72,057 2% (Psychologists, All Other)
Forensic Pathologist $103,423 4% (Physicians & Surgeons, All Other)
Correctional Forensic Nurse $30.61 (hourly, Forensic Nurse) 7% (Registered Nurses)
Medical Legal Advisor $81,734 (Legal Advisor) 5% (Legal Occupations)
Medical Malpractice Attorney $95,000 4% (Lawyers)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information for Jobs Involving Law and Medicine

Forensic Psychologist

A career as a forensic psychologist combines an understanding of both medical and legal principles. These psychologists specialize in working with law enforcement officers like lawyers and judges during judicial proceedings. Their focus is to help these personnel understand the driving psychological factors in cases. Forensic psychologists typically interview suspects and witnesses involved in cases, often serving as expert witnesses during judicial proceedings. Forensic psychologists will need a doctoral degree and a state license.

Forensic Pathologist

Individuals interested in law and medicine could consider working as a forensic pathologist, as they are responsible for determining the cause of death for people. They do so by performing autopsies and reviewing any applicable evidence. Forensic pathologists can work for local, state, or federal government agencies. This career requires a doctoral degree and state licensure, with some positions requiring certification by the American Board of Pathology.

Correctional Forensic Nurse

A career as a correctional forensic nurse may appeal to those interested in law and medicine, as these nurses provide medical care to people in correctional facilities. Job responsibilities may include administering medication as directed by doctors, screening inmates when they enter a facility, and developing and executing treatment plans for patients. These nurses may also be responsible for entering patient information into an electronic health record. Correctional forensic nurses will need a bachelor's degree and must be licensed as a registered nurse. Individuals can pursue certification through the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.

Medical Legal Adviser

Individuals interested in a career in law and medicine could consider working as a medical legal adviser. These advisers serve as the liaison between fellow doctors and the judicial process. Medical legal advisers may provide advice, assist with claims or criminal complaints, and represent doctors in judicial proceedings. Individuals in this field may have a doctoral degree, while others may pursue a master's degree in medical law and ethics.

Medical Malpractice Attorney

A medical malpractice attorney is a lawyer who specializes in handling cases in which medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and dentists, are accused of negligence while providing medical care. These attorneys may handle cases involving incorrect diagnoses, surgical mistakes, and incidents during childbirth. Job duties can include interviewing medical experts, evaluating medical records, and coordinating third-party medical examinations for clients. These attorneys will need a Juris Doctor and must successfully pass their state bar exam. They can choose to pursue board certification through an organization like the America Board of Professional Liability Attorneys.

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