What is a ‘tort’?
Torts are not tasty European cakes with lashings of icing. They are wrongs committed by one individual against another individual. Tort law allows individuals to claim against any losses they suffer as a result of another’s action.
Many of us are familiar with “no win, no fee” personal injury law firms, which are most often associated with this area of law. However, this is just one part of a much wider area of law that looks at loads of different types of tort from slander and trespass, to noise pollution and false imprisonment.
What does tort law cover?
Tort law covers a range of issues in society and offers a number of different career opportunities.
Essentially, the purpose of this area of law is to ensure that individuals do not suffer unnecessary loss. Loss can take a variety of different forms. For example, someone may be prevented from working due to an injury they sustained from my actions, in which case the court may decide I need to pay for any losses incurred. Alternatively, I could say or write something about another person, which damages their reputation (this is called slander when spoken and libel when written) and they may sue me to claim damages against the harm I may have caused.
Lawyers working in this subsector will have to work alongside individuals who feel they have suffered a loss and you will need to work with clients to decide if there has been a loss, what type of loss it is and convince the court with your arguments. As with all areas of law, it will also involve lots of paper work and an array of support staff are needed from secretaries and legal executives, to reporters and court interpreters.
What skills do I need to get into tort law?
Tort law sometimes requires you to act quickly. In particular, in slander and libel cases you will be up against the clock to prevent irreparable damage from occurring; rushing to prevent articles from being published or television programmes from airing. You may also find yourself working on high-profile cases where discretion will be of paramount importance.
Your clients will stretch the entire social spectrum, so having a knack for getting on with all types of people will be a great asset.
Understanding and empathy are also essential traits for people working in this area of law and you will need the ability to convey complex matters in an easily accessible way. You should also be able to handle large volumes of work, perform well under pressure and work to tight deadlines.
Our sister site AllAboutLaw has all the information you’ll need on law, including tort law!