LITIGATION CONSULTING IS INTERESTING
Learn how litigation consulting is interesting, challenging, and profitable and why you should add “Forensic Engineering” to your practice as a consulting engineer.
By John D. Gaskell, Retired Consulting Engineer
Author of “The Complete Guide to FORENSIC ENGINEERING”
Forensic engineering is defined by the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) as “the application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution.” These engineers serve as consultants to the legal profession and as expert witnesses in courts of law.
- Consider engineering. Those who have good science and mathematical grades and interests should consider engineering.
- “Shadow.” Spend a day with an engineer of the discipline that interests you.
- College selection. Make sure that the college of your choice is ABET-EAC accredited.
- FE exam. In your senior year of college, take the FE written examination in the fundamentals of engineering.
- Gain experience. A minimum of four (4) years of “certifiable” experience in engineering work is required to be eligible to take the PE exam.
- Start studying for the PE exam at least 6 months prior to the exam date. Review sample exams in a wide variety of aspects in your specialty.
- PE Exam. Take the PE exam as soon as you are eligible. Not everyone passes the first time. Don’t give up.
- Know the laws. Comply with the Professional Registration Laws in all the states where you will practice.
- Consider forensic engineering. Litigation consulting is interesting, challenging, and profitable. Carefully ponder the pros and cons of being a “forensic engineer”:
Benefits: Litigation consulting is interesting, challenging, and profitable with low liability, high hourly rates, advanced payment via retainer, and little competition.
Drawbacks: Can be stressful and sometimes requires travel.
- Consider consulting engineering. This is the best way to gain experience in your basic engineering discipline to make your testimony credible as an expert witness. Carefully ponder the pros and cons of being a “consulting engineer”:
Benefits: Offers full involvement with all aspects of interesting projects while not being tied to a desk.
Drawbacks: Include being in an adversarial position in a cyclical industry, the stress of deadlines, the pressure to be profitable, and the dilemma of either too much or too little work.
- Consider ownership. Carefully mull over the pros and cons of “owning” a consulting engineering/forensic engineering practice:
Benefits: Making all of the final decisions; never being laid-off; keeping all of the profits; and being able to sell a valuable asset upon retirement.
Drawbacks: Personal and family sacrifices; difficulty of dealing with employees and acceptance of any losses.
Litigation consulting is interesting, challenging, and profitable. If what is involved interests you, I recommend adding “Forensic Engineering” to your practice as a consulting engineer.
Get Jack’s new book: The “Complete Guide” to FORENSIC ENGINEERING to learn the details. Also, the largest chapter in his book: The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING covers the “highlights” of Forensic Engineering. Visit TheEngineersResource.com to find out more.
Learn how to be a forensic engineer. Learn how to be a forensic expert witness. How to be an engineering expert witness. How to obtain training as a forensic engineer. How to obtain training as an engineering expert witness.