As fascinating as it sounds being a corporate lawyer is a job with billions of dollars of responsibility on your shoulders. Being a corporate lawyer is not easy as you need to be well aware and updated about corporate or organization-level tactics and the way they work, and also you should have an experience in law in general. The main duty of a corporate lawyer is to assure that all the business transactions happening in a company are lawfully done.
Besides this, they look after protecting the business value and its right for their clients and help them to achieve their goals within the boundary of law. For this, they must have a very good knowledge of statutory law and regulations made by governmental bodies.
The government has made various corporate laws to have a smooth corporate operation. Corporate lawyers are responsible to know every in and out of that law book so that they can help their client which is a business entity whenever needed. A corporate lawyer needs to have a very good understanding of subjects like,
- A corporate lawyer needs to have a very good understanding of tax reforms so that they can guide their client better with laws that are associated with the tax.
- Various federal securities laws govern some acts like making an offer, doing a sale and trading the securities. Being a corporate you need to be well aware of all of these and help your client during any business transactions.
- A corporate lawyer can help their client in case of Bankruptcy, for Intellectual property rights and with Licensing and zoning laws.
It is a moral duty and obligation for a corporate lawyer that the functioning of a corporate organization should not conflict with any federal, local, or state laws. All the trial laws involve two parties and the basis of practising corporate law is that it is a team effort if you belong to either party (corporate organisation) you may be a strict competitor to the other party, and you have to protect the interest of both the parties and solve any issue amicably.
What is a corporate lawyer?
Being a corporate lawyer, your chief job is to guarantee that all business-related transactions are legitimately done. You may also have to counsel the corporation and make them aware towards their legal rights and obligations. This may also include obligations and different responsibilities of corporate executives under the law. A corporate lawyer is an attorney who works for a company and represents it whenever needed, as a corporate lawyer you can handle different companies at a time, they will be termed as your clients.
Various big companies and also small business firms may hire the services of a corporate lawyer so that under their supervision company commits all the legal activities by following all rules, and regulations and in exchange for that they pay a hefty amount which we discuss later.
I am sure by now you must be well aware of the fact that what are the basic responsibilities of being a corporate lawyer. We will go deeper into this world and learn how to become one and what skills are needed to become a successful corporate lawyer. Also, we will learn the average salary they make, maybe by looking at that fancy figure you can motivate yourself more.
Responsibilities of a corporate lawyer
- The basic responsibility of a corporate lawyer is to protect their client’s rights in terms of law and advise them in accordance with the rules and regulations. Insuring all the laws and good practices are performed in an organisation. Besides these main duties, there are several other responsibilities of a corporate lawyer.
- As a corporate lawyer you have to protect your client from doing unlawful activities and for that, you have to examine and approve all the business agreements made by the company with its business partners, other personnel, suppliers, and vendors.
- Advising their clients which are business owners and in corporate leadership to adhere to all the rules and regulations and apply them in their sectors.
- In the normal working of a corporation agreements and business, deals are often signed between multiple parties as a corporate lawyer you need to assure that all those deals and agreements are well written and documented under the law.
- Being a corporate lawyer, you need to develop a handbook for the employees of all the rules and regulations of the workplace and have to make sure that they must be followed.
- You need to represent your client or the employer in many cases in a courtroom. In the board meetings discuss all the rules and regulation and their implementations.
- Organisations and businesses daily go through mergers and acquisitions being a corporate lawyer you need to be very strong on this part.
- Restructuring the companies and their business proceedings as per the investor’s and owner’s needs.
- As a corporate lawyer many a time you need to mediate a dispute between top management and lower management, or among the board members.
- A corporate lawyer has to play a pivotal role in establishing strategies for the company which may help them to succeed and this can be done with the help of stakeholders, board members and senior management.
- You need to organise various training sessions and workshops to facilitate all the employees.
- One of the most important parts of your job is to manage a team of junior associates, paralegals and legal assistants.
Some highlights for getting into a corporate lawyer
So far, we have tried to discuss what exactly being a corporate lawyer means, and all the roles and responsibilities one has to go through to be a good corporate lawyer. As we know that this is a pressure job as brand value, equity and the possible future of a firm depend on you. Getting into corporate law is not easy as it sounds it is very tough to get admission to the top twenty law colleges.
The acceptance rate of these top colleges is way below 10% only. The chances of finding a summer job depend on the type and credibility of the school that you have attended and this will also impact the permanent job that you will get.
The size of the firm and its geographical location directly impact the starting salary you are going to make also it will assure the kind of exposure you will get in the job. If you are working in a smaller firm the roles and responsibilities that you will play are going to be way different than that of a large firm, also on the salary part, it was believed that the salary offered for a role of a corporate lawyer in a small fir will be very lower as compare to that of a big firm for the same position.
Apart from this, the job responsibilities are going to be very different a small-town corporate lawyer might deal with small-town companies’ problems while a big corporate lawyer may be fixing a huge billion-dollar merger or maybe acquisition.
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How to become a corporate lawyer
If you are with us till now, I think that you had made your mind clear to make a career to become a corporate lawyer. Now we are going to discuss how you are going to get into it.
Start your college education by doing in a related discipline
First, we believe that you are in your school days and are fascinated to become a corporate lawyer. While studying for the basic subjects you can get involved doing some extracurricular activities and be part of a social group that is in the practice of law administration in this way you can lay the foundation to practise law in your higher studies.
You should think about doing some volunteer work at a law firm or joining a debate club the most important thing is to build a relationship with your advisors because they may help you by writing letters of recommendation when you join a law college or a job after graduation.
Once you have entered the graduation college you can earn your degree in some related disciplines like business, finance, political science, economics, and legal studies from an accredited college or university.
Complete your internship and apply for the law colleges
An internship is a great way to start any career, it allows you to gain related knowledge and experience in the field. You can start doing an internship at a local law firm, maybe some government offices which are closely associated with law practice, or legal clinics.
An internship is a great way to get first-hand knowledge and understand what to expect from being a corporate lawyer. During the internship, you got to meet professionals who will be able to answer your queries that you might have during your early days as you are consuming the knowledge. Their mentorship can encourage you for doing good and follow your path to be a corporate lawyer, they also guide you and might refer you later on for an open position.
The next step for becoming a corporate lawyer will be applying to take admission to a law school that has earned American Bar Association accreditation. The GPA or Grade Point Average requirements depends on the college. While taking the admission you might need other necessary documents like a letter of recommendation and statement of purpose. You should check all the requirements and help documents that are required by specific colleges or universities for admission.
To secure your admission to a law school you might be required to take LSAT which is Law School Admission Test. LSAT is a type of standardised test that will determine your ability to be successful in law school. It will test your reasoning and thinking abilities and also test your written and logical statements.
Clear your bar exam along with your juris doctor degree and get the license
You can successfully become a corporate lawyer once you earn your J.D or juris doctor degree which you can obtain by attending a law school, and for that reason, you may have to take subjects like,
Judicial processes, legal administration, torts, criminal and civil law, taxation and legal defence.
Once you get through the law college you need to sit for ABA which is American Bar Association’s exam. When you are done with both major things you can apply for the license in your state. The process for getting a license is to pay the fees and your fingerprints, they also do a complete background check of you and then you can submit your application to your state board.
Jobs for a corporate lawyer
If you are passionate enough to work in the law, there are various jobs you can try besides being a corporate lawyer.
- Being a paralegal or a trademark paralegal
- A mediator or negotiator
- A family lawyers
- Employment or general practice lawyer
- An associate attorney
Salary offered to corporate lawyers
As discussed earlier that the salary offered to a corporate lawyer may depend on the geographic location or the size of the company. For example, the average income of a corporate lawyer in New York is $186,861 while the average salary of a corporate lawyer, in general, is $130,857.