What does a corporate lawyer do?
Corporate lawyers provide essential legal advice to corporations and individuals regarding legal rights, practices, and obligations and make sure all business practices and transactions are legal and do not conflict with federal or state laws. They defend their clients against lawsuits and defend the organization from corporate matters such as patent violations. Corporate lawyers also help their clients stay current on new business laws and regulations. They give advice on tax issues, labor relations, employee contracts, patents, employee injury, products and services contracts, and possible suits against the corporation. They often represent corporations in civil and criminal court cases help keep them out of trouble by expecting and helping solve problems. Corporate lawyers are involved with corporate structures, mergers, contract law, corporate liabilities, and capital structure.
What kind of training does a corporate lawyer need?
Corporate lawyers typically have an undergraduate degree in pre-law studies, business, or other related field and a juris doctorate degree. To enter law school, students must receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). When choosing a school it is important for aspiring corporate lawyers to choose one accredited by the American Bar Association. Students typically complete courses in corporate law, tax law, trusts, contracts, corporate finance, and insurance law. Law school students often complete internships at corporate law firms while attending school to gain practical experience. Law school graduates must pass a written bar examination to become licensed. Corporate lawyers must also stay up to date on advancements in the field and often complete continuing education courses.
What are the prospects for a career as a corporate lawyer?
Employment of lawyers is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 11% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Population growth and the increase corporate cases will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition. Corporate lawyers with excellent academic scores from highly regarded law schools and those with extensive experience will have the best job prospects.
How much do corporate lawyers make?
As of October 2009, corporate lawyers with less than 1 year experience earned average annual salaries between $51,657 and $136,119. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earned average annual salaries between $65,899 and $121,925 (2).
A career as a corporate lawyer is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in business law practices. Corporate lawyers must have excellent written and oral communication skills and an incisive mind. They must be extremely knowledgeable about laws and regulations to effectively help their clients. Perseverance, patience, strong negotiation skills, and great reasoning ability are also essential qualities.