What does a securities lawyer do?
Securities lawyers provide legal representation and advice to clients on issues related to securities. They often handle issues such as transfers of stock, insider trading, and horizontal mergers between companies. They interact with a variety of clients and are typically involved in conflict resolution, handling litigation, protecting companies during audits, and providing guidance on company policies. They also often act as an excellent resource for creating new policies or procedures. Securities lawyers must constantly stay informed on the laws and legal rulings involving securities. They often work for corporate clients or large firms that complete trades on the securities market. Some work for government agents and focus on litigation or enforcement.
What kind of training does a securities lawyer need?
Securities lawyers must have a bachelor degree and law degree from an accredited law school. All law schools require candidates to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Law school provides intensive instruction and offers many practical learning opportunities. Prospective securities lawyers often complete courses in business administration, finance, business law, securities law, and transactions. Most law schools require students to complete an internship prior to graduation. Many aspiring securities lawyers complete internships or clerkships at firms that specialize in securities law to gain practical experience and increase changes of employment after graduation. All states require securities lawyers to pass the state bar examination and become licensed. Many states also require an additional ethics examination. Securities lawyers must complete regular continuing legal education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills current, and stay up to date with advancements and changes in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a securities lawyer?
Employment of all lawyers, including securities lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1).
Job prospects should be good with strong competition. Securities lawyers with excellent academic records and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do securities lawyers make?
As of February 2010, the average annual salary for securities lawyers is $111,000; average annual securities lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a securities lawyer is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in securities law. Securities lawyers must have a solid understanding of the concepts, rules, and regulations of securities laws. Detail orientation, patience, critical thinking, and good problem solving skills are essential characteristics. Securities lawyers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to work with a wide range of people including corporate clients and other legal professionals. They must be able to make effective decisions under stress and pressure.