A corporate lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in corporate law. Corporate lawyers provide legal guidance for employers and clients. Lawyers typically begin a new case by meeting with clients and trying to understand the details of the legal issue. This may include reading corporate filings and consulting with other attorneys. After assessing the issue, corporate lawyers typically research prior cases and looking for established precedents.
Some corporate lawyers work in courtrooms and represent their clients in front of a judge and jury. During trial, they make opening and closing arguments in addition to examining and cross-examining witnesses. Although corporate lawyers typically work for large companies, they may also be self-employed and contract themselves out to many different firms.
EDUCATIONAL REUIREMENTS: After completion of a graduate degree the person should complete a three-year law degree from a law institute to become a lawyer. After completing their studies, law school graduates must take the bar exam in order to practice. Each state has its own bar exam.
WORK DESCRIPTION: Corporate lawyers are employed in a quick-paced work environment. Meetings with board members and management occupy part of their time where they are called upon to strategize and offer legal as well as business advice.
Their other duties may include:
Corporate lawyers must have a varied skill set, including business and financial acumen. It is crucial for corporate lawyers to understand the business effect of any legal decisions they make. All lawyers must be proficient in legal research to ensure that their clients are in compliance with the most recent rules and regulations. Corporate lawyers must also be excellent writers to communicate with clients and, if a client becomes embroiled in litigation, the court. Finally, corporate lawyers must be skilled negotiators because they need to bargain on behalf of their clients.
Responsibilities: Corporate lawyers' primary responsibility is to ensure that their clients' business transactions are in compliance with the law. The corporate lawyer must research the law implicated by that transaction and advise his client of any negative effects it might create. In addition to their regular duties, corporate attorneys ensure that their clients' legal decisions translate to a strong bottom line. For example, a corporate lawyer may consult with a company's marketing department to understand whether settling a dispute will affect the market's perspective of the company and hurt sales that quarter.
Corporate lawyers also act as dealmakers in complex transactions and commercial contract negotiations.
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