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A Career In Corporate Law

Feb 4, 2008
Qualifications

To be a lawyer, one needs to be a qualified in the field of law. To be a graduate in law, it takes four years in undergraduate school and three years' specialization in law through a law school. In this case, specialization would be in corporate law. To practice law, you need a license. To get the license, you first need to pass the bar exam - an examination that will test your knowledge, character and attitude. After the test, students are then recruited by law firms.

Junior Corporate Associate

As a junior corporate lawyer, you will be learning things the hard way. As a junior corporate associate, you have to do the grunt work of organizing documents, faxing, proofreading, copying, scheduling meetings, etc. In addition to these, the junior associate also has various other duties. These duties can be classified into various categories such as drafting contracts and conducting reviews, preparing filings, due diligence and writing of memoranda. A lot of a junior associates' time is spend doing research work. A lot of trial and error work goes on into drafting contracts, security disclosure statements and corporate resolutions - and these are things that are not necessarily taught in law school. The junior associate, at times, has to spend a lot of time proofreading.

A law firm may later offer a junior associate the role of a partner. This involves working on individual projects and having junior associates working for you. So to be a good corporate leader, you will need to be hard working, diligent and possess excellent problem solving skills. A corporate lawyer gets paid extremely well, but the job it involves a lot of hard work. Many corporate attorneys work in excess of 60 hours a week.

What Does A Corporate Lawyer Do?

A corporate lawyer mostly works in the legal department of a business, as a legal advisor. Their work includes dealing with issues of taxes, employee rights, amalgamations, mergers and acquisitions. In short, a corporate lawyer has to ensure the legality of commercial transactions. There are other types of practice a corporate lawyer could undertake, and not all lawyers do the same type of job. Some provide advice on legal or/and non-legal issues to the corporation. In this area, the work of a corporate lawyer starts from the formation a corporation and goes on through the life of the business. Until it is dissolved.

The articles of incorporation of a company (i.e. the documents that deal with the formation of the corporation and the structure of the management, of its internal affairs) are drafted by the corporate lawyer. They also have to investigate the best entity for a particular business (i.e. partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability companies).

Each corporate lawyer's duties are different, and this adds to the appeal of the profession. Because each entity has its own set of responsibilities, rights, tax structure and organizational structure, corporate lawyers have to be resourceful and persistent in their work. If this is you, and you have the stamina to undertake a rigorous educational program and then pass the bar exam, then a career in corporate law may be right for you.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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