Areas of Law: How to Become a Corporate Lawyer
Introducing our free guide to corporate law and how to become a corporate lawyer – if this is a career path you’re interested in, take a look at our advice for following this aspiration.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer: What is Corporate Law?
Corporate law is a wide-ranging practice area that includes:
- Mergers and Acquisitions: this forms a large part of the practice and involves a company either absorbing another company into it or simply adding the company to its portfolio;
- The restructuring of companies: this could involve selling off parts of the business or its assets in order to make it more profitable;
- The incorporation of companies: this is the process by which a company achieves its own legal personality in law;
- Helping to list client’s companies on stock exchanges around the world;
- Other general corporate matters involving the provisions of a company’s constitution, shareholder and directors’ rights.
These areas require lawyers to work on the negotiation and drafting of agreements, carry out due diligence, arrange financing and register these agreements after the completion of a deal.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer: What is the Difference Between Corporate Law and Commercial Law?
Commercial law is a broader practice that encompasses areas such as intellectual property, franchising and litigation whilst corporate law is specifically focused on companies.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer: What Would be Some Typical Tasks?
Lawyers will often be required to carry out due diligence for companies checking that its accounts are all in check so that clients can carry out transactions in confidence. They also will be responsible for drafting and checking the documents that are used by corporations for incorporation, mergers and acquisitions etc. Finally, they will often be used for advice on shareholders and directors voting rights relating to the provisions of a company’s constitution.
How do a Corporate Solicitor and Corporate Barrister Work Differently?
A corporate solicitor will typically be responsible for dealing with their client’s issues or queries outside of court, whilst a corporate barrister will generally be responsible for representing their client in court after receiving direction from the solicitors.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer: What are Some of the Perks of a Career in Corporate Law?
One of the key benefits is the prestige attached to specialising in such a competitive area of the law. You also have a generous salary and the opportunity to work in a challenging but stimulating work environment.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer: What Sort of Person Would Suit a Career in Corporate Law?
The ideal candidate would have:
- Excellent knowledge of corporate law;
- An awareness of current trends and legislative developments that impact on the sector;
- Ambition, and they must thrive on the challenges that this sector will inevitably throw at you as the hours can be long and gruelling when completing a transaction for a client;
- The ability to build and maintain strong client relationships, as it is important that your clients want to use your firm’s services and return to you over other similar competing firms.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer: What are the Different Routes into Becoming a Corporate Lawyer?
You could either choose to take the graduate route and complete an undergraduate degree in law or in another subject and then a conversion course. You then take the LPC and obtain a training contract. Alternatively, you could do an apprenticeship to qualify as a solicitor or become a chartered legal executive and then specialise in corporate law.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer: What Work Experience Looks Good for a Career in Corporate Law?
Work experience that is business-related and can demonstrate your interest in how a company is run, as well as commercial awareness, looks good for a career in corporate law. Completing a vacation scheme at a law firm that tackles corporate law is another good starting point for this kind of career.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer: Some Topical Issues
Some current, potentially controversial issues that you may like to consider (and may discuss in applications/interviews) are:
Written by Joe Blackmore.