Corporate Attorney Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a corporate attorney job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a corporate attorney. Feel free to use our corporate attorney job description template to produce your own corporate attorney job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a corporate attorney.
Who is a Corporate Attorney?
A Corporate Attorney is an expert in corporate law. The attorney is responsible for navigating the regulations of a company’s constitution and stockholder and manager rights. Corporate attorneys perform duties such as due diligence. They must also negotiate agreements with various parties and authenticate all business accounts and finances. They inform clients of their legal rights, obligations, and tasks.
There are no two corporate transactions or deals that are the same. Several factors can influence the differences, including the type of industry and the size of the companies involved.
Clients in this field include global companies, investment firms, privately owned businesses, small and medium-sized businesses, regulatory agencies, and governments.
When a corporation hires a corporate lawyer, the lawyer represents the corporation, not its stockholders or staff. A corporation is a legal entity formed under state law for business purposes. Under the law, a corporation is a separate entity.
Corporate law encompasses all of the legal issues that arise in running a corporation, which is numerous because corporations are subject to complex state and federal regulations. Most states require corporations, among other things, to hold regular meetings, such as annual shareholder meetings.
Corporate attorneys ensure that corporations follow these rules while also doing other types of work.
As a corporate attorney, your work includes acting on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), restructuring corporate entities, and divesting unprofitable sections. You could assist clients in listing on global stock exchanges and obtaining financing from private equity and venture capitalists. Your work on any deal or transaction will progress through various stages. To begin, you may negotiate and draft documentation with your client’s accountants, financial advisors, and managerial representatives. Assisting in finance, whether from banks or private investors, securing guarantees and other assets, completing due diligence reports, and checking on debts, employees, ownership details, and existing liabilities may all be part of the deal.
To top it all off, you might finalize the deal with all involved parties, obtain necessary approvals through resolutions at board meetings, and complete registration and other formalities as needed. Among the agreements and transactions that comprise corporate law, a significant portion of work involves dealing with private equity funds and listing clients’ companies on recognized stock exchanges. A private equity investor typically holds stock or ownership in unlisted companies.
A corporate attorney’s job is to make necessary financial arrangements when launching a new business venture, expanding operations, partnering with or taking over another company, or arranging MBO financing.
Contrary to popular belief, most corporate lawyers rarely appear in court. Instead, the majority of their work is considered transactional. That is, they spend most of their time assisting a corporation in avoiding litigation.
More specifically, corporate attorneys may devote their time to:
Contracts: Reviewing, drafting, and negotiating legally binding agreements on behalf of the corporation, which could range from lease agreements to multi-billion dollar acquisitions.
M&A (mergers and acquisitions): Conducting due diligence, negotiating, drafting, and generally supervising deals in which a corporation merges with another company or acquires another company.
Corporate governance: It entails assisting clients in developing the framework for how a company is directed and controlled, such as by drafting articles of incorporation, developing bylaws, advising corporate directors and officers on their rights and responsibilities, and developing other policies used to manage the company.
Venture capital (VC): assisting new or existing businesses in obtaining funds to build or expand their businesses, which can include either private or public financing
Securities: Advising clients on securities law compliance, which includes the complex regulations aimed at preventing fraud, insider trading, and market manipulation within publicly traded companies, as well as promoting transparency.
Corporate Attorney Job Description
What is a corporate attorney job description? A corporate attorney job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a corporate attorney in an organization. Below are the corporate attorney job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a corporate attorney job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
Corporate attorneys are responsible for the following duties and responsibilities:
- Attend company meetings and negotiate contracts on the company’s behalf.
- Advise management on regulatory and compliance issues to ensure compliance with legal regulations.
- Consult and handle all corporate legal processes.
- Create and manage the company’s legal policy and position.
- Examine new vendor and subcontractor business partnerships.
- Examine the legal implications of new products and services.
- Prepare the necessary legal documents for a trial or court hearing.
- Represent the company in legal proceedings.
- Safeguard the company from legal risks and violations.
- Bachelor’s degree in law.
- Go to law school and pass the bar exam in their country.
- Must have done an internship in a law firm.
- Licensed to practice law from the State/Country Bar Association.
- Analytical skills
Analytical skills are the ability to break down information and extract details. Corporate attorneys use this skill to review contracts, identify risks, and make decisions. They also use it to analyze evidence and locate the most pertinent information for a case.
- Attention to details
One of the most relevant skills for corporate lawyers to have is attention to detail. Handling large business transactions and deals necessitates working with many details; minor errors within these details can have far-reaching consequences. Small mistakes can cost your clients and your firm a lot of money, so learning to pay attention to detail can be the difference between success and failure.
- Business and Legal Ethics
Every profession requires an understanding of ethics. Legal ethics serves as a guidepost for lawyers, ensuring that they stay within the bounds of the law. Similarly, business ethics are the principles that guide a company and aid in maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders, competitors, and so on. A good corporate attorney must understand legal and corporate ethics and how to regulate and adhere to them. Corporate attorneys must be able to advise their clients on ethical practices because a company’s reputation is relevant to its success. Good ethics are a fundamental requirement for an attorney’s career. When it comes to client confidentiality, conflicts of interest, money transactions, and professional conduct, you must be able to demonstrate and adhere to the highest level of honesty and integrity.
- Contract Preparation
Companies regularly introduce new contracts to take on deals, renew old ones, and build relationships. A corporate attorney must be capable of drafting contracts and ensuring they are legal and meet all legal requirements.
- Business and Market Awareness
Business awareness is understanding the business and environment in which the organization operates. You must understand what makes a business successful, such as its products, buyers, sellers, and technology. Furthermore, you must be aware of evolving corporate and business law in the domains in which your clients operate. Corporate lawyers should read and listen to materials to stay current on trends and news.
While understanding the complexities of the law is essential for success as a corporate attorney, so is developing a strong commercial awareness. Commercial developments can occur quickly and have far-reaching consequences. The best way to stay informed is to become familiar with current trends and legislative developments affecting the sector. Being aware of the larger commercial environment you practice can help you stay one step ahead of your competitors.
As a corporate lawyer, you must be proficient in oral and written communication. You must be able to convey your thoughts and explain the complexities of corporate law, whether written or spoken. You could also write legal documents or reports and give a presentation based on your research. When arguing in court, you must not only be a good communicator but also be able to present your arguments clearly and concisely. You will be required to communicate and negotiate while working on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, contracts, taxes, and project financing, among other things. A successful corporate lawyer’s ability to convey legal or business terms concisely goes a long way in their career.
- Critical thinking
Corporate attorneys face challenges, and overcoming them necessitates creative problem-solving. Deductive reasoning is a crucial skill that critical thinking instills in you. Deductive reasoning enables an individual to conduct an in-depth analysis of an issue. Participating in moot courts and simulated trials assists law students in developing objective analysis and evaluation skills.
Understanding client briefs and developing a thorough knowledge of the issue are critical in constructing the legal framework. Furthermore, in large corporate offices, you will be expected to lead the legal department and thus have exceptional leadership skills.
Negotiation is a peaceful method of resolving disputes through discussion; in the legal context, it means negotiating a contract or settling a dispute. Corporate attorneys should also be excellent negotiators. They must be skilled at negotiating because no company wants to spend money on expensive litigation and is always willing to settle disputes peacefully. They may use negotiation skills to assist their clients in reaching mutually beneficial agreements.
A corporate attorney may attend court, manage case files, meet with clients, or draft contracts, among other things. As a result, organizational skills are critical. A good corporate lawyer can organize his work, prioritize it, and meet deadlines rather than work haphazardly. Thus, one of the skills required of corporate attorneys is organization.
- Open to learning
As a successful corporate attorney, you must constantly learn to keep your technical skills up to date. You may be required to interpret and internalize new laws and legal structures and keep up with new market products. In such a fast-paced and competitive field, demonstrating your ambition and eagerness to take on new challenges can help you stand out.
Staying positive in the face of long hours and meticulous tasks is essential for success in corporate law. If you choose this career, you will need to put in a lot of effort, and positivity can help you deal with these challenges. You may need to make time sacrifices for a case or clients while remaining professional, dependable, and eager to assist. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you build a solid reputation and sense of professional responsibility.
- Understanding of Company Law
You must have an understanding of the company law in your country to be a successful corporate lawyer. You must have a thorough knowledge of the Companies Act. As a corporate lawyer, you may be required to know and refer to minute details contained in specific laws. To be successful, all corporate lawyers must exhibit a high level of technical skill, particularly in contract law, corporate law, and even government policy.
- Strong Legal Knowledge
One of the requirements for a corporate attorney’s career is a thorough understanding of the statutory laws and regulations that govern their clients’ businesses or fields of work. Corporate attorneys must be knowledgeable to assist their organizations with legal transactions and compliance.
Corporate attorneys must also learn to interpret documents and fact sheets. Corporate law is a demanding profession that necessitates ongoing education and training. You should not relax and assume that your academics taught you everything you need to know. A corporate attorney should constantly read new material, study new cases, scan news stories, and stay updated on trends and happenings.
- Research skills
Attorneys frequently research laws, regulations, and precedents to assist their clients in understanding their legal rights and obligations. Corporate attorneys may research company bylaws, contracts, and other legal documents to help their clients to understand their legal responsibilities. They may also conduct legal and regulatory research to assist their clients in understanding how proposed business transactions may affect their company.
How to Become a Corporate Attorney
Different countries have different routes to becoming corporate attorneys. Here is how you can be one in the United States.
Get your bachelor’s degree
Earning a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline, such as business, finance, political science, legal studies, government, or economics, is one of the first steps toward becoming a corporate attorney. Consider how you can get involved in groups and extracurricular activities to help you on your career path while you are still in school. Consider joining student government, starting a debate club, or volunteering at a law firm. You can also strengthen your relationships with your advisors, who will write letters of recommendation for you when you apply for law school or a job after graduation.
Participate in an internship
Look into internships at local law firms, government offices, and legal clinics. An internship will allow you to see firsthand what a career as an attorney entails. You can also meet professionals who can answer your questions, advise you on your career path, encourage you, become a part of your network, and refer you to a position later on. During an internship, you may file paperwork, assist attorneys, assist the firm in preparing for a court appearance, and conduct legal research to support a partner’s case.
Apply to a law school.
Applying to law school is the next step toward becoming a corporate lawyer. Each law school’s requirements are different regarding the grade point average (GPA) you will need and the supporting documents, like letters of recommendation and graduate statement of purpose, the college will want to see from applicants. It is best to see what individual schools require so you can best prepare and submit an application for the admissions committee to review.
Most law schools require that you take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), a standardized test that measures how likely you will succeed in law school. The LSAT tests your critical thinking and reasoning abilities and how able you are to read and comprehend logical statements and other written information.
Get your Juris doctorate.
Law school prepares you to earn your Juris Doctor (J.D. ), the degree required to practice as an attorney. Take elective courses in your specialties, such as contracts, antitrust law, and corporate transactions. Attend career fairs hosted by your college while you are still in school. You will have the opportunity to meet with attorneys from various companies and firms and discuss your career goals and skills gained while in school. You can ask these professionals if you can meet with them off-campus for an informational meeting to learn more about their firm.
Take and pass the bar examination
Even if you do well in law school, you must pass the bar exam. It is to assess your knowledge of general and more specific legal issues that you may encounter while working in the field. States’ requirements for who can take the bar exam vary, so check with your state’s board to ensure you meet the requirements to take the exam.
Obtain your state’s license.
After passing the bar exam, you can apply for state licensing. It usually entails paying a fee, getting fingerprinted, passing a background check, and submitting an application to your state’s licensing board.
Meet with experts in the field
When looking for a job as a corporate lawyer, you may have more success if you connect with current professionals in the field. Check the various professional networks available so you can gain access to networking events, industry news, and training that can help you build your knowledge of corporate law. Those you meet can give you insight into the industry, help you find a job, and recommend continuing education courses or employers to look into when applying for positions.
Create your resume
A strong resume can persuade a hiring manager that you are the best candidate for the open position and what unique qualities and experience you can bring to the company. Create a resume objective that includes relevant work experience, volunteer work, and skills that distinguish you from your peers.
Where to Work as a Corporate Attorney
- Private companies
- Legal firms
Corporate Attorney Salary Scale
A corporate attorney’s salary varies as it depends on location, workplace, and education. In the United States, a corporate attorney makes an annual average of $128,305.