Corporate Lawyer Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a corporate lawyer. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a corporate lawyer.
Who is a Corporate Lawyer?
A Corporate Lawyer is an expert in commercial law and is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a company’s transaction conforms to corporate laws and regulations. They can also work at a law firm as part of the company’s legal team. Their responsibilities are preparing documents, negotiating deals, and assessing partnerships.
What is corporate law?
Corporate law is a legal practice that is important to both law firms and in-house legal teams. It is a practice area that has laws and regulations to which business practices and transactions such as buyouts, mergers acquisitions, and restructures are supposed to conform. They also counsel businesses on a range of topics such as acquisitions, mergers, trademarks, securities, tax law, real estate, and contracts.
Mergers and acquisitions are transactions whereby the ownership of a company is conferred to a consolidated individual. Corporate restructuring on the other hand is the process of significantly changing the structure of operations of a business to bring about rapid profit and efficiency.
They may also be involved with other aspects of running a business, such as giving advice on quality control or helping businesses to manage risk such as creating new procedures and policies for employees.
A corporate lawyer is a commercial lawyer but he differs from a commercial lawyer slightly. Both corporate lawyers and commercial lawyers have businesses but they have different focuses. A corporate lawyer assists a business when it is newly launched, during a period of change, and also during restructuring and closure. A commercial lawyer on the other hand primarily focuses on clients’ commercial activities. They can also be mandated to perform other services such as helping a business project or creating employment contracts for newly hired employees. Some people may love to specialize in either corporate or commercial law while other lawyers work as both corporate and commercial lawyers meeting business needs.
The work environment of a corporate lawyer is the office or court but in most cases, they work outside the court. They work outside the court helping businesses. For instance, they can help a business sign a merger contract with another business. However, if the other party of the business changes their mind and voids the contract, a litigation lawyer will take over the case. A corporate lawyer can go to court proceedings to give viable evidence about a case concerning their client’s business.
Corporate Lawyer Job Description
Below are the corporate lawyer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a corporate lawyer job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a corporate lawyer:
- Prepare the appropriate legal document for trial in a court proceeding
- Assess the latest business partnership with vendors and subcontractors
- Represent the company in legal issues such as filing lawsuits, defending lawsuits filed by third parties or stakeholders
- Consult with management to assist with the creation of new companies, mergers and acquisitions, and other business-related transactions which also can be drafting contracts and other documentation
- Evaluate and analyze contracts, deeds, wills, trusts, offerings, securities, leases, bonds, and other legal documents to ensure they comply with state laws and regulations
- Draft organizational documents such as bylaws, partnership agreements, and articles of incorporation
- Draft, assess, negotiates, and revise contracts including confidential agreements, non-disclosure agreements, settlement agreement, and purchase agreement
- Conduct internal investigation into potential wrongdoing by company’s employees
- Research applicable laws, precedents, and regulations to prepare for trial and negotiation
- Prepare legal documents such as complaints, answers to complaints, motions, orders, summonses, and judgment
- Assist in the development of strategies to manage risk exposure and prevent legal problems from occurring
- Verify accounts and finance for corporate financial transactions
- Collaborate with other corporate lawyers and the General Counsel on corporate agreements and strategic legal decisions
- Monitor clerks and junior lawyers
- A bachelor’s degree in law
- Licensed to practice law from the State Bar Association
- A minimum of 3 years of proven experience as a corporate lawyer
- Excellent communication skills both verbal and written
- Outstanding managerial and negotiation skills
- Highly analytical with strong attention to detail
- Legal research skills
- Technology and software knowledge
- Time management and organization
- Client development and customer service skills
- Interpersonal Skills
- Ability to Multi-task
- Knowledge of business or how to manage a business
- Technical knowledge and Application: Corporate lawyers need to possess a good knowledge of corporate law and the industry they work in. A good understanding of corporate law will help them assist their clients productively. Their specialty should help clients satisfy legal requirements and ensure that their transactions and agreements run smoothly. The knowledge of corporate law will also help them identify potential legal issues.
- Negotiation Skills; corporate lawyers need to possess good negotiation skills to effectively represent their clients in courts and other legal matters. They must be able to apply their negotiation skills to give a client more favorable conditions in a merger deal. Good corporate lawyers need to know how to negotiate for their clients effectively to reduce delays in closing business deals.
- Relationship Management: Relationship is one of the basics cooperate lawyers need to capitalize on to remain relevant. Relationship skills are crucial because it helps corporate lawyers keep a positive relationship with clients, business partners, and other employees. They act confidently around clients and ensure that everyone gets their full focus during a meeting. They put their client’s interests first before their interest and can be flexible if necessary or when the need arises.
The most successful corporate also builds a bond with other coworkers at all levels of the organization. They build a strong bond with members of their team and contribute their quota to the success of the team. They are also responsible for training newly recruited staff, they mentor them in the field of corporate.
- Time management
Time management skills are highly crucial and they will make corporate lawyers meet up with deadlines. Sometimes, corporate lawyers will have so many clients waiting to be attended to at once; they must know how to manage their time judiciously to make sure they meet every client’s demands. They need to be able to prioritize tasks; a task that is pressing should be attended to first before tasks that are not too important. This helps them manage their time effectively and meet up with the expectations of their clients.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Corporate lawyers need to possess an analytical mind to bring solutions to people’s legal issues. They use their knowledge of the law to come up with solutions to cases their clients bring to them. For them to succeed in this task, they may sometime have to conduct an in-depth investigation to get to the root of the issue. This process requires excellent decision-making skills and good judgment.
- Self-management: Corporate lawyers must be independent; they help others work out their cases hence there is a need for them to be independent. They should be able to have a good professional attitude and contribute their skills such as motivation and productive skills to their work. They also need to take responsibility for their work; they have to accept responsibility when they fail and responsibility when they succeed. If a senior lawyer offers feedback on an issue, they need to accept it wholeheartedly and apply it to their work for them to be more efficient.
- Communication: they must possess strong written and verbal communication. They should be able to interact with clients and other lawyers effectively. Interacting with clients is highly crucial because that is one of the strategies they will use to get more information from clients about an issue. They should make clients be able to trust them.
They should also be able to interpret legal terms or legal terminologies for clients. They should be able to draft documents such as wills, contracts, and other legal documents.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer
To become a corporate lawyer, you should follow the steps highlighted below:
- Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree in Law
An individual considered to be a lawyer must, first of all, acquire a bachelor’s degree in law which usually takes five years to complete in Nigeria but it takes three to four years to complete in other schools. A bachelor’s degree in law should be acquired in an accredited university to qualify you to go to law school. Some Corporate lawyers choose a dual degree to gain assess to the corporate world. They can study Bachelor of Law or Bachelor of Business Administration. You can also enroll in a two-year postgraduate study to become a Juris doctor. This post-graduate study also helps people who don’t have a background in corporate law to practice corporate law. Some individuals complete a bachelor of Business Administration before the Juris doctor degree which provides them with relevant knowledge for aspiring corporate lawyers.
- Complete practical Legal training
Becoming a lawyer is beyond studying law, practical legal experience in the field before you start practicing fully exposes you to the legal sector. You can acquire this training by getting a mentor in the field of corporate law to work under. You can also acquire this experience by completing a Juris Doctor course upon your graduation as a separate program called a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice. This program usually involves an online study and a duration of 80 days working with a lawyer and preferably a corporate lawyer. Your state Legal Admission Board can help you enroll in practical legal training.
- Get a Practicing Certificate
Upon your graduation from law school, you will be offered a certificate if you pass the exams, the certificate is what gives you the unction to practice law. For instance, in Nigeria, it is called “Call to Bar” in which you become a lawyer of the Supreme Court in Nigeria. This certificate makes you a solicitor which is the echelon of most corporate lawyers in Nigeria You should be conscious that your certificate is only valid or recognized in your state once you change location; you may need to apply for a practicing certificate. For instance, if you are a lawyer in the United Kingdom and you change location to Nigeria, you may need to apply for another practicing certificate to practice law in Nigeria.
- Complete Supervised Training
Law is a professional course and acquiring a degree is not enough; you need to get trained under the supervision of an experienced solicitor. During the supervision; you will get to acquire practical experience in meeting with clients, drafting legal documents, and supervising the legal processes. Your supervisor can answer any question you have about the law profession and evaluate your work so that you can become better in the law profession.
- Start practicing Your Career as a Corporate Lawyer Independently
After completing your training under a licensed law professional; you need to work independently as a corporate lawyer. You can get hired by the company you did your job training for because you might have built a relationship with clients of such an organization. The company you enroll for your training will also love to hire you because you are familiar with all the processes and the policy of the organization. However, you can still get hired by other law firms.
Where can a Corporate Lawyer Work?
- Law firms: a corporate lawyer can work in large or mid-size law firms that have corporate law departments. They can focus on venture capital or securities in the course of their career. These law firms can also be private or government law firms. Corporate lawyers may not spend their time working in the court except they are summoned to handle a client’s case in the court of law.
- Companies: In some large organizations, they have a department called the care department. This department is responsible for handling any issue related to official documents of the company, contracts with other companies, and any other legal matter. Corporate lawyers can work in such an organization.
Corporate Lawyer Salary
- In the United States, the salary of a corporate lawyer is 102,402 per year. The salary may vary based on the skills and experience of the corporate lawyer.
- In Nigeria, the national average salary of a Corporate Lawyer is 150,000NGN per month. This however depends on the geographical location and experience of the corporate lawyer.