How To Become a Corporate Lawyer: A Complete Guide

Corporate law can be described as a diverse legal field that is used in both the legal and business industries, including contracts, governance, business transactions, and the legal aspects of a company’s everyday operations. Corporate lawyers can be a rewarding career, but being a lawyer requires extensive training. Learning more about corporate lawyers will help you determine whether you’d like to become one.

In this article, we will discuss what a corporate lawyer is, what they do, the difference between a commercial and a corporate lawyer, how to become a corporate lawyer, and the necessary skills and qualifications required for a corporate law career.

What exactly does a corporate lawyer do?

A corporate attorney, also known as a company lawyer, is responsible for numerous legal issues related to the business practices of corporations. They usually deal with legal, business, and financial aspects for their clients. For example, corporate lawyers can handle corporate taxes or evaluate and supervise mergers and acquisitions. As a corporate lawyer, you frequently negotiate business contracts, verify the accounts of business transactions, and deal with daily legal business matters. Corporate lawyers also represent their clients in court when required.

Common responsibilities of corporate lawyers typically consist of the following:

  • Helping with the legal framework for restructuring or selling companies
  • Negotiating contracts and agreements
  • Listing companies on the stock market
  • Providing general legal council
  • Selling assets and shares
  • Resolving employment law issues
  • Collaborating on strategic legal decisions

As a corporate attorney, you work with various corporate bodies, including partnerships and alliances. You may work for a firm with several clients or directly for a single company.

Corporate lawyer vs commercial lawyer

While corporate lawyers and commercial lawyers are involved in cases related to business law, there is a distinction in their focus areas.

  • Detail of scope: Corporate law is concerned with companies’ specific actions, while commercial law is concerned with general legal aspects of the business.
  • Principal responsibilities: Corporate lawyers assist in forming new businesses and in business mergers or acquisitions. Commercial lawyers help with the legalities, regulations, guidelines and rules regarding the distribution and sale of various products.
  • Average salaries: Lawyers in the corporate sector typically get less money than commercial lawyers, though location, company knowledge, experience and education can impact the salary. The average national salary for corporate lawyers is Rs. 3,81,418 per year, while the average national salary for commercial lawyers is approximately Rs. 15,58,899 per year.

How to become a corporate lawyer?

If you like to become a corporate lawyer, you should consider the following steps:

1.Pass your tenth and twelfth requirements

The first step to becoming a corporate lawyer is to pass your tenth and twelfth exams, known as 10+2. These secondary, intermediate and pre-university courses typically concentrate on science, arts, and commerce. Achieving these levels of education will be the minimum requirement to pursue a career in law.

2. Take the CLAT

You can take the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) after earning 10+2 or equivalent with a minimum of 45% aggregate marks from a recognized board. Then, you can enroll in the five-year, integrated undergraduate degree course known as B.A. LL.B.

You may also take the CLAT test after obtaining a three-year LL.B graduate degree, with atleast 50% aggregate marks, and then enroll in the Master of Law program, also known as LL.M. Your CLAT scores can allow you to gain admission to 22 national law universities and several other private law colleges in India.

3. Research law colleges

Start researching law colleges while you prepare for the CLAT or study towards your undergraduate degree. This allows you to examine and compare education framework, faculty, and placement records between institutions. Renowned law colleges are competitive though admission into one can help support and advance your career in law. You should also consider the programs you want to pursue, such as an integrated undergraduate, graduate or master’s degree.

4. Earn a bachelor’s degree

A bachelor’s degree is an option to start your studies in law. Three and four-year programs are common, and you can pursue any subject, though there are usually more advantages when you focus on business or legal courses.

After you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree with atleast 45% aggregate marks, you may take the three-year LL.B program, in which you study interdisciplinary topics related to business, arts and law. Students learn how to write case studies, conduct research, practice court exercises and generally undertake internships in law offices.

5. Take the law college entrance test

Apart from the CLAT, there are other law entrance exams at the national level or college-specific law entrance tests you can attempt. It is possible to take this entrance test once you have completed your high school education, just like the CLAT. All these tests have multiple choice questions and test candidates for English and comprehension, current affairs, general knowledge, legal and logical reasoning and mathematical quantitative techniques. The law entrance tests which you can attempt are:

  • Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)
  • Maharashtra Common Entrance Test for Law
  • Andhra Pradesh Law Common Entrance Test
  • Telangana State Law Common Entrance Test
  • DU LL.B Entrance Exam
  • Law School Admission Test India
  • Allahabad University LAT Exam
  • BHU Undergraduate Entrance Test
  • Punjab University LL.B Entrance Test

6. Develop valuable legal skill sets and contacts

Because the legal field is usually competitive, gaining practical work experience early through an internship or part-time job with a local law firm can be beneficial. Work experience can assist you in developing or improving necessary skills such as self-confidence, persuasiveness, communication, research, fluency of speech, knowledge of the law, and the ability to debate on any subject. Experience also helps you build your legal networks, which can lead to opportunities, jobs and contacts.

7. Complete the three-year LL.B course

In the three-year LL.B program, you will learn the various aspects of law, which include:

  • Labour
  • Family
  • Criminal
  • Constitutional
  • Environmental
  • Company
  • Administrative
  • Property
  • Contract
  • Evidence
  • Intellectual property
  • Human rights and international
  • Consumer protection
  • Law of torts

You can also learn about jurisprudence, legal writing, professional ethics and civil procedure codes.

8. Take the bar exam

After you’ve completed the three or five-year programs, you must pass the All India Bar Exam (AIBE). This exam is conducted by the Bar Council of India (BCI) and awards a certificate of practice. It’s required to become a practising lawyer in India.

9. Consider a master’s degree

When you’re qualified to practice law after getting the AIBE exam, you should consider studying further for a one-year, full-time master’s degree program or LL.M. course. It includes the following entrance tests:

  • Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)
  • All India Law Entrance Test
  • MH CET Law
  • LSAT India

There are many specialisations available for this course, including media and entertainment, civil, healthcare and environmental law. In order to be a Corporate Lawyer, you can pursue a master’s degree in commercial, corporate, company or business law.

Are corporate lawyers in demand?

The demand for corporate lawyers is growing and will likely continue to grow in the future as businesses, individuals, and government agencies seek expert legal assistance and guidance in the various aspects of international and national business. Due to globalisation and an increase in outbound investments, international business transactions have increased dramatically. Legal knowledge can help companies manage all aspects of their business and ethical practices.

Corporate lawyer skills

As a corporate lawyer, stay informed about recent legal developments and business markets. The following skills can help you become an effective corporate lawyer:

  • Written and oral communication
  • Negotiation and persuasion
  • Problem-solving
  • Interpersonal
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Research, writing and reading comprehension
  • Firm knowledge of corporate law
  • Ability to develop long-lasting relationships with clients

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