The word “corporate lawyer” conjures up images of men and women wearing nice suits, toting briefcases, and walking briskly up steps of stately government buildings? Many of us have a mental picture in our heads of what we imagine a corporation lawyer to look like, but not many of us can (accurately) envision what corporations lawyers do on a daily basis.
How Does a Corporate Lawyer Help?
Legal counsel advises clients on their rights, obligations, and responsibilities under the law. When a corporation hires a corporate lawyer, the attorney represents the corporation, not the shareholders or employees. It may seem difficult to grasp the concept of a corporation under the law until you learn how similar it actually is to an individual.
Generally, a corporation is a legal entity created by a state and used for business purposes. Corporate entities are treated as separate from their owners or shareholders under the law.
The law of corporations consists of all the legal issues that surround corporations, and these are many because the laws of corporations are complex. Corporations are required to meet regularly, from annual shareholder meetings to other requirements, in most states. They also handle other types of work, such as ensuring that corporations comply with these rules.
A corporate lawyer’s job description?
Most corporate lawyers don’t walk into courtrooms as often as most people think.
They tend to focus on “transactional” work instead. In other words, they help a corporation avoid litigation most of the time.
A corporate lawyer’s time may be spent on the following:
- Review, draft, and negotiate contract arrangements on behalf of the corporation, which could include leases and multi-billion dollar acquisitions
- The benefit of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is that due diligence, negotiation, drafting, and overall oversight of “deals” in which a corporation merges with another business or acquires (buys) another business are performed.
- Providing guidance to clients on how a company is handled, such as by developing its articles of incorporation, its bylaws, and advising its directors and officers regarding their duties and responsibilities.
- Entrepreneurship: Funding startups or expanding existing businesses, which can be privately or publicly financed
- Consultation on securities law compliance, which entails understanding the complex regulations that are designed to prevent fraud, insider trading, and manipulation of the market, as well as promoting transparency in publicly traded companies
Corporate lawyers Edmonton are typically employed by large or midsized law firms with departments of corporate law. There are many corporate lawyers who specialize in certain areas of corporate law, such as mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, or securities.
There are some corporate lawyers who work in-house at large corporations, and most of them have in-house legal departments. Corporate lawyers deal with a variety of issues in their daily work.
Are There Requirements to Become a Corporate Lawyer?
Corporate law is not very different from any other area of law when it comes to the path to becoming one. For a corporate lawyer to practice law, one needs a Juris doctorate (J.D.) and state licensing.
Business experience is often required of corporate lawyers, but it is not always the case.
What skills does a corporate lawyer need to possess?
Due to the necessity of these skills being relied upon so heavily in corporate law, corporate lawyers should be excellent writers, communicators, and negotiators.
It is important that a corporate lawyer has a desire to learn about many different areas of law, depending on whether they are interested in specializing in one niche area, such as securities law.
A corporate lawyer may work with clients from multiple industries, which means they must become familiar with each special industry.
Finally, corporate lawyers need the skills and contacts to reach out to other lawyers to obtain consultations on specific topics they are not familiar with such as employment, tax, and ERISA.
How Can a Corporate Lawyer Help an Individual or Business?
The job of a corporate lawyer is to guide companies in complying with rules and laws. The truth is any person wishing to launch a business venture could benefit from working with a corporate lawyer. But why? If you decide to use a business structure other than a corporation, you can still benefit from having a corporate lawyer guide you through the process.
In addition to creating management documents, reviewing contracts, and assisting with other business decisions, hiring a lawyer is always a smart move.
There’s no question that larger companies (or even medium-sized ones) may not always be able to afford to retain a corporate lawyer, but you should check with one when you form or close a business, as well as when you have problems.
If you’re starting a business venture or need planning or advice on business transactions, you might want to talk to a corporate lawyer near you.