Corporate lawyers ensure the legality of commercial transactions and possess expansive knowledge of statutory law and regulations passed by government agencies in order help their clients achieve their goals within the legal framework. To structure a business transaction legally, a corporate lawyer may need to research aspects of contract law, tax law, accounting, securities law, bankruptcy, intellectual property rights, licensing, zoning laws, and other regulations relating to a specific area of business. The lawyer must ensure that a transaction is not barred or does not conflict with the local, state or central laws.
In contrast to the adversarial nature of trial law, corporate law is team-oriented. The corporate counsels for both sides of a transaction are not competitors in the strict sense. Together, they seek a common ground for their clients, where both parties’ interests are placed on an even pedestal. This becomes especially true in the context of lawyers working for a company and the bankers in capital markets transactions like an Initial Public Offering (IPO) or Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP). Facilitating the business process requires insight into the clients’ needs, selective expertise, flexibility and most of all, a service mentality.
Corporate law requires an incisive mind and profound communication skills, both written and oral. Through the negotiation process, lawyers constantly write and revise the legal documents which will bind the parties to certain terms for the transaction. This process is lengthy and typically, it is expected of the corporate lawyers to work extremely long hours, and by extremely long, we really, really mean extremely long hours. As a deal moves towards its closing, it becomes a highly intensive procedure requiring much as skilful negotiation. As one person observed, the most important trait that a corporate lawyer is expected to possess is immense patience to get through the drudgery.
You’ve got to be able to put your head in the game (err, transactions) and focus on the work. The bright side of this career option is the remuneration, which is fancy (and we actually mean that it is on par with the suited investment bankers you see in your regular drama series like Suits) and you usually work with smartest of the lot from this field. One corporate lawyer remarked that she liked this side of the law precisely because the transactions take place among peers: There is no wronged party, no underdog, and usually no inequity in the financial means of the participants.
Lawyers working as in-house counsels have a more detailed ensure the legality of commercial transactions. They must have a knowledge of the specific statutory laws and regulations passed by government agencies that apply to their company. They assist the company they work for in the day to day functioning and various legal compliances that need to be made. The lawyer must ensure that any proposed transaction does not conflict with local, state, or federal laws.
In contrast to the adversarial nature of trial law, corporate laws is team-oriented. The corporate counsels for both sides of a transaction are not strict competitors; together they seek a common ground for their clients. This becomes especially true in the context of lawyers working for a company and the bankers in capital markets transactions like an IPO or QIP.
The role of a company counsel is to provide all the documentation that is required for the successful completion of a transaction of such nature. This process is lengthy and typically corporate lawyers who work as in house counsels do not always have the extremely long hours that are associated with their law firm counterparts. The upside to this profession is the compensation is good and you can have a more balanced life style in terms of work-life.
Law is considered as a favourite subject for civil services’ aspirants. By having pursued law as an undergraduate course, you are automatically enrolling for preparing for a significant portion of your mains paper, without wasting any additional time. Questions based on the Constitution and issues of social, political and legal importance are an essential part of preparation that needs to be taken for the Civil Services Admission Test (CSAT). Most importantly, once you get through the mains, you would have to clear the vitally important interview round. Law school activities such as mooting, debating, conferences, vivas and presentations allow you to tackle the interview with confidence and precision. Take a look at any past years’ list of selected aspirants and you will be surprised to notice the number of applicants who qualify from a law background.
The best part about pursuing this career option is that it is only restricted to law students. The Judicial Services and the Higher Judicial Services have set the age criterion to somewhere in the 20s for a student to become a judge. Imagine, a 23-year old dotting the town in a blue beacon car. After a few years, you are eligible to sit for the Higher Judicial Services (HJS), which in many cases results in the eventual elevation as a Judge of the High Court and your blue beacon gets converted into a red beacon. This option is an all-time favourite of all the fans of sarkari naukri and society ki izzat. The spacious bungalows, guaranteed compensation and a retinue of domestic help comes as a part of the package.
A Company Secretary (CS) complemented with law is a powerful combination to join a company. You can simultaneously enrol for a CS degree. A CS has to ensure regulatory compliance of the company and ensure the business is carried on with all the procedures required by law. In cases where the company is a public limited company or when the company is a listed company, the company secretary’s role becomes crucial as all corporate communication and relations with the stock exchange and public authorities go through him/her. This career option is economically very lucrative.
ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS
If one of your parents is a business person, enquire from them how much of law comes into play. Being knowledgeable of the law ensures that you are not only engaging in ethical business practices but you’re able to use your knowledge to circumvent the unnecessary regulatory hurdles, properly plan taxes, handle labour unions and ensuring that your trademarks are registered. Your shareholders are protected and benefitted as well by this wishful thinking. Consumers would be unable to sue you. But most importantly, five years at a law school gives you the precious skill of communication, responsiveness and precision thinking making you a formidable player in the market.
BANKING, INVESTMENT AND FINANCE
Not only do banks and financials in states have Probationary Officer (PO) level ranks for their legal departments but also you can work at the core level of banking, finance and investment teams. This is because law school makes you a hard yet diplomatic negotiator, who is equipped and has a know-how of the international rules and regulations, mergers, takeovers, listing codes, contracts, agreements and bank permissions.
ACADEMICS AND RESEARCH
Gone are the days when an academic profile was spelt B-O-R-I-N-G. With so much happening on the legal front, there is an immense possibility of an opportunity for developing a career as an academician. A tenured faculty position or a research position in one of Government departments and or other colleges has changed phenomenally over the years, when it comes to either the quality of work or quantum of payment.
POLITICS AND OTHER PUBLIC CAREERS
A knowledge of law and society is supplements your political aspirations. You would be surprised to see the number of politicians, including many of our former Prime Ministers and global leaders that went to law school. Additionally you can also become counsellors, work with NGOs, international organizations like the United Nations and its agencies as well.
Just by being a law graduate, you have an added advantage on your side. Every modern human activity has a legal interface – be it sports, music, publishing, fashion designing writing, etc., and you can always specialize in the domain of an area of your interest.