What Does a Corporate Attorney Do? (The Answer Will Surprise You!)
There are more than 1.35 million lawyers in the United States and you may think they all do the same thing. Go to court and argue on behalf of their client.
But that is not actually the case for many lawyers.
The law industry has so many different parts and it can be confusing if you don’t understand them separately.
A corporate attorney is one of the highly misunderstood areas of law. But what they do is actually a very important practice that affects many aspects of daily life.
Let’s take a deeper look into corporate law and attorneys and how they impact us
Attorney vs Lawyer
The first thing we need to distinguish is the difference between an attorney and a lawyer. This may be the very biggest misunderstanding regarding the law.
An attorney at law is someone who is trained in law and practices. This means that they have gone through the schooling process, passed the bar exam, and met any other requirements to work in the court system in their area.
A lawyer, on the other hand, is someone who has been trained in law but is not practicing. This means they have done all the steps to qualify but do not participate in court proceedings. Instead they may just offer advice and counsel.
For the most part these two titles basically mean the same thing, which is why they are often used interchangeably.
The only real distinction is from the Bar Association but it doesn’t affect the average person much.
Corporate law is the study of the rights and standards of conduct for businesses, corporations, or organizations. It is sometimes called business or enterprise law as well.
Basically anything pertaining to the inner workings and dealings of a company fall within this study of law.
This area of law covers any type of organization from the very beginning to the very end. It is important to set up a company in the right way following all legal proceedings to be protected and starting out on the right foot. It is the same with ending a company.
A very common area of corporate law is also dealing with all kinds of negotiations within the business world. Obviously a company wants their deals to be done legally to avoid any problems or consequences.
When most people think of corporate law they think of a fancy lawyer arguing in the courtroom but this generally is not the case.
Most dealings with corporate law happen outside of the courtroom and don’t require any formal litigation. Corporate law deals more with the executing of transactions rather than the consequences of bad ones.
A corporate attorney or business lawyer has an interesting job, which is saying a lot because the whole law industry can be interesting.
One thing that makes the responsibilities of a corporate attorney stand out is that they need to have a lot of outside knowledge in order to do their job right. Having a moderate understanding of financing and business is really crucial to brokering good deals.
Often a corporate attorney will be the one who drafts proposals and things of that nature so compelling writing skills are also necessary.
When a corporate attorney works for a business it is their job to make sure that all transactions are completely compliant with the law. These transactions can include acquiring new ventures, selling parts of the company, bankruptcy, or working on employee benefits.
A very important part of working in corporate law is giving legal advice and counsel to the business and its employees.
These attorneys may have to look at different advertisements or marketing materials to look for potential legal issues. They may have to go over legal questions that relate to sales or distribution. Whatever the case may be, the attorney is in charge of making sure everything is compliant with the law.
Being a corporate attorney is not very straight forward and can have a lot of variation in the work that is done. Which is why it is such an exciting field to be in.
Law Firms Vs Individual Companies
There are two places that a corporate attorney might work.
The first is in a firm where they have multiple clients and possibly multiple specialties within that company. This corporate law firm has a variety of clients who come to them for all of their legal questions.
Working for a law firm has its advantages in that the attorney gets to see a lot of variety and help a lot of different businesses. In the law firm setting, an attorney may be able to become super-specialized in one type of transaction and be able to do that full-time.
Generally, law firms offer a variety of law specialities and that can also be interesting.
The second place a corporate attorney can work is in-house at a company. Most larger businesses have a team on-site that works specifically for them.
This option also has a lot of benefits because the attorney can see projects through from beginning to end. They will also have very specialized knowledge of that industry which will make brokering deals and things easier.
In either setting, a corporate lawyer is critical to the success of a business and keeping it in line with the law.
Find a Corporate Attorney
If you own a business it may be tempting to think that you don’t need a corporate attorney. Maybe you are small and don’t broker many major deals.
But it is critically important to at least consult with an attorney on your business dealings to make sure that things are in order. That is much less of a hassle than dealing with problems that may come as a result of not following the law.
A corporate lawyer is trained in these specific laws and knows how to make sure everything is in order.
If you are looking for a corporate attorney, check out our recommendations!