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How To Become a Corporate Lawyer

by Lily Morgen
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Corporate Lawyer

A corporate lawyer is a lawyer who represents businesses. They may work in-house for a company, or they may be part of a law firm that represents many different clients. Corporate lawyers typically deal with contracts, mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and compliance issues.

If you’re interested in becoming a corporate lawyer, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success.

1. Earn A Bachelor’s Degree

In order to become a lawyer, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree. While you can major in any subject, you can think about getting your bachelor’s in business or a field with a connection to the law, like legal studies. This will give you a better understanding of the issues that corporate lawyers deal with on a daily basis.

2. Apply To Law School And Pass The Lsat

After you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you will need to apply to law school. You will also need to take and pass the LSAT, which is a standardized test that all law school applicants must take. The LSAT is generally available to take four times a year, and you will need to score well on it in order to be accepted into a good law school.

3. Earn Your JD

Once you have been accepted to law school, you will need to earn your Juris Doctor (JD) degree. This typically takes three years of full-time study. Law school often requires three years of full-time study, so you’ll need to be prepared for that commitment.

4. Pass the Bar Exam

To become a licensed attorney, you must pass the bar exam after earning your JD and graduating from law school. The bar exam is a multi-day test that covers a variety of legal topics. Once you have passed the bar exam, you will be a licensed lawyer and can begin practicing law.

5. Consider A Specialist Course

After passing the bar exam, you could think about pursuing further academic degrees or a specialized course. Consider pursuing your Masters of Law (LLM) degree, an advanced degree that enables you to focus on a particular area of law. 

In your way of pursuing a corporate lawyer LLM degree, you can take courses like contracts, corporate and securities law, and commercial law, which will help you in your further career.

6. Work As A Student-at-law

After you have earned your law degree and passed the bar exam, you can start working as a student-at-law. This is a period of practical training that all lawyers must complete before they can begin practicing law. During this time, you will work under the supervision of a licensed lawyer and gain experience in the field.

7. Earn a Junior Lawyer Position in A Corporate Law Firm Upon Graduation

After you have completed your training as a student-at-law, you can apply for a junior lawyer position with a corporate law firm. These firms typically hire new lawyers to work on contract review, mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and compliance issues. 

Junior lawyers generally start out working long hours, but they typically receive a good salary and have the opportunity to move up within the firm over time.

8. Work Your Way Up To A Senior Lawyer Position

After working as a junior lawyer for a few years, you can start to work your way up the ladder and become a senior lawyer. Senior lawyers typically earn a higher salary than junior lawyers and have more responsibility. They may also have the opportunity to work on more complex cases and be involved in more aspects of the firm’s business.

9. Become A Partner At A Corporate Law Firm

After working as a lawyer for several years, you may have the opportunity to become a partner at a corporate law firm. Partners typically earn a high salary and have a lot of responsibility. They may also have the opportunity to make decisions about the direction of the firm and have a say in hiring and firing decisions.

10. Complete Continuing Education Courses

To keep your bar membership and continue practicing law, many states demand that you take continuing education classes. As the law changes, it’s important to stay up-to-date on those changes. Continuing education courses will help you do that.

Final Thought

Becoming a corporate lawyer requires completing a four-year bachelor’s degree, earning a JD from an accredited law school, passing the bar exam, considering pursuing Masters of Law (LLM) degree, working as a student-at-law, earning a junior and senior lawyer position in a corporate law firm, continuing further education and more. 

With hard work and dedication, you can become a corporate lawyer and help businesses with a variety of legal issues.

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