It is not an easy feat to make it through law school. Average studying time is usually three hours, at the very least. It involves a lot of reading and memorization, coupled with practical knowledge. After law school, aspiring lawyers bury their heads in books for several months to review for the bar exam. Despite the tremendous pressure and heavy workload, would-be lawyers go through it all for a promising career in the field of justice. For those currently interested in dabbling into this field of expertise, here are some of the career choices you can go for.
Corporate law is a typical career path for a lawyer. Lawyers who end up in the corporate world are officially answerable to one company and legal its transactions. The primary job of corporate lawyers is to ensure that the company’s transactions are within the bounds of law and do not step on any individual’s or organization’s rights. For every transaction, corporate lawyers conduct intensive research. They consider all laws and jurisdictions involved (zoning laws, intellectual property rights laws, tax laws, security laws, contract laws, etc.) before giving the involved company branch a go-signal to proceed with the transaction.
Lawyers play a great deal in a corporation. Sasol North America, Dezenhall Resources, and Ketchum are facing lawsuits from Greenpeace for allegedly spying on Greenpeace activities by hiring private investigators. According to Greenpeace, this happened around the same time that they filed a lawsuit against companies whose factories were emitting harmful toxins such as dioxins. The corporations involved needed a competent corporate lawyer to face the lawsuit filed by an international, high profile, environmental, non-government agency. The input of the corporate lawyers, therefore, is crucial in any corporate activity. A slight misstep from your lawyer could lead to a multitude of lawsuits against a company.
Corporate lawyers have high salaries but they work more than the normal 5 days a week and beyond the typical 8-hour schedule. In smaller firms, the workload is usually heavier and the salary is usually lower.
Aspiring corporate lawyers, just like any other lawyer, must obtain a degree in law and pass the licensure exam. Those who are up for the challenge can take their law degree and MBA program at the same time. A college undergraduate who is set on becoming a corporate lawyer should take up classes in business law and finance, macro and microeconomics, and philosophy. Upon entering the second or third year in law school, law students should choose business-related electives for added knowledge in corporate law.