Corporate Lawyer - How to Become, Career Options, Scope, Salary, Job Description

Sukriti Vajpayee
Sukriti VajpayeePublished On: September 16, 2020 | CLAT

Corporate Law is one of the most popular branches of law. Students who wish to make a career as a corporate lawyer can find all information regarding the profession in this article.

Corporate Lawyer Career

With the globalisation of industry, it is imperative that corporations have set rules for safeguarding. This form of law, that tends to protect & safeguard the interests of businesses and conglomerates is called Corporate Law. Corporate Law has today become one of the most sought after career options globally. Every year, thousands of students give competitive exams to get admission to some of the best law colleges in India. Many surveys have concluded that law is among the top career choices for students in India. The profession of a lawyer is something that the majority of the student population all around the world is opting for. Law offers many lucrative job opportunities and students channelise their personal skills to utilise them in this profession.

The profession of a corporate lawyer majorly circles around the need to protect the interest of the companies or people associated with it. Students who wish to know more about the field of law and its functions in the corporate world will find the necessary information here. The responsibilities of a corporate lawyer and how to become a corporate lawyer are also explained in depth.

Who is a Corporate Lawyer?

In basic terms, any lawyer who does a specialisation in Corporate Law is called a Corporate Lawyer. While pursuing the course of law, students have to choose the fields they wish to specialise in. They are eligible for a career in whichever stream they wish to choose. If a student wants to explore the avenues set for corporate lawyers, he/ she has to get a specialisation in Corporate Law and also do internships at some law firms to understand the requirements of the job.

Role and Responsibilities of a Corporate Lawyer

A Corporate Lawyer has the role of ensuring the legality of all commercial transactions, advising the corporations on their duties and legal rights, including the responsibilities and duties of corporate officers. In order to be capable of fulfilling these responsibilities, a Corporate Lawyer must have in-depth knowledge of all the aspects of tax law, contract law, accounting, bankruptcy, securities law, licensing, zoning laws, intellectual property rights, and the laws that are specific to the business of the corporations that they work for.

The responsibilities of a corporate lawyer are quite important and they can affect the people of the company at a larger scale. Corporate Lawyers have complex roles and they are completely responsible for all the advice they give to their corporation or company on the legal front. If the company gets involved in any controversy, it is the responsibility of the Corporate Lawyer of the business to resolve it and provide legal solutions. Corporate Lawyers also play a role in the internal investigations in which they look over the attorney-client privilege so that they can be considered to shelter any potential wrongdoing by the company. If it happens that the clients of a Corporate Lawyer's internal company are not assured of confidentiality and support, they will be less likely to seek legal advice.

It is widely said that the practice of Corporate Law is less adversarial as compared to the practice of trial law. Several transactions take place amongst peers and there are rarely any wronged parties, inequities, or underdogs in the financial means of the participants. The Corporate Lawyers structure these transactions, review agreements, draft documents, negotiate deals, and also attend meetings.

Corporate Lawyer Job Scope

The areas of Corporate Law that any corporate lawyer can experience depend upon the firm he/ she works for. The geographical location of the firm and its size play major roles in deciding the career path of the corporate lawyer. A small-town Corporate Lawyer working for a small firm may have to deal in many short-term jobs such as divorce settlements, drafting wills, and real estate transactions, whereas a corporate lawyer who works for a larger firm in a large city may spend many months devoted to simply negotiating a single business transaction. In a similar way, different firms may organise their subdivisions in different ways. All of them will not include mergers and acquisitions under the huge and diverse umbrella of a corporate law division.

Some Corporate Lawyers end up becoming partners in their firms while some become in-house counsel for corporations. There are some corporate lawyers who choose to migrate into other professions such as teaching law and investment banking.

With India's economy growing steadily over the last few years, it has witnessed more and more multinational companies setting up shop in the country. These companies and corporations need advice about navigating the legal system in India and hence, Corporate Law has become one of the lucrative career options for many individuals who are interested in this field. Corporate Lawyers advise businesses on several issues including joint ventures, conducting mergers and acquisitions and complying with regulations, drafting corporate agreements, and public listings. Corporate Law can also include other areas such as real estate law, media law, tax law and other laws that regulate business operations.

Also Read: The Difference Between a Practising Lawyer and a Corporate Lawyer

How to Become a Corporate Lawyer?

To become a Corporate Lawyer, every student must first gauge himself/ herself and determine if they have the skills that are necessary to become a Corporate Lawyer. If students have an aptitude that can help them in the field of law and are interested in pursuing the career of lawyer, they should proceed towards realising their dreams of becoming a Corporate Lawyer. In order to be a Corporate Lawyer, candidates must have good interpersonal skills, strong analytic skills along with a keen understanding of the business environment.

Students must join a law school and complete their Bachelors of Law (LL.B). To enrol into the three-year course of LL.B, students need to have an undergraduate degree in any discipline. Alternatively, students can also join the dual degree course of B.A. LL.B which gives them an undergraduate degree as well as the degree of Bachelor of Law. The duration of B.A. LL.B is five years. Different competitive entrance exams are conducted for taking admission in different law schools across the country. Some of the most popular law entrance exams are CLAT (Common Law Admission Test), AILET (All India Law Entrance Test), LSAT (Law School Admission Test), SET (Symbiosis Entrance Test), MHT- CET (Maharashtra Common Entrance Test), BHU UET - LLB (for Banaras Hindu University) etc. Students have to clear the eligibility criteria prescribed for being allowed to appear for these exams.

It is important to choose a good law school because despite being quite competitive, it will offer many advantages like better faculty, education, and infrastructure. Graduating from a reputed law school also gives an edge to the career of students by improving their job prospects and giving them appropriate exposure.

After completing graduation, the students should put in proper thought to decide whether they want to and whether they should pursue a postgraduate course in law (LL.M) or join a law firm directly. After obtaining a degree in B.A. LL.B, students are eligible to start their practice as a lawyer. In order to specialise in Corporate Law, it is advisable to go for a postgraduate degree in law or certain diploma courses in business-related or Corporate Law. The students also have to complete a certain number of internships as it helps in building their resume and gives them proper insight into the responsibilities that are to be fulfilled by a Corporate Lawyer.

When stepping into experiential learning, it is of utmost importance to determine whether someone wishes to work with a corporate law firm or as an in-house counsel. Both experiences give training on different levels. Working with a corporate law firm is said to be fast-paced as compared to in-house counselling and it allows one to work with a wide range of projects and clients. As an in-house counsel, the candidate would be working as a part of the legal department of an organisation or a company. Candidates can opt for either depending upon the work environment and type of experience they are looking for. After gaining enough experience, they can even start their own Corporate Law practice.

Top Colleges for Corporate Law in India

Provided below are some of the popular colleges for Corporate Law that an aspiring Corporate Lawyer can consider for admission. You can click on the links to directly apply for admission in the college.

College Name

Location

Jagran Lakecity University (JLU)

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Apex College For Girls (ACG)

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Apex University, Jaipur

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Chettinad Academy of Research and Education

Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu

University of Technology - Sanganer (UOT)

Jaipur, Rajasthan

The ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Vivekananda Global University (VGU)

Jaipur, Rajasthan

CT University (CTU)

Ludhiana, Punjab

Aurora's Legal Sciences Academy, Hyderabad (ALSA )

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

GITAM (Deemed To Be University)

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Note: In order to apply for admission or get admission related help, you can either dial 1800-572-9877 (toll-free) or fill the Common Application Form. 

Also Read:Top 20 Law Universities in India That Accept CLAT, SLAT, and LSAT, Scores

Salary of a Corporate Lawyer

The salary of any Corporate Lawyer depends directly on the firm he/ she is working for. Large scale and big firms pay better salaries to their Corporate Lawyers as compared to smaller firms. Similarly, in-house counsels also earn less as compared to the lawyers of larger firms. The beginning salary of a fresher at the general corporate firms of Tier 1 cities is Rs. 15 lakh per annum. The lowest package offered can go down to Rs. 3 lakh per annum. The work experience and internships of the candidates also play a major role in deciding the salary of a Corporate Lawyer.

Assertiveness, creativity, perseverance - if you have these attributes in you and are competitive by nature, you may want to pursue a career as a Corporate Lawyer!

If you have any confusion regarding the career choices, you can take the Career Profiling Test. For queries related to the same, write to us in the QnA zone.

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