Corporate Lawyer Vs Practising Lawyer - Which is Better?


Updated On: November 02, 2022 10:27 am IST

If you are choosing a career after completing law and are confused if you should work as a corporate lawyer or a practising lawyer. Read here to find out about the differences and challenges in the two fields.

Difference between Corporate and Practising Lawyer

A career in law has many specialisations and being a lawyer requires expertise in various fields. It is not necessary that the graduates who pass Bachelor of Law (LL.B) will be a practising lawyers, there are many other professions for a lawyer which a law graduate can pick up for his/her profession in future. A corporate lawyer is a profession that is in demand these days and is suitable for people who want to work for a popular corporate house rather than work independently. Many corporate law firms go to law colleges for recruiting freshers in their organisation. A corporate lawyer is a highly respectable job and many lawyers are opting for this profession for their future. This article takes a look at the difference between and the challenges in both working as a corporate lawyer or a practising lawyer.

Who are Corporate (in-House) Lawyers?

The corporate lawyer is sometimes known as the in-house lawyer in the business industry. With the development and bloom of the corporate business industry, the need for corporate lawyers is increasing day by day. An in-house corporate lawyer is bound by the company to assist the house as and when there is a need. Corporate lawyers take care of the legal formalities and norms while managers make policies to grow the business. A job of a corporate lawyer is a very challenging one. The corporate lawyer has to keep a check on the legal norms and pave the path for the managers and authority to take any risky step or implement policies for the betterment of the organisation.

Sometimes, the organisation authorities seek the help of the corporate lawyers for making policies and roadmaps for future planning. Corporate lawyers take an active part in managerial roles as well. They can also become good managers or business entrepreneurs if they want to be. For example, the founders of gigantic companies such as Godrej and Indigo are lawyers.

Who are Practising or Trial Lawyers?

Practising lawyers are also called trial lawyers, who are responsible for representing the clients in front of the court as well as defending them to prove them non-guilty. Practising lawyer is one of the most popular branches of lawyer. Before these trial lawyers represent a client, they meet the client to understand every detail regarding the case. The duty of such lawyers is to produce evidence in favour of the client and argue the case with all the facts and their abilities. A Trial lawyer, out of the court reviews files, schedules orders, talks to clients, contacts witnesses and takes depositions, while, inside a courtroom, the lawyer prepares scheduling orders, meets the judges, selects jurors and argues cases. 

More than 4 to 5 lakh candidates every year apply for LL.B or LL.M programmes and 60,000 to 70,000 graduates work as Trial lawyers after completing their degree. 

Qualities of a Corporate Lawyer vs Practising Lawyer

Though it is true that both professions are interconnected and deal with the same field, depending on the work culture and the demographics where the work would be delivered, there are a lot of different qualities which are needed by both in the two sectors. There are similar qualities as well but the differences required in the qualities of a Practising Lawyer and a Corporate Lawyer are highlighted below.

Qualities of a Corporate LawyerQualities of a Trial or Practising Lawyer
  • The corporate lawyers who are working in an organisation must be able to work long hours.
  • They must have good writing skills besides the mandatory communication skills which are required by the lawyers in all spectrums.
  • Corporate attorneys conduct research, meet with the involved parties and study precedents.
  • Unlike the case with practising/trial lawyers, the various parties with whom a corporate lawyer works, generally, negotiate towards an agreement rather than put up a competition as adversaries. Hence, they must be good with negotiation skills.
  • Like the trial attorneys, corporate lawyers also sometimes visit the court when negotiation fails.
  • Like the corporate lawyers, the practising lawyers also need good communication and analytics skills but on a higher level.
  • The practising lawyers must have a thorough knowledge of the courtroom procedures more than the corporate lawyers as the practising lawyers work in both corporate and civil areas.
  • The clients of a practising lawyer can range from multinational companies and governments to normal people. Therefore, they must know how to deal with all kinds of people.
  • The work of a trial lawyer is lengthy and has constraints as compared to the corporate lawyers who are mostly bound in 9 to 6 jobs so they must be prepared for long working hours.
  • The practising lawyers have to acquire a higher level of judicial skills as they have to interview clients and witnesses, conduct rigorous research and prepare their strategies and presentation before a trial.
  • The courtroom work for trial lawyers includes selecting jurors, interacting with judges and arguing for the case.

Also Read:Studying Law from an NLU vs from a non-NLU institute, where is the difference?

Challenges for a Corporate Lawyer vs Practising Lawer

In the current scenario, working in a corporate organisation as a corporate lawyer is considered as stable but not lucrative. Well, independent practice is indeed a very glamorous profession to be in but that too has its own risks. Though stability and security are a given if you are working as a Corporate Lawyer but even after having all the glamour, legal practice is a one-man-centric work and does not really offer stability.

The work of a corporate lawyer is indeed strenuous, yet structured. The corporate lawyers follow a rigid ruleset imposed by the organisation on workers. Corporate lawyers end up working in certain frameworks to streamline their job and on the other hand, there is no such framework imposed on practising lawyers. Lawyers who are practising independently enjoy a lot of flexibility while working and they also get more opportunities to test their limits by handling different types of incidents in the legal sector. As mentioned above, there is no surety of stability in the job of independently practising lawyers, but if a person is highly skilled and knows what he is doing, the scope for growth is immense. Needless to mention that the growth of a practising lawyer mostly follows a steeper graph than that corporate lawyers.

It is clear from the above comparisons that both the sectors require a lot of hard work and different qualities irrespective of the type of lawyer the person is. Both sectors of law are equally challenging but are rewarding for the individual who is hardworking enough and has mastery over the subject he/she is dealing with.

Also Read:Examinations conducted for law colleges and their accepting institutes

Employment Opportunities for a Corporate Lawyer vs Practising Lawyer

It is seen that many large organizations in order to cut costs have increased their in-house legal departments. As a result, these companies can now shift to in-house legal departments that are very reasonable from the cost of hiring counsel lawyers and their support staff from outside. The shift will lead to the demand for corporate lawyers in various fields such as consulting industries, insurance and financial services and healthcare providers. 

A Practising lawyer on the other hand gets a lot of opportunities in law firms and can work for the state, business or private law firm. Let us now understand the type of work that Corporate and Practising lawyers can do. 

Job Roles of a Corporate Lawyer

Job Roles of a Trial Lawyer


Trial Lawyer

Senior Associate

Litigation Associate


Junior Attorney

In-house Counsel

Senior Attorney

Industry Expert

Litigation Advocate

Chief Legal Manager

Criminal Lawyer

Senior Associate Attorney

Civil Lawyer

Top Law Colleges in India

Enrolling in a top law college is important for establishing a good career in law. Given below are some of the best law institutes in India along with their location. Candidates can pursue a law course from these institutes and embark upon their professional legal journey.

Name of the College


Lovely Professional University

Jalandhar, Punjab

National Law School of India University

Bangalore, Karnataka

The ICFAI University

Raipur, Chhattisgarh

Amity University, Manesar

Gurgaon, Haryana

Jindal Global Law School

Sonepat, Haryana

Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology

Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Alliance University

Bangalore, Karnataka

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES)

Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Brainware University

Kolkata, West Bengal

NALSAR University of Law

Hyderabad, Telangana

You can fill our Common Application Form (CAF) to find the best law college for yourself. Through CAF, you can apply to multiple colleges and you will also get personal counselling from our admissions experts. They will give you the options of the ideal institutes for you based on your preference. You can also call on the toll-free student helpline number 1800-572-9877.

Stay tuned to CollegeDekho for more law-related articles.

Related Links

CLAT Marks Vs Rank

How to Choose the Best NLU after CLAT 2022?

Total NLU Seats in India - CLAT 2022 Seat Matix

Low Rank in CLAT? Check the List of Law Colleges

CLAT 2022 Rank Predictor

CLAT 2022 College Predictor

CLAT 2022 Cut Off

Colleges Accepting CLAT 2022 Score and Seat Matrix

What is a Good Score in CLAT 2022?

CLAT 2022 Live Updates

Are you feeling lost and unsure about what career path to take after completing 12th standard?

Say goodbye to confusion and hello to a bright future!



Who are Corporate Lawyers?

Corporate lawyers in private firms or organizations are considered the senior-most position. Candidates who after completing their LL.B, BBA LL.B or B.Com LL.B think of becoming a corporate lawyer, can work as an advisor for the board of directors. The lawyers help the directors to make legally correct decisions and make sure that they are implemented correctly. Students who have completed their course with a specialization in Corporate law can definitely choose their career as a Corporate Lawyer.

Who are Practising Lawyers?

Practising lawyers are usually termed Trial lawyers who represent clients in front of the court and defend them to prove they are non-guilty. They collect all the valuable information regarding the client, talk to the witnesses and convince the judge that his/ her client is innocent. Trial lawyers are among the highest-paid legal professionals in India. Lawyers before representing their clients, talk to them and understand all the complexities of the case.  

What do I need to become a Corporate Lawyer?

To become a Corporate lawyer, you have complete your undergraduate law degree in LL.B, BA LL.B, etc from a recognised university/ college. If you have completed your LL.M with a specialisation in Corporate Law, then you can easily become a Corporate lawyer. You will not only need your law degree to become a Corporate lawyer but you will also have to do proper internship programmes in relevant law firms to boost your resume and get an understanding of Corporate law. 

What are the eligibility requirements to become a Practising lawyer?

To become a Practising lawyer, candidates have to either study a 5-year integrated law program such as BA LL.B, BBA LL.B, etc or a 3-year LL.B from a recognized university. Candidates having completed their LL.M degree can also become a Practising lawyers. But, candidates who only have a diploma degree or certificate course in law are not eligible to become a Trial lawyer. To become an established Practising lawyer, candidates need to work with an experienced attorney for 2-3 years. 

What skill sets are required to become a Corporate lawyer?

To work as a Corporate lawyer, candidates must possess certain skills that will help them to excel in their careers. Lawyers must have excellent communication, verbal and written skills to draw logical conclusions. While doing research work, corporate lawyers must have the ability to collect information and find logical and meaningful pieces of information. The skills required by Corporate lawyers are Excellent communication skills, Analytical skills, Judgement skills, Research skills, People skills, Perseverance and Creativity. 

In which sectors can Corporate lawyers work?

It is important for an individual to have a degree or professional qualifications in accounting, law, accountancy, business or public administration to become a corporate lawyer. There are numerous job opportunities available for Corporate lawyers in different sectors. The various sectors where Corporate lawyers can work are corporate firms, law firms, courts, law institutions, judiciary, consultancy and law enforcement agencies. 

What skills should a Practising lawyer possess?

To become a Practising lawyer, candidates need to complete their integrated LL.B degree or LL.B degree or LL.M degree. Apart from the educational qualifications, a candidate will also need to have proper skill sets in order to become a Practising lawyer. The skills required to become a good Practising lawyer are Good debating skills, Communication skills, Problem solving skills, Critical thinking skills, Analytical skills, Attention to detail, Persuasion skills, Time management, Deep knowledge of Legal terms and concepts, etc. 

What are the usual responsibilities of a Practising lawyer?

The usual responsibilities of a Practising lawyer include representing clients in trials and arguing in favour of them. The case they have taken has to be researched well in terms of the relevant law and study the judicial decisions. The lawyers have to meet their clients on a regular basis to inform them about the proceedings of the case. It is important to provide relevant pointers to convince the judge and the jury that their client is innocent. They should also talk to their clients during the trial to discuss the options and strategies. The Practising lawyers will also have to cross-examine the witnesses, argue and present the case in front of the court.

What are the specialisations offered in Corporate law?

Specialisations in Corporate law are offered at all levels. The specialisations offered are BBA LL.B with a specialisation in Corporate Law which offers a mixture of both business administration and Corporate Law courses in the same degree. LL.M in Corporate Law includes Research Methodology, Comparative Public Law, Investment Law, Regulatory Economics, Principles of Taxation, etc. LL.M in Corporate Law & Securities Law provides a dual degree while an LL.M in Corporate & Commercial Law is a mix of both Corporate Law & Commercial Law. Post Graduate Diploma in Corporate Law Course deals with Business and Commercial Law, Corporate Accounting, etc. PG Diploma in Business & Corporate Law including Law of Contracts, Corporate Law, International Economic Law, Consumer Protection Act, Competition Act, Corporate Restructure Law, etc. 

What are some of the best colleges that offer law programmes?

The top colleges in India that provide excellent legal education to aspiring lawyers are the National Law School of India University Bangalore, Symbiosis Law School, O.P.Jindal Global University, Jindal Global Law School, SCLU- School of Law, Christ University, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Amity University, Manesar, The ICFAI University, etc. 

View More
View All Questions

Related Questions

About in physical edu : Can i admit now in LPU if yes than send me fee details including hostel fee whole three years

-AdminUpdated on April 06, 2024 12:38 PM
  • 55 Answers
Sakunth Kumar, Student / Alumni

Dear Student,

The admissions for B.Sc Physical Education course offered by Lovely Professional University has been closed for the academic session 2017-18. The registrations for the academic year 2018-19 will open soon.

Kindly fill the Common Application Form on our website. Our counsellors will get back to you, and guide you regarding the admission process. 


lpu distance education : What is the last date for applying courses through lpu distance education?

-AdminUpdated on April 06, 2024 12:38 PM
  • 43 Answers
Navneet, Student / Alumni

Kindly visit the online distance education website of LPU, for the last date inquiry. As per the recently released recognition list of India’s different universities for offering Distance Education (DE) programmes; Distance Education Bureau of University Grant Commission (UGC) has accorded approval to Lovely Professional University (LPU) consecutively for 12th Academic Session. This prestigious recognition has once again enabled LPU to run 19 Distance Education programmes in Punjab. In fact, LPU is the only private university in Punjab, which has been given recognition to offer DE programmes in the state. Worth immediate noticing, the last date of admission for the …


Placement in lpu m Pharmacy program in pharmaceutics

-Mehak SharmaUpdated on April 06, 2024 12:37 PM
  • 51 Answers
Vani Jha, Student / Alumni

Dear Mehak Sharma,

Placement opportunities in pharmaceutics for M.Pharmacy students might vary from year to year, and individual performance and talents also play a key influence.

To acquire a thorough grasp of the placement scenario for LPU's M.Pharmacy programme in pharmaceutics, contact current or previous students of the programme to learn about their placement experiences and general satisfaction with the programme. This might help you assess the program's potential opportunities and career prospects.

Lovely Professional University Internships, research projects, and extracurricular activities relating to your subject of study can boost your employability and open the door to a variety of …


Do you have a question? Ask us.

  • Typical response between 24-48 hours

  • Get personalized response

  • Free of Cost

  • Access to community

Subscribe to CollegeDekho News

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekho terms of use and privacy policy

Top 10 Law Colleges in India

View All

Join us and get exclusive education updates!

Planning to take admission in 2024? Connect with our college expert NOW!