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Corporate Lawyer Vs Practising Lawyer - Which is Better?

Pratyush Roy
Pratyush RoyUpdated On: May 06, 2022 03:14 pm 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.

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

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.

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