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Should You Be a Contract Law Attorney?

published October 13, 2008

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 112 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
<<When we think of lawyers, we typically think of criminal defense or prosecution lawyers. When it comes to contract law, however, cases are decided in civil rather than criminal court. In some situations, of course, there is no dissension involved; rather, the two parties are simply hashing out the details of the contracts they are making with one another. Because contracts are binding documents, both the party receiving the services or items specified in the contract and the party agreeing to fill that contract want the terms of that contract to be as favorable to them as possible.

With contract law attorney jobs, the attorney will most often practice in civil court and specialize in contracts, as the job title states. These contracts can include any type of binding agreement, such as the sort that a book author or other artist might sign, a contract for work to be done, etc. There are also other types of contracts that are more specific to certain situations, such as leases, wills, mortgages, titles, and deeds.

With a lease, for example, the landlord offers the prospective tenant a contract stating that he or she will provide the apartment or house being offered for a certain monthly rent (typically), often along with other services such as maintenance of the property being lived in by the tenant. By the same token, the tenant agrees to pay a specified rent to the landlord in return for a place to live and maintenance of the property.

In such a case, a contract lawyer would likely help the landlord write up the lease such that the landlord is assured of receiving payment for the services rendered (i.e., providing the apartment or house). The terms of the lease must be very specific because the landlord, too, has certain laws or rules that he or she must abide by. This is one of the reasons contract law attorney jobs are both necessary and prevalent. In many cases, not only must the contract itself spell out a solid agreement between both parties included in the contract (in this example, the landlord and tenant), but it must also abide by certain rules, specifications, and guidelines specific to various laws and ordinances.

<<For example, within contract law, it is assumed that both parties have legal rights based upon local, state, or federal laws. Because of this, it is often necessary to have a contract law attorney draw up the documents so that both parties ensure that they are not breaking any laws with their agreement. In other words, it's not just that both parties' rights should be protected within the contract, but the contract must also ensure that the agreement itself will operate within certain legal parameters.

Because of that, a contract law attorney must know all of the parameters involved in drawing up these types of contracts. Most of the time, when it comes to contract law attorney jobs, the attorney doesn't just specialize in contract law itself but also specializes in a particular area of contract law, such as real estate. This is because to be a successful contract law attorney, you must know, very specifically, all of the laws relevant to your particular area of specialty.

Schooling

To become a lawyer in any area, you'll have to go to law school, graduate, and then pass the bar exam for your state. As part of your education in law school, you will first be introduced, relatively briefly, to all areas of the law, including contract law. At some point, though, it's likely that you will wish to specialize in a particular field, such as family law, criminal law, or contract law.

Job Duties

Contract law attorney jobs generally include several phases. The first phase of contract formation is often simply a discussion between both parties and their lawyers to work out the initial details of the agreement. Oftentimes, one party will make an initial offer for the contract to be drawn up (with the contract law attorney on either side negotiating), and the other party will counter with a more favorable offer for their side.

Once an agreement has been reached, the contract is drawn up formally and both parties must sign the agreement.

It should be noted, though, that a verbal agreement, too, can be considered a contract. However, given the litigious nature of today's society, written contracts are certainly preferable to verbal contracts because they are tangible and can be brought forth as physical evidence of the agreement.

What Can a Lawyer Expect to Make?

At present, the average income for lawyers across all areas of expertise is about $95,000 per year; of course, specific incomes vary widely because some lawyers work in private practice, some work for large corporations, and still others work for nonprofit organizations or the government.

What Is the Current Job Outlook for Lawyers?

Job growth for lawyers in general is expected to continue more or less unabated for years to come. Specifically, contract law attorney jobs are likely to be plentiful on a continual basis considering the need for contracts in our society as a means of protection and clarification whenever a binding agreement is entered into.

Conclusion

Contract law attorney jobs are among the most secure jobs in the legal industry because of the constant need for legal representation in contract matters. If you are in law school or are considering going into the legal profession, you might want to consider the fact that contract law attorney jobs can be among the most lucrative and rewarding areas of practice.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

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