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Being a Corporate Attorney

published January 10, 2009

By Harrison Barnes, CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 76 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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An attorney is a law practitioner whose main function is to represent people in court. He has legal knowledge on which he bases his argument for his clients in court. The emphasis put in the definition of an attorney is the representation, since an attorney usually does not act on his own behalf but on behalf of someone else who has mandated him in law to act as such. The legal field being one of the oldest professions is quite a wide field. Consequently, there are various divisions in the legal field. Every division has specific areas that it deals with. Some of these areas include criminal law, civil law, family law, the law of property, company or corporate law among other branches of the law.
Being a Corporate Attorney

A corporate attorney, as the name suggests, is a legal practitioner who represents companies or corporate bodies in legal matters. This person has a deep understanding of all the laws, regulations and policies that are in relation to operations of companies and corporations.
Click Here to Read BCG Attorney Search’s Guide to Corporate and Finance Job Search Categories for More Information.

Nature of the Job

The main function of a corporate attorney is to ensure that the activities of the organization or corporation he represents are in line with the laid down rules and regulations as provided in the governing constitution, the relevant legislations, statutes and policies. In addition, the corporate attorney gives legal advice to the company's management on the ways to go about complying with the rules, regulations and laws of the land. A corporate attorney is involved in the drafting of legal documents especially when the organization he is representing is engaged in some transaction that involves some documentation. The corporate attorney is also involved in representing the corporation in legal matters especially when the corporation has been sued or wishes to sue another organization and or an individual. Among other areas other than corporate or company law that a corporate attorney needs to be well versed in, it includes the law of contract, intellectual property law, the law on bankruptcy, the law on taxes, and the law on securities among many other major areas of the law.

Unlike other divisions of the law especially the criminal and the civil law where the systems of attorneys are known to be more adversarial than inquisitive, in corporate law this is the direct opposite. In corporate law, the attorneys involved and representing both clients of the cases are more facilitators of the case than opponents. The major concern is to lay all facts on the table as opposed to battling it out, as is the nature of most other suits that fall under other branches of the law. Other duties of a corporate attorney depend greatly on where he is working. A corporate lawyer working in a law firm as opposed to work in a company may have slight variations in his duties. Some of his duties when working in a law firm may include drafting of documents, and giving legal advice to corporate clients among many other litigation attorney jobs.

When working in a corporation, a corporate attorney is normally required to draft policies of the organizations that are in line with the set rules. No transaction is carried out by a corporation or organization that is contrary to statutes and legislations within which the corporation has been established for any other statute.

Skills and Attributes of a Corporate Lawyer

Besides having a background in legal studies, it is also a requirement that a corporate attorney must have a sharp mind and memory; he must be incisive and inquisitive, with outstanding eloquence and ability to communicate well. The ability to communicate well should be both in spoken and written form.
Interested in these kinds of jobs? Click here to find Corporate jobs.

Work Conditions

Litigation attorney jobs involve a lot of work. Besides keen listening to ensure that no detail bypasses, there is a lot of writing and asking of questions. Litigation attorney jobs involve working for a considerably long period and sometimes over the weekend. Self discipline is paramount in this profession. Minimum or no supervision is one attribute that a corporate attorney must have. Their hard work should be through one's dedication to ensure that everything is in place. Sitting down for long hours either listening to clients and advising them accordingly, or drafting various documents and arguments to be used later in court in support of his client's case, is also expected in litigation attorney jobs. Great dedication, commitment and patience are the key virtues in this particular career field

Earnings and Remuneration

Corporate attorneys and indeed all other legal attorneys are well remunerated. Although this greatly depends on several factors, the remuneration basically is good and commensurate with the work done. As strange as it may sound, the law school that one attends affects to a great extent one's chances and opportunities to secure a job. Equally, the size of the firm that is worked for determines the salary that one is likely to get.

Related Careers of Corporate Attorneys

If not in partnership with other lawyers in a law firm, they may take up litigation attorney jobs in corporations and companies as in-house.

General Facts

There are some facts that corporate attorneys must always put in mind while carrying out their litigation attorney jobs. Firstly, it is important to remember that a corporation or company is a separate legal entity from the owners. Therefore every legal matter in relation to the company must be dealt with without necessarily involving the owners, directors and shareholders of that particular company. By virtue of the fact that a corporation is viewed as a person in the eyes of the law it therefore follows that it has got rights and obligations that have been put down by the law and which must be strictly followed


The litigation attorney jobs carried out by corporation attorneys are very instrumental, as they ensure that a company or organization's operations fall within the laws of the country without any contraventions.

Find out what it takes to become a successful corporate attorney.

See the following articles for more information:
Interested in these kinds of jobs? Click here to find Corporate jobs.

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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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