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What Do You Need to Do to Get Corporate Lawyer Jobs?

published April 23, 2010

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left

( 149 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)

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Self-employed, or "full-time employee"
What Do You Need to Do to Get Corporate Lawyer Jobs?

Corporate lawyers jobs entail either working for yourself and contracting your services out to companies on an as needed basis, or working for one particular company in-house, as that company's corporate lawyer. Either way, corporate lawyer jobs entail, again, making sure a company stay out of trouble on the legal front by anticipating problems that may arise and then circumventing them. Because the business environment changes so often, corporate lawyer jobs duties also entail keeping up on these changes and advising clients or companies about them.
Click Here to Read BCG Attorney Search’s Guide to Corporate and Finance Job Search Categories for More Information.

In addition, corporate lawyers also help companies with employment issues like tax issues, employee contracts, labor relations, any suits that have been filed against a particular company, patents, employee injury, or contracts with vendors.

In general, especially if you are an in-house attorney, you don't do your job entirely by yourself. Instead, there's the head of a corporation's legal department, and that head of the department has legal staff supporting him or her.

Qualifying for corporate lawyer jobs

As you can probably tell, qualifying for corporate lawyer jobs takes a significant amount of education. You must first get a bachelor's degree in what is usually pre-law, and then you'll need to go to three years of postgraduate education in law school thereafter. When you are in law school, you'll take a variety of courses in various types of law, including tax and insurance law, trust, and corporate law. Thereafter, if you want to specialize such that you will ultimately be applying for and obtaining corporate law jobs, you'll generally specialize in one track and take courses in subjects like commercial transactions, creditors' rights, trade regulations, trial advocacy, and so on.
Interested in these kinds of jobs? Click here to find Corporate jobs.

Once you've graduated from law school, you'll need to be admitted to the bar, in the particular state or states you want to practice them. To be admitted to the bar, you'll need to take the bar exam.

Applying for corporate lawyer jobs

While you are in law school, you should be getting job experience that will prepare you for a career in corporate law later on. This will help give you a "leg up" when you go in for interviews, because you can show prospective employers that you've already had experience. So for example, you can become a junior court clerk, work in the law school library, type legal briefs, and more. Because corporations actively hunt for qualified corporate lawyer jobs' candidates, you may actually be recruited to interview for prospective corporations just prior to graduation. Therefore, it's going to help you greatly if you're already prepared by having had some previous job experience.

Another way to apply for corporate law jobs is to peruse law journals and classified ads in newspapers; you may also have luck by going online and doing a search for these types of jobs, or hooking up with a recruiter online, who will know about corporate law jobs that may not be publicly listed.

Working in corporate lawyer jobs

In general, as a corporate lawyer, you begin by working "under" more experienced corporate lawyers, and then advancing as your career continues. As stated previously, you may also decide to become self-employed as your career continues and once you've gained experience. Either way, your hours are not contained to just 40 hours a week and you will have to decide to dedicate significant time to your career. This is especially true if you have to prepare to go to court. Especially if a particular corporation employs you, you may be expected to travel to that corporation's various branches to assess and take care of any legal problems the corporation may be having. Of course, this may also be true if you are self-employed and clients want you to come "on-site" to address and take care of legal problems there.

What can you expect to make in corporate law jobs?

Average earnings across all sectors and levels of experience range from about $50,000 a year to more than $100,000 a year. Corporate lawyers who are not self-employed also usually get health and life insurance, and retirement plans as part of their employment packages.
Interested in these kinds of jobs? Click here to find Corporate jobs.

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.

More about Harrison

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