Corporate counsel attorneys offer their legal expertise to one client and one client only: the corporation they work with. Hence, the client advisor relationship is most intimate, and offers a different climate than working with a firm, where maximizing hours and striving for promotions imposes a harsh ethos. Corporate counsels offer legal advice on contracts, property interests, collective bargaining, and so forth. They also may represent the corporation if they are sued by other businesses or by customers. Unlike lawyers who work in firms, corporate lawyers will develop a keen interest in every aspect of the business they work for, understanding corporate structure and helping the business structure itself according to corporate policy. As hours closer resemble standard business hours, rather than the manic hours some firms impose, working as a corporate lawyer makes sense for those with families. With a median salary of $110,149, this is a great position to be in.
Here are a few sample corporate counsel job descriptions:
The candidate must have a J.D. degree from an ABA-approved law school and be an active member in good standing of the Bar. Should have 4-6 years of significant corporate transactional and mergers and acquisitions experience, preferably with a national law firm, including experience drafting and negotiating transaction documents and overseeing due diligence in M&A transactions.
Senior Corporate Counsel
The candidate will join the corporate/commercial team and will interact with and support various groups across the company, with a primary focus on securities, corporate governance, M&A and equity issues. Will report to the Associate General Counsel. Provide counsel on corporate governance matters and support Board of Directors and Committees, including preparation for Board and Committee meetings, preparing, managing and implementing corporate governance and related policies and preparing, managing and implementing corporate policies. Stay up-to-date and keep Legal team advised on external governance trends, SEC and NASDAQ issues, general legal issues and best practices. Support the stock administration department on equity matters and employee education. Provide legal training to members of management and business partners. Provide support for M&A transactions, including working with Corporate Development on deal structure and LOI terms, planning and assisting in due diligence, drafting and negotiating deal agreements, and actively managing deal process and execution. Provide support on real estate, corporate, commercial and other transactions and special projects.
Qualifications: J.D. Degree. Must be a member of good standing of the California Bar. Strong academic credentials. 7+ years of securities law experience, with at least 3 years at a law firm. In-house experience at a public company is a significant plus. Experience interacting at senior level with business management. 33 Act and 34 Act experience and a solid background in M&A are required. Familiarity with accounting statements and understanding of Regulations FD, S-K, S-X and G. Experience with executive compensation and benefits is a plus. Team attitude that no job is too big or too small. Thrives in an environment where you need to roll-up your sleeves and own outcomes. Ability to strike sensible and practical balance between legal risks and the need to do business. Adept at working in a fast-paced, high activity environment with smart and creative people. Strong ability to influence, provide point of view and to listen. Excellent verbal and written communication skills to effectively work with various departments and levels within firm (including senior management) and manage cross functional teams, including finance, IR and PR. Excellent judgment, attention to detail and ability to handle sensitive and confidential information. Ability to handle ambiguity, juggle many matters at once and quickly shift from one situation or task to another. Solution oriented. Talent for thinking outside of the box in confronting new issues and pursuing novel approaches to old problems. Sense of humor and fun - for example, passion for gaming (whether it be Words with Friends, Farmville, FIFA, World of Warcraft or Call of Duty).
In-house Corporate Counsel
The candidate will be doing includes reviewing, drafting, and negotiating contracts related to, among other things, software licensing, marketing, products, and professional services. Will also counsel business partners on a variety of business law issues. Junior attorney with 1-3 years of transactional experience and a high level of interest in technology will be considered. The ideal candidates should have had international exposure. Need to be practical and business-minded with an ability to present a business partner with real-world, pragmatic advice. Ability to work in a dynamic, multicultural environment is also needed. Large firm experience and strong credentials are ideal. Familiarity with French and a technical background are a plus. Some international travel may be required.
Responsibilities: Responsible for certain corporate and transaction matters, including capital markets and commercial transactions. Work with business partners throughout the company on a wide variety of corporate and commercial matters.
Qualifications: Graduate from a top-tier law school. Member in good standing with the California Bar. 4+ years relevant corporate transactional experience at a top-tier law firm and/or in-house. Experience with deals in capital markets and/or debt finance. Experience working with high-growth and/or technology companies. Superb oral and written communication skills. Exceptionally organized, detail-oriented, and efficient.
The candidate's role will include the negotiation and drafting of contracts, including, customer and supplier agreements; master supply agreements, non-disclosure agreements; joint development agreements; licensing agreements and employment contracts. Should have 7-10 years of experience.
The candidate should have 4-7 years of experience in the power industry drafting and negotiating all manner of commercial contracts, including master service agreements and other vendor contracts, guarantees and letters of credit, contracts for the retail sale of electricity and natural gas, wholesale purchase and sale agreements for crude oil and natural gas, and software license agreements. Will also have a compliance component, handling Dodd-Frank related issues.