What Is a Business Lawyer: Everything You Need to Know

Are you familiar with Facebook’s initial public offering? It was the largest IPO in tech history. What about the subsequent acquisition of Instagram? Or AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner Inc.

These business transactions that have shaken the economy share a few commonalities.

First, staggering amounts of money. Second, far-reaching implications. Another important aspect of these transactions, and similar ones, is that corporate lawyers were involved in nearly every aspect and detail.

By overseeing the legal affairs of companies, business lawyers can help them keep them running and growing. They’re not your typical fight-it-out-in-court kind of lawyer (though they’re often paid as well as the best of them).

Do you sound like this is the role for which you would like to be? Continue reading to find out more about how to become a business attorney.

The benefits of becoming a business lawyer

Business law is both financially and intellectually lucrative. Your salary will be high, and you will collaborate with clients to achieve their business goals. Some of these can be as important as Facebook’s.

The practical advantage is that the skills you acquire can also be transferred to an in-house position with a business or government agency. Many business lawyers become entrepreneurs, leaving behind the practice of law to start their own businesses.

If you look at the big picture, your work can make a significant impact on economic engines. 

Business law is less confrontational than other areas of law. It does not involve disputes about what went wrong or attempts to assign blame. Although it is crucial to have lawyers on the case, the business lawyer will often be dealing with multiple parties that all want the same thing. 

For example, the bank lawyer representing the borrower would like to lend money as it is financially beneficial. On the other hand, the borrower wants the money to be used to improve his/ her business. Both sides will work together to achieve the best possible deal. Negotiations can sometimes be contentious, but both parties are ultimately working towards a common goal.

The nature and variety of the work

Corporate lawyers advise clients in all areas of company law, including the acquisition and sale of companies and their assets, stock market listings, reorganizations or joint ventures. Each corporate transaction is unique and comes with its own challenges.

You will be a trainee solicitor within the corporate department and have the chance to experience a variety of work, from private equity transactions to complex company law research to public company takeovers.

1. Variety of clients

Clients can range from small family-owned businesses to large public companies that are listed on the National Stock Exchange.

Corporate seats allow trainees to work side-by-side with people running impressive companies. This will enable them to understand how each company is run and the priorities of their owners.

It is evident that trainees benefit from daily contact with business-minded clients. This helps them to improve their commercial awareness and understand the interplay between black law and commercial realities.

2. Responsibilities

From day one, corporate trainees are expected to take on a lot of responsibilities. A typical trainee task includes drafting ancillary documents related to transactions (such as board minutes or stock transfer forms), as well as coordinating due diligence and handling post-completion admin.

Corporate is a great place to learn skills like time management, drafting and time management. These skills are transferable from one seat to another and are crucial for trainees’ development. If you are hesitant about taking on more responsibility in your early career, remember that your supervisor is there to support you whenever needed. No one will be thrown into the deep end without feeling ready to swim.

3. Collaboration with other departments

Many corporate transactions are complex and require the expertise of other lawyers, such as tax, employment, or pensions. Corporate lawyers often work closely with other departments. This is especially beneficial for trainees, who get to interact with other departments and expand their network. This aspect is usually very enjoyable. Being at the heart of transactions, often in a coordination role, is very rewarding.

Different types of business law

Business law can be applied to many types of business activities and covers many legal areas. A business lawyer may have to deal with corporate, partnership, banking, sales, securities, and other legal issues.

Business lawyers play an important role in the intersection of the legal and business worlds. They add value to the client and provide a valuable service.

What business lawyers do

Business lawyers are able to anticipate potential problems for clients and plan accordingly to avoid them. This can be done in many ways by the business lawyer. A bank lawyer representing a business in a lending transaction needs to draft all necessary documents, such as the promissory note and loan agreement. This is done with the goal of protecting the bank and making sure that the borrower pays back the loan in the way the bank requires. A business lawyer must be able to anticipate the situation where the borrower defaults and provide remedies for the lender in such a case.

An attorney representing a company involved in an IPO, such as Facebook, must ensure that all documents are filed with the relevant governmental authorities.

A business lawyer must also be able to comprehend not only the law but also the basics of the client’s business and their goals. The business lawyer will give daily advice to those who run and work in the company’s legal department. This includes the interpretation and communication of laws and regulations.

In-house lawyers will consult with business lawyers from a law firm if a matter is not within their scope. The business lawyer acts as both a lawyer and a client by liaising with any outside law firm and the company.

Many business lawyers don’t get involved in litigation and do not argue cases in court. While trial lawyers and litigators are skilled in business law, the majority of business lawyers work in the office. The majority of time spent by a business lawyer will be spent in negotiation, legal analysis and contract drafting.

Studying Business Law in Law School

A Juris Doctor degree and successful completion of law school are prerequisites for any area of specialization. Business experience is not required for students to become business lawyers.

It doesn’t hurt to be familiar with basic business terminology. You’ll impress your law students if you can tell the difference between an income statement and a balance sheet. However, even this is not required, and no specific undergraduate degree is required. Instead, you should choose courses that will help you improve your analytical, reading, and writing skills.

Your first year Contracts course is the basis for many other business law courses. Business Organizations is one of those courses you will want to take. This course will give you an overview of the different types of business entities and the benefits and disadvantages of each. It will also explain how each functions in the business world.

A course in Securities Regulation is a great way to get familiar with the regulatory environment where securities are sold and bought as you move through law school. A Sales course covers the laws that govern the sale and purchase of goods, and secured Transactions address the laws that govern the use of collateral to secure a loan. A course in Contract Drafting is a must-take for any business lawyer.

The Indian Bar Association recommends that anyone who is interested in a career in law, regardless of their chosen field, seek out educational, extracurricular, or life experiences that will help them develop the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in this profession. They include problem-solving, analytical thinking, critical reading, writing, editing, oral communication and research.

Students interested in business law may find it particularly interesting to participate in a law clinic, get involved with an academic law centre or do some pro bono/volunteer work related to business.

This type of work something that appeals to you? Then a career as a business lawyer should be considered.