How to Become a Business Lawyer

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A business lawyer is a legal professional who provides business advice to entrepreneurs and corporations. These legal experts counsel their business clients about pressing corporate matters such as finances, taxes, contracts, and human resources. Like all lawyers, business lawyers have to complete an extended education, consisting of undergraduate studies, law school attendance, and continuing professional courses.


Legal Pad.jpg

Flickr: faul
Education Juris doctor degree with specialized business training[1]
Starting pay $54,130[2]
Median pay $112,760[2]
10 yr growth Average[1]
Related professions Tax lawyer, corporate lawyer, real estate lawyer
Author Selena Robinson
 

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Contents

Business Lawyer Job Overview

Business lawyers are responsible for advising their clients about serious legal matters. Common issues that business lawyers care for include composing legal contracts, defending their clients in civil court cases, and representing the client in arbitration hearings. These lawyers may work along with top executives in the company, including the CEO or the human resources manager, especially if the issues involve employees or managers at the company.[3]

A large part of a business lawyer's job involves legal research. In order to provide sound legal counsel, business attorneys must provide caselaw that supports their legal arguments. To find these legal precedents, business lawyers and their clerks must spend a great deal of time looking up previous court rulings in a legal library or in law journals. Business lawyers may work for themselves or they may be employed as in-house counsel for companies.[4]

Business Lawyer Education

To become a business lawyer, an individual must first complete a bachelor's degree program. While students can choose any major, they may find it helpful to select a program that will provide them with skills that will be helpful in their legal career. For example, a student who intends to work as a business attorney might decide to major in Business Administration.[5] After completing a bachelor's degree, students must sit for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and then use their test scores to apply for admission into a law school.[6]

Business Lawyer Training and Licensing

Once a student completes the three years of law school, he or she must pass the bar exam in the state where they intend to practice law. After passing the bar exam, the student receives his or her law license, which enables them to begin looking for work as an attorney. Many aspiring business lawyers receive their most valuable training by applying for internships in college.[7] As they spend time receiving on-the-job training from more experienced lawyers, these students learn skills that will help them market themselves when they begin searching for work as business lawyers.

In order to maintain their law licenses, business lawyers must attend continuing education and professional courses from time to time. The requirements for re-certification vary by state, but may be stipulated every year or every three years.[8]

Becoming a Lawyer

The process of becoming a lawyer


Also See: How to Become a Corporate Lawyer, How to Become an Entertainment Lawyer, How to Become a Judge, How to Become a District Attorney

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Lawyers.htm#tab-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Lawyers.htm#tab-5
  3. http://education-portal.com/articles/Masters_Degree_in_Business_Law_Program_Overview.html
  4. http://bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Lawyers.htm#tab-2
  5. http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/degrees/special-programs/joint-degrees/jd/mba-program-description.html
  6. http://education-portal.com/articles/Business_Lawyers_Job_Description_and_Information_About_Becoming_a_Business_Lawyer.html
  7. http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets/BecomingALawyer.aspx
  8. http://bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Lawyers.htm#tab-4