Corporate law is a diverse practice area that concerns the functioning of a business organization. It deals with the legal framework within which a company has to run its business. It’s a dynamic area of legal practice that attracts a lot of talented professionals. Corporate lawyers in India are much in demand.
It is a set of rules and regulations that apply to all companies registered under the Companies Act. It broadly deals with the incorporation of companies, mergers, and acquisitions, memorandum and articles of association, shareholder rights, listing and delisting of companies, public offering of shares, board meetings, and other routine compliance.
Often referred to as company law, it regulates the business activities of companies registered under the Companies Act 1956, which was comprehensively overhauled in the year 2013 and has come to be known as Companies Act 2013. Rules laid down in this Act have to be adhered to by all registered companies. Any flouting of rules and non-compliance may invite legal action against the company.
A career as a Corporate Lawyer
It is a very challenging and lucrative career option. With many more companies hiring corporate lawyers to address corporate governance issues and to comply with the stringent laws, their demand has increased significantly. More and more aspiring lawyers are specializing in this area of law. It’s a high pressure and highly demanding job, but can be very rewarding as well. However, you have to work really hard to realize your dream of becoming a corporate lawyer.
Functions of a Corporate Lawyer
Corporate lawyers in India perform a variety of tasks. Their area of work is wide-ranging. They are expected to handle a multitude of responsibilities, such as due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, negotiating and drafting contracts and agreements, taking care of shareholders’ rights, corporate structure and incorporation, memorandum and articles of association, employment laws and taxation, filing reports with the government, and various other routine legal work.
Unlike lawyers in practice who represent different clients at different times, a corporate lawyer works with a single company-the one which he/she is employed with. Companies hire lawyers who have vast knowledge and experience in a wide area of law. Large corporations may hire multiple lawyers with expert knowledge of specific areas of corporate law.
How to Become a Corporate Lawyer
Becoming a lawyer is a long-drawn process and requires a lot of hard work. It involves several years of education and training before you qualify to become a lawyer. You have to complete an undergraduate course first. Though there is no fixed requirement of studying any particular subject for the undergraduate course, you should take into consideration the skills lawyers need to have when you choose your subjects. Subjects like Economics, History, Political Science, and Philosophy could be good options.
To become a good lawyer you need to develop good writing and comprehension skills. You also have to be good in research and analysis, and must be able to process a sizable quantity of information.
Law School Admission
After you complete your undergraduate studies you will have to take admission in a law school. You should start preparing for the law school admission well in advance. Most schools require you to take admission test to be eligible for admission. Once you qualify in the test you can take admission in a law school. The admission test is designed to evaluate different skills that are deemed necessary for studying law, such as reading and verbal reasoning and analytical skills.
If you take admission in a law school straight after completing your class 12, it will be five years of rigorous study. This is a five-year integrated course, on successful completion of which you get a BALLB degree. You also have the option to join a law school after completing your graduation. The course duration in this case will be three years and you get a normal LLB degree.
Gain Experience While Studying
It is a good idea to gain some experience while you are still studying. You can look for an internship or a part-time job with the top law firms in India. Many law schools provide internship facilities during the summer break. Practical experience is very helpful in enhancing your skills. You may also be able to develop contacts in the industry that will stand you in good stead when you finally go out to search for a job as a corporate lawyer.
The Bar Exam
The final frontier you need to conquer before you become eligible to practice law is to clear the bar exam. In India the bar exam is conducted by the Bar Council of India. It is called the All India Bar Examination. When you qualify in the exam you will get the “Certificate of Practice”.
Though you are now licensed to practice and pursue a career in law, you must consider getting advanced qualification in your area of specialization, that is, corporate law. Corporate lawyers in India regularly attend seminars and training to get fresh insights into the ever evolving business environment. It is very helpful in enhancing your knowledge and skills in your core area.