Summary: Learn more about what it is like to be a Corporate attorney in this article.

What Does a Corporate Attorney Do?
  • This practice area focuses on general corporate work. Corporate law includes entity formation and corporate governance.
  • Corporate work includes the creation of different kinds of entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships, as well as helping companies comply with ongoing governance and regulatory issues.
  • Corporate generalists typically deal with multiple different types of corporate-related work.
  • On the West Coast (particularly Silicon Valley), corporate attorneys tend to work more with private companies; they counsel technology companies, do venture work, securities, and IPOs.
  • On the East Coast, there tends to be more public company-related work and the practice area tends to be much more specialized.
  • Many generalists serve as outside general counsel to companies.

Why Do Corporate Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
  • Attorneys enjoy being generalists because the work tends to be quite collaborative.
  • There is a lot to learn to be a corporate attorney (it can take several years), and this creates a high barrier to entry in the field.
  • This is a good practice area for people who like business, money and working directly with companies.
  • Corporate attorneys are the most likely to be able to get in-house positions.

What Are the Difficulties of Being a Corporate Attorney?
  • The work that corporate attorneys do is often referred to as "glorified clerical work" because the work is often quite clerical in nature.
  • The best corporate attorneys excel at finding the things that can go wrong in transactions, contracts, and other deals.
  • Because they are trained to see the negative, they are often viewed as hindrances to getting things done.

How Easy Is It to Move Laterally as a Corporate Attorney?
  • When the economy is good, corporate attorneys are often in strong demand.
  • Regarding the ability to lateral between states, cities and even countries, corporate is probably the best practice area to be in.
  • This is also a good practice area for attorneys interested in business and making a lot of money.
  • When the economy is slow, it can become more difficult for corporate attorneys to move laterally and there are a lot of layoffs.
  • This is a very difficult practice area to start a career in because attorneys can get laid off and lose their jobs early in their careers and never get the training needed to become seasoned attorneys.
  • This is the best practice area for attorneys interested in building a book of business.
  • Because corporate attorneys tend to advise their clients on an ongoing basis about a variety of issues, they typically can get spin-off work (litigation, real estate, tax and so forth) that they can send to other attorneys in their firm.
See the current Corporate job openings we are recruiting for here:
Corporate Attorney Jobs