A business lawyer is a lawyer that practices law pertaining to business, such as local, national or international business law. In addition to providing assistance with starting or growing a business, a good business lawyer can help a business to prosper by providing invaluable legal advice. Here’s some more information about business lawyers, including how to become one and what they can assist with.
How Do You Become a Business Lawyer?
There are a number of steps to take in order to become a business lawyer in Australia:
- Complete a law bachelor’s degree
- Apply and get admitted to a law school
- Earn a jurist doctor degree – this is where you would choose to be a business lawyer
- Pass the bar examination to become a licensed practicing lawyer
This typically takes six years, but can vary depending on your mode of study.
To become a proficient and competent business lawyer, you need to be a critical thinker and have analytical reasoning. Good negotiation, research and writing skills are also helpful for this profession.
What Can a Business Lawyer Assist With?
Business lawyers can assist with the following:
- Ensuring business transactions are in compliance with the law
- Conducting legal research into how various laws affect a business
- Advising companies on any legal issues involving stakeholders and providing the best legal strategies
- Business restructuring and insolvency
- Compliance – A business lawyer can interpret the law and advise a business on any issues affecting it, such as taxation. They can help minimise the risk of lawsuits and even closure of a business.
- Corporate finance – Business lawyers can be helpful when an issue arises relating to sale or acquisition of businesses. They can share business intelligence and contacts to provide a company with a real competitive edge.
- Intellectual property litigation – Intellectual property lawyers will advise on protection of copyrights, trademarks, designs and patents to avoid counterfeit products in the market.
- Labour law – This involves protection and enforcement of employee rights as a company asset.
- Preparation of legal documents – This can be necessary to represent a business in court or for a contractual arrangement.
The Employability of Business Lawyers
Being a business lawyer is a prestigious career. Once you become licensed, you can work for the government, be employed by a law firm, or even work freelance. Private sectors often pay more and there are many job opportunities available, as all businesses – whether profit or non-profit – require business lawyers to handle their legal requirements.
Some of the advantages business lawyers enjoy include:
- Mental stimulation and intellectual satisfaction
- Good financial compensation
- Flexibility of work schedules
- The chance to change law practices and make a difference
- Conducive work environment
The disadvantages of becoming a business lawyer include:
- Long working hours
- High stress
- Competitive job market
- Client pressures and demands
- Changing legal practices to keep up with
- Low public perception