Both corporate law and litigation have their pros and cons when considering a career in the legal industry, and both are in high demand throughout the country.
So, what’s the difference?
What Is Corporate Law?
Corporate law deals with the formation of corporations and their dealings with each other, with other businesses, and in interactions with the various levels of government, tax organisations, and the public.
Corporations, like every business, operate under a series of state and federal laws in each country. The role of a corporate attorney is to ensure that the corporation is operating within these laws. Corporate attorneys will deal with contracts, cases where the corporation is being sued, shareholder issues, and more. Corporate attorneys will often be involved in areas like taxes, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions.
What Is Litigation?
Litigation is the practice of taking a case to court to resolve a dispute or charge someone with a crime. Litigation lawyers will work in consultation with their client and represent their case and best interests to the court, with either a judge or a jury to get their client a favourable outcome.
They’ll also deal with the opposing litigation lawyer, attempting to resolve the dispute and come to an agreement between both parties in favour of their client.
Many cases can be taken to court for litigation such as divorce, small claims, criminal, etc. They can also deal with cases whereby their client is being sued is suing another party.
Pros Of Going Corporate
It’s a tough gig making it as a competent corporate attorney, but there are a few major benefits you can expect.
Corporate law is the highest paid field of law you can practice, so you can expect to receive a much better salary compared to litigation lawyers with the same amount of experience as you.
If you’re lucky and are an exceptional student, you could potentially land a graduate gig at a major corporation and have the prestige that is associated with working at a big company. You can work your way up the chain and eventually hold a senior position at a global corporation that is recognised globally.
- Additional Perks
Depending on the company of course, but you may find you get additional perks like a company car, phone, and even generous salary bonuses each year. Not to mention you can get expenses paid to major seminars and conferences in your industry, which only increases your knowledge and career opportunities.
There will always be a demand for someone with your skill set and expertise. You can expect to have demand globally wherever corporations exist, particularly if you become fluent in other languages or grasp concepts such as international corporate law.
- More Specialised
The fact is that corporate attorneys are few and far between compared to litigation lawyers. This means that there is much less competition for jobs compared to if you were a litigation lawyer. You may also find corporations and law firms chasing you for your skills based on your specialised level of expertise and knowledge.
Cons Of Being A Corporate Attorney
Just like with anything, there are a few notable cons you can expect being a corporate attorney that may make you choose the path of litigation instead.
- Long Work Hours
Corporate attorneys often work long hours, so don’t expect to necessarily work a typical 9-5 schedule. In fact, with the endless stream of corporate duties then you will probably be working overtime every day.
- Working In Isolation
Don’t expect to be always working with other people. There are going to be many days where you may be required to work on activities that require little or any interaction with others. Think of long days looking through contracts and other important legal documents to ensure they’re legally sound.
- If The Economy Is Struggling…
Then it’s quite possible you’ll also struggle. If companies need to cut costs then they’ll lay off staff and corporate attorneys are included in this bracket. During any tough economic times, companies won’t hesitate to drop attorneys to save money.
- Not As Many Jobs
While corporate attorneys are highly in demand, the reality is that there is more work in litigation areas compared to corporate. Everywhere in the country, every day a new litigation case is brought to light, and as long as you are trained in litigation law then you can do this kind of work.
- Harder To Start Your Own Law Firm
When you’re in corporate law, it’s much harder to start your own law firm compared to a litigation law firm. Many litigation lawyers decide to work for themselves at some point and start their own law firms. Whereas, for corporate, the opportunities to do the same are much fewer.
- No Contingency Fee Basis
One real monetary perk of litigation law is the contingency fee basis whereby a litigation lawyer takes a mammoth case to court, wins, and earns a large sum of money. Some lawyers in these cases have made hundreds of thousands and even millions. This type of model is not possible with corporate law.
If you need help with any corporate law or litigation matters, get in touch with us today and we’ll answer all the questions you may have.