What Does a Corporate Lawyer Do & Do You Need One?

What Does a Corporate Lawyer Do & Do You Need One?

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Hi everyone, this is Brett Cenkus, the
right-brained business lawyer and business consultant. Today, I’m gonna build on a
video I did a couple years ago called, ‘what is a corporate lawyer?’ It’s a very
short video, 60 seconds and I hit at a very high level, what do corporate
lawyers do? That video has had a tremendous amount of attention and I
wanted to dive a little bit deeper today and talk a little bit more about, you
know, more granularly, what do corporate lawyers do? So, backing up though, going
back high-level, something you need to understand is in law school, well
number one, you would think, I am a corporate lawyer; you would think I would
have figured out what corporate lawyers do before I decided to pay six figures
and spend three years of my time going to get a law degree, but no I didn’t. I
figured out what corporate lawyers do when I was in law school. So early on in
law school, you know, kind of midway through that first semester, second
semester, you know, first year you start talking about interviewing, what you want
to do. And all the students start to group into one of two broad categories,
for the most part, you’ve got litigators and corporate lawyers, okay? So litigators
go to court, they’re the ones who always knew they wanted to be lawyers, they
watch Perry Mason, you know LA law, they watch these–Perry Mason, Im dating myself–but they watch they watch shows, where people
stand up and make arguments in court and that’s what they want to do, they want to
go argue and fight and be you know they’re well spoken on
their feet, they’re really into the courtroom scene, okay?
The rest of us didn’t really know why we were in law school, trying to figure out,
well I guess there’s some reason I’m here and I know I don’t want to go do
that I don’t want to argue for a living. We end up being, you know, kind of slotting in as
corporate lawyers or what I call business lawyers or in another word is
transactional lawyers. We deal mainly in contracts. So we form companies, we work
through partner-founder agreements, you know, things like that. If you’ve been
watching my mastering business partnership video series you know that’s
a lot of what I do. I help figure out what people’s deal is, you know, here in the air and put it into a contract form. We merge companies
together, we help them raise capital. Our world isn’t the world of courtrooms. I
do a little bit of dispute work with partners and founders and a tiny, tiny
little bit of litigation but really rarely more than most transactional lawyers, who
can go their whole career without going into court. So we
deal with contracts and litigators they go to court. There are other more niche
areas of law: there’s bankruptcy, there’s employment law, you know some employment
lawyers draft employment agreements, some argue them in court so they could be kind
of corporate and litigation, there’s intellectual property, there’s
all sorts of different hybrids and niches, but for the most part, you’ve got
corporate or business and transactional and you’ve got litigators. The thing
to know is that corporate lawyers are business generalists, for the most part.
We’re usually the first call when someone’s starting a company. We help
form that company, we help talk about how to structure it, things like that. Most
or a lot of business, corporate lawyers are business-people trapped in lawyers
bodies or something–somedays that’s how I describe myself. You know, I’ve been
out of law school for 19 years and just about half that time I’ve been in
the business world, not a lawyer, because part of what I love about law is that
strategy and business piece and some days being mired in the details and the
contracts and the work is like not strategic enough, so a lot of us really
like that business aspect and that’s really, ideally what you’re looking for
in a good corporate lawyer–someone who’s got a business mind, who enjoys
that, who’s a quick study in his commercial–is another term you’ll hear,
which is really understand that this is about getting a deal done, having it
makes sense, they can quantify risk and things like that. So that’s what a
corporate lawyer does. Again, heavy on contracts, but you want one who
understands the business world and loves that sort of stuff. They’re not
interested in disputes and litigation and all that sort of stuff. So, if you’ve
got more questions, drop a comment, send me an email. We’d love to hear from you. These videos that I put out are really driven by what you want to hear. Again,
that’s why I’m doing this one to build onto the the one that’s been so
successful or had so much attention about ‘what does is corporate lawyer’. So I
hope you enjoyed it today. Thanks.

30 thoughts on “What Does a Corporate Lawyer Do & Do You Need One?

  • Tai Cainan Post author

    Hi Brett,

    I'm a third year law student and i really like your videos as it is so relatble to me. Hope you could do a video on what a law student should do to better prepare themselve to be a corporate lawyer. (:

  • Priyanka Yadav Post author

    Hi Sir, I'm from India..i am about take admission in a college and can you tell about how a person has an upper hand by doing BBA LLB

  • Zack Boyd Post author

    insightful video thanks!! I'm trying to decide if I want to go to law school or not. These kind of videos really help me understand the legal world better. A few questions though what did you do before you went to law school? what did you study in undergrad? I'm trying to decide if I should get some work experience or go to law school ASAP

  • CITY MONK Post author

    Wow…you are the best..you have explained it properly in very simplified manner..

  • Ramiro Perez Post author

    Great video, myself a corporate lawyer and I still have friends come up to me and say "Oh! Now I know someone who can take me out of jail" they don't understand what a corporate lawyer does. Cheers!

  • Soniya Ghosh Post author

    Wat is the max salary of a corporate lawyer

  • xlrprettygirl88 Post author

    Hi Brett

    Any advice on what type of courses/major/minor one should take up in college in order to become a corporate lawyer before they get to law school?


    P.S. Great videos!๐Ÿ‘

  • Sadie Salazar Post author

    What are some good law schools to become a corporate lawyer?

  • Anime Master Post author

    Would economics be a good undergrad to prepare me for law school and my career as a corporate lawyer?

  • Anime Master Post author

    Also, I prefer speaking and writing and talking, which type of law should I go into?

  • MrGilc13 Post author

    Hello Brett, I read in one of your previous replies that some corporate lawyers use their background to become investment bankers or work for hedge funds. That is pretty much the exact road I'd like to go down albeit years of work later. Any recommendations or advice on how one makes that transition? Any further education needed or do many factors overlap? Thank you

  • grey VANN Post author

    What was your biggest challenge on your way to becoming a corporate Attorney ?

  • deniz kesici Post author

    i am basically a freshmen in college, but then again also a sophomore, and im just struggling in if my degree is smart for going into law school. I am a international business lawyer and I know I want to work between businesses but i do not want to be in office or in a cubicle for the rest of my life. How do I; 1) choose what lawny is right for me and 2) any tips for people thinking of law school sorta undecided about law

  • hornyLazy Ninja Post author

    Thank you that was very informative.

  • Gabbie Post author

    I thought I wanted to be a litigator, but now I'm much more interested in corporate law. I plan on majoring in accounting in undergrad, would you say this is a good choice? Or is there a more beneficial major?

  • Potatoe Spud Post author

    are you allan shore?

  • J79 Post author

    You never mentioned Suits ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Austin McKown Post author

    Great video!
    I am a college grad and it's a dream of mine to become a corporate attorney; however, is there still a good demand for corporate attornies? Is it going to be a struggle once I'm out of law school, given that I don't go to an Ivey League school, to find employment as a corporate attorney and pay back student loans? I would REALLY appreciate your opinion on the matter.

  • stickersdogcat42 Post author

    Hello Mr. Amazing! What business courses do you think would be useful for a future corporate lawyer? At least to start developing that business mind.

  • Zohra ์จ๋ผ Post author

    I'm still in school and I've got no idea what career I want in the future. However, i've always had an interest in helping victims of crime and I've been trying to research different careers in law but I still have no idea what to do. Do you have any suggestions?

  • William Schmidt Post author

    Very Helpful thanks a lot buddy

  • Alisha Thomas Post author

    Does Corporate Lawyer involve a lot of maths?

  • loriemismom Post author


  • Royalty Ohemma Effeh Post author

    Whatโ€™s the difference between a corporate lawyer and someone he took business undergrad. They sound very similar, since someone who went to business know would know a lot about business and all they things you described a lawyer to be as well.

  • ANG the kid Post author

    How much do you make a year

  • Sergiy Tereschchenko Post author

    Thanks for the video, I used to be a corporate lawyer in Ukraine before I immgrated in the USA, here in the USA I got my Criminal Justice Degree and A.B.A. approved Paralegal Certificate and I am now working on my A.B.A. approved Masters Degree in US Law. I am interested in becoming a corporate lawyer here in the US and/or military J.A.G. lawyer. Do your you have any advice for me; my Ukrainian experience help me somehow here in the US?

  • ronnytalks Post author

    I'd love to go to law school and I'm kinda into business and all that.. And I'm also an introvert so talking out-loud in courts as an litigator wouldn't be the best for me. This video re-assured me even more to be into the corporate lawyer path.

  • Shehzad Zaman Khan Post author

    I'd love to see a video on Commercial litigations :p

  • Aysenur Yรผk Post author

    you have a Turkish last name. hopefully I will be corporate lawyer

  • Isaac Joshua Aganon Post author

    Then I should take up MBA or MA Econ to become a better corporate lawyer I guess.

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