The need for law and order has been around since societies were first established. In order for a society to have the ability to thrive, there must be standards set. Corporate law is the field that I plan on going into after law school. Corporate law deals with the operations of corporations. The basic function of a corporate lawyer is to provide businesses with legal counsel ranging from mergers and acquisitions, tax law, and litigation, to accounting, licensing, and intellectual property rights.
The English common law is what the American legal system is originally based off of. It was the system of law in England at that time and was quickly adopted throughout the colonies. Much of the common law was formed in the years between the Norman Conquest of England in the early 11th century and the settlement of the American colonies in the early 17th century. Common law is what mot of the constitution is based on. It is centered on the idea that the power of the government lies with the people. Corporate law relies on companies’ need for legal representation or advice. Before the Declaration of Independence, companies based in America were forced to follow the procedures set out by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. After receiving independence, the dispute over being established as a corporation began. In the early 1800s, simple procedures for starting corporations became more widespread throughout the states. Because of the influx of corporations, dominant groups gained complete control over companies. Major decisions were left in the hands of a single person or a few people. Shareholders and employees lacked voice. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 brought many of the financial industries issues to light. After that, many reforms were put in place to regulate businesses. Lawyers and corporations have gone hand-in-hand since formal guidelines were put in place.
Law is an ever-changing field because new laws are always being put into place. Two of the most important factors that affect industry growth are increasing corporate activity and high corporate profit margins. When the economy is doing well and businesses are thriving, corporate lawyers are doing well and thriving. When new laws and regulations are created, businesses need to hire lawyers. Lawyers can work independently or in-house. The entire law field is government regulated because the government is the source of law. The top three law firms in the United States are Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Sullivan & Cromwell as of 2014. Sullivan & Cromwell and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom have competed the third and fourth spots in the list for a few years now. The law industry is highly competitive because there are so many law firms and lawyers in America. Lawyers get paid at some of the highest rates out of many of the professionals in America. The total revenue for lawyers is $277b. The annual growth is 0.3%, which depends on the aforementioned factors.
An important way to succeed in the law industry is to “get your name out there”. When people hire lawyers or look into a law firm, they want to see that the lawyers in the firm have experience, and are popular. Popularity is important when it comes to the legal field because lawyers do not become popular without winning cases or fulfilling their clients’ needs. A strategy that firms use to retain customers is to constantly remind them that you are available for work and that their work is welcomed. Also, many lawyers are take part in different organizations and boards that help them stay connected to the community, business people, and potential clients. Corporate law in particular is strongly affected by market changes. When new technologies are developed, environmental regulations created, union uprisings, any other change that would affect the economy, the hiring rate for corporate lawyers goes up. Companies need to be informed about all changes that legally affect them.
There will always be heavy competition in the legal industry. Every year new students are passing the bar and transitioning into the work place. Within these most recent years, there has been a decline in the number of students who are attending law schools. This means that in the future, there will be a greater need for lawyers because there are not as many available, supply and demand. Clients for corporate lawyers vary depending on the specific area that a lawyer practices. Corporations, large and small, are the most notable clients. Some companies hire lawyers from firms while others have in-house lawyers that only work with them. Legal counsel is popular in today’s business society.
Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is the number one law firm in America. Their firm consists of 260 attorneys. Cravath, Swaine & Moore is ranked second with 433 attorneys and Sullivan & Cromwell ranked third with 803 attorneys. Firms are ranked based on: Best in Practice, Best in Region, Best to Work For and Diversity Rankings. These three firms have been at the top of the law firm rankings for years; therefore they are continuously doing well.
The legal field is constantly changing and growing. Corporate law in particular must stay up date with new regulations that can affect the company that they are hired to work for. There are many different areas involved with corporate law, which range from patents to taxes. Nonetheless, each corporate lawyer is responsible for providing sound legal advice.