If you think about all the important decisions that people make in their lives, a lawyer is usually involved. Whether you’re buying a house, getting married or starting a business. The latter scenario is where business lawyers come in.
Also known as business solicitors, business lawyers help business owners to decide on important issues such as company structure and how best to formulate the company. They work with founders right from the beginning and help to guide them through every big event in their business journey.
But, what is it like to be a business lawyer? What does it take to excel in this field? What is expected from business lawyers on a daily basis? Read on to find out.
What Does a Business Lawyer Do?
Like doctors, lawyers have specialties. A business lawyer is an attorney who specializes in corporate law and their role is to ensure the legality of their clients’ transactions. As such, they must advise corporations on their legal rights and duties.
Business lawyers are responsible for structuring transactions, drafting documents, reviewing agreements, negotiating deals, and attending meetings. Business lawyers are also useful at incorporating documents, doing copyrights, trademark or patents, as well as purchasing or selling a business, etc.
The average business lawyer has knowledge of aspects of contract law, tax law, accounting, securities law, bankruptcy, intellectual law, property rights, licensing, zoning laws, and laws specific to the business of the corporations that they work with.
In short, business lawyer must be able to understand different facets of the law and how to apply it. They need to also have proficiency in understanding technical legal arguments and translate them in a way that makes sense to the client.
Business lawyers not only speak the language of law but they also speak the language of other business professionals because they work with other lawyers and accountants all the time. They’re skilled at settling small difficulties between two parties that often arise on almost every transaction that is negotiated. That’s why every business owner needs a business lawyer on their side.
How Do Business Lawyers Bill Their Clients?
Most business lawyers bill in six second increments. This is known as increment billing and it refers to measuring every six minutes as one tenth of an hour. So you’ve got .1, .2, .3, .4, .5, and so on. Some business lawyers use task based billing which is based on the type and amount of work done. This requires a lot of detail to show clients the specific work that has been done.
As such, lawyers need to use a timer and keep accurate and detailed records in order to generate accurate billing invoices.
What’s The Day In The Life of a Lawyer Like?
Most lawyers spend a lot of time in front of a computer, replying to emails and writing them. They spend a reasonable amount of time on the phone having conversations with clients and also in meetings.
Predominantly, lawyers spend the vast majority of most days reading and translating and writing documents. This includes reading instructions and translating them a letter to go to another party, or taking instructions from a client and turning them into a pleading to recover money on a debt.
The large proportion of the day is spent reading and writing, and the process that underpins of law practice makes up a huge part of the process.
It’s worth noting that the world of a business lawyer is based on creating, interpreting and negotiating contracts. Keep in mind that when companies do business with each other, every business deal has to be written down into paper for the protection of both parties involved.
Business lawyers specialize in transactional actions with a fair amount of paperwork involved. They form companies, they help businesses to raise capital, they facilitate mergers and acquisitions, they review contracts, create joint ventures, and draft contracts.
This is in stark contrast to what litigators that go to court do. In fact, a business lawyer can go for an entire career without going to court.
Business is fast and it’s messy but it doesn’t have to be hard and it should never be confusing if you have a business lawyer by your side.