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Corporate Law Majors: Salary and Career Information

Corporate law studies typically teach students about law as it pertains to the business world. Find out about the requirements of these types of programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for corporate law graduates.

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An undergraduate degree with courses in corporate law prepares one for a career in the legal field. Paralegals and lawyers working in the corporate field can both benefit from a background in corporate law.

Essential Information

Undergraduate pre-law programs offer students an opportunity to explore the legal profession, gain entry-level employment in the field and prepare for advanced study. Corporate law isn't generally a major at the undergraduate level, but students may include courses in business, finance and corporate law in their undergraduate coursework in preparation for admission to law school. Bachelor's degree holders may pursue a paralegal career; corporate lawyers must earn a law degree.

Career Title Lawyer Paralegal
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree and law degree Bachelor's degree in any discipline and a certificate in paralegal studies, or an associate's degree in paralegal studies
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% 8%
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $115,820 $48,810

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Individuals who are interested in becoming corporate law majors might go on to follow related career paths. For example, they might later build careers as corporate lawyers or paralegals.

Corporate Lawyers

Corporate lawyers manage the business activities of corporations that require legal intervention. This may include mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganization and stockholder interests. Law graduates with advanced training in corporate law have a variety of practice opportunities, including individual practice, financial market regulatory agencies and major corporations. Corporate attorneys generally manage such issues as bankruptcy, financial regulations and antitrust laws. Students pursuing careers in corporate law should possess analytical skills and a working knowledge of microeconomics, advanced accounting practices and finance, in addition to their legal training.

Job openings for lawyers were projected to rise at an average rate of 6% during the 2014-2024 decade. It was projected that lawyers would face intense competition in niche high-salary areas, such as corporate law. The most sought after positions were expected to go to lawyers with several years of practice experience. These professionals earned median annual salaries of $115,820 as of May 2015.

Paralegals

Paralegals conduct tasks delegated by lawyers, such as investigating facts, preparing written reports and organizing documents. Law firms, government offices and corporate legal departments most commonly employ paralegals. Corporate law is a specialty area they may choose to work in. In this realm, paralegals prepare a variety of forms, such as financial reports, corporate loans and record resolutions. They also make sure corporations are aware of government regulations so they can continue to operate legally and meet any new requirements.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2015 that paralegals earned an average full-time salary of $52,390 per year. The BLS predicted that employment growth for paralegals would be faster than the average, at 8%, in the 2014-2024 time frame.

Individuals who have completed coursework in corporate law can have careers as paralegals and corporate lawyers, working with contracts and other important legal documents to support corporations, as well as conducting research and ensuring that corporations follow the law. In 2015, the median salary for a paralegal was nearly $49,000 and for a lawyer was nearly $116,000.

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