The primary responsibility of a bond lawyer is to make sure that bond acquisitions and sales do not break any sort of laws. They generally work for a government, bank, or government agency and have a thorough knowledge of tax, finance, and security laws. In addition to having passed a state bar exam, bond lawyers need to have a Juris Doctor degree.
A lawyer who practices municipal bond law may be referred to as a bond attorney. These attorneys assist a government or government agency in raising funds for projects by issuing bonds. The practice incorporates aspects of securities law and tax law, and common duties may include developing the plans for structuring the bonds, attending bond hearings and drawing up documents regarding issuance of the bond. Like all attorneys, a bond attorney must hold a law degree and have passed their state's bar examination. In law school, aspiring bond attorneys may be able to choose courses that will give them a solid background in this field.
|Required Education||Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree|
|Other Requirements||Pass state bar examination|
|Projected Job Growth for All Attorneys||6% from 2014-24*|
|Median Salary for All Attorneys||$115,820 (2015)*|
Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Job Description of a Bond Attorney
An attorney who practices municipal bond law may be called a bond attorney. The term 'municipal' can refer to state or local governments, as well as components of the government, such as a school board.
Attorneys who practice bond law usually assist a municipality with the process of issuing bonds to fund a project, but may also represent the bank that provides funding. Bond funds are used for projects when tax dollars cannot be used for funding. Examples of bond projects include building schools or other public and government buildings.
In the process of issuing bonds, the municipality seeking funding tells banks and other financial institutions that they are preparing to have a bond project. The bank or financial institution, sometimes called an underwriter, provides the agency with funding. In turn, they sell portions of their investment to investors, which are referred to as bonds.
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A bond attorney participates in all aspects of the bond process. Their main concern is to ensure that the procurement of financing and sale of bonds complies with security, tax, finance and other laws.
Typical job duties include writing financial documents for the sales of bonds and obtaining government approval of the bond sale. These attorneys may also decide how to structure the bonds and draft documents to submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies to show the validity of the sale.
They may attend and preside over any bond hearings. Because of the complexity of bond sales, most municipalities hire a lawyer anytime a bond project is anticipated.
To perform these tasks, they will investigate the purpose of the bond and research any applicable laws. They also review documentation provided by the municipality or bank to ensure its correctness and that it can be relied upon in drafting other bond documents.
Because a bond lawyer is the same as any other type of attorney, their incomes are usually similar. In May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that attorneys earned a median salary of $115,820 per year.
Bond lawyers can represent either a bank or government dealing with bonds. On top of understanding bond law, these lawyers have to write documents related to bond sales, such as reports for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and they may also need to figure out how bonds should be structured. As such, this career requires excellent research and analytical skills.