Contract law focuses on creating agreements and contracts that satisfy both parties, bringing about a resolution to a conflict. Continuing legal education classes are available for those who are interested in furthering their understanding of contract law. A law degree and current licensure is required for the position.
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Lawyers need to keep up-to-date on the developments in contract law for professional work and to keep their licensure current. Continuing education courses for lawyers can be found through educational institutions and professional organizations across the country. Continuing legal education (CLE) can include classes, lectures or seminars provided by a bar association, company or other organization. CLE training offers updates, practice tips or general education on law practice. In addition to general law topics, some classes focus on a specific legal area, such as contract law. Many states require that licensed lawyers complete a number of CLE hours each year or every few years to maintain their license.
Contract lawyers practice a specialized law area and, similar to other lawyers, they must complete the same number of required CLE hours. A state's bar association may have its own CLE department that manages CLE hours and requirements for lawyers in the state.
|Required Education||Law degree|
|Required Experience||Previous experience as a contract lawyer|
|Other Requirements||Current state law license|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||6% for all lawyers*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$115,820 for all lawyers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Contract Law CLE Courses
Contract law is covered in many CLE classes for contract lawyers, as well as lawyers that practice in other areas, including commercial and government law. Classes are available in a variety of ways, including online, in person or via webcast. Common subjects include drafting and negotiating corporate agreements, payment and penalties, risk in contracts, drafting specific types of contracts, general consumer law, contract negotiations, business contract basics, business law essentials, wage laws and negotiation ethics.
Many times, rather than focus on the general topic of contracts, a class will focus on a specific aspect of the field, such as drafting arbitration clauses, contract costs, choosing which law to govern a contract or dispute resolution. In addition to completing the course, lawyers are generally required to report their hours to the bar association in their state.
Most bar associations provide a list of CLE requirements, approved CLE class providers and a list of topics on recent or upcoming CLE classes. There is generally a fee to attend most courses, including those offered by colleges, universities, bar associations and other organizations.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Corporate counsels provide legal advice to corporate executives on issues including contracts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 6% increase in demand for lawyers between 2014 and 2024. According to data from the BLS, lawyers were paid a median salary of $115,820 in May of 2015.
After having completed their law degree and receiving the licensure required by the state, lawyers may choose to pursue a specialized area of law. Classes on contract law are usually offered through the bar association, covering topics such as creating corporate agreements, business contracts and negotiation ethics.