Corporate Law Degree Program Options

Many aspiring corporate lawyers pursue a Juris Doctor (J.D.) - a professional law degree. In these programs, students take in-depth coursework about legal concepts and the judicial process, which prepares them to become licensed lawyers.

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Essential Information

In Juris Doctor programs, students explore foundational legal concepts, like the judicial process, torts and court procedure, and they may take electives in business or corporate law. The successful completion of a J.D., which takes three years, qualifies graduates to sit for their state's bar exam and subsequently practice as a licensed lawyer. An aspiring corporate lawyer would specialize in corporate law.

Corporate Law Degree Programs

Law school applicants must have a bachelor's degree. The subject of the degree may be in a general topic, such as English or biology, or a more specialized topic (i.e. pre-law or business). Letters of recommendation, LSAT scores and transcripts are mandatory. Corporate law studies are standard along with other basic courses, such as criminal, constitutional and financial law, during the first year of law school. Students may pursue a specialty (i.e., corporate law) the last two years. Common corporate law courses are:

  • Acquisitions and mergers
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business law
  • Corporate taxation
  • Foreign investments
  • Ethics and morals

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( projected that the employment prospects for lawyers would increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual wage for lawyers in 2015 was $115,820, as reported by the BLS. Figures may vary according to setting, specialty and experience.

Continuing Education Information

A Master of Laws (L.L.M.) in corporate law degree program exists for current lawyers who earned their law degree outside of the United States. It takes one year to complete and requires professional legal experience for admission. A written bar examination is required of all potential lawyers. They must hold a law degree from an accredited institution. Each state administers its own bar exam, and the length and content are dependent on location.

A J.D. takes three years to complete and allows students to specialize in different areas, including corporate law. Program graduates must pass their state's bar exam before beginning to practice law.

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