Why pursue a career in commercial law?
Becoming a commercial lawyer can be a really fruitful occupation with many perks to the job, so why should you pursue a career in the field?
What is commercial law?
Commercial law covers a variety of legal services which are designed to support businesses in making money from their products and services. This will include regulating the behaviour of people and businesses engaged in trade and sales and commerce, including e-commerce.
For example, a commercial lawyer may help creative industries and manufacturers profit from innovation, as well as sales on a domestic and an international basis need a contract. Commercial law can also cover consumer protection and contracts, which also include employment contracts.
Here are just a few of the areas that fall into commercial law:
- Sale of goods
- Manufacturers and product liability
- Consumer credit
- International trade
What does a commercial lawyer do?
As the name suggests, a commercial lawyer has a responsibility for commercial endeavours. They are obliged to assist with business transactions, making sure that arrangements and deals are legal and valid.
A lot of the duties a commercial lawyer will undertake will revolve around analysing terms of agreements and drafting up contracts. They do this in several different ways. This could be by examining legal documents for loopholes, creating non-disclosure agreements, or changing conditions in contracts.
They may also need to deal with other kinds of paperwork, which may include the likes of employee hiring or benefits or non-compete agreements for when someone is fired.
Other duties and responsibilities for a commercial lawyer would be filing motions in the courtroom, as well as seeking action through litigation when the company has been wronged. Most of the time, these claims will be made against other companies that have caused financial or economic damage, caused by various actions completed by said companies. This could also be a lawsuit against an individual, though.
How much does a commercial lawyer make?
According to National Careers Service, a solicitor (which a commercial lawyer can fall under) earns an average of anywhere between £25,000-£100,000 per year, depending on experience. This will be from working between 37-50 hours per week.
However, the average yearly salary for a commercial lawyer, according to indeed.co.uk is £60,747.
Skills needed to be a commercial lawyer
This is a straightforward one. When you’re looking for loopholes or negotiating a contract, you need to know what you’re needing to be looking for or how you can get the best option for your client.
A commercial lawyer needs to be able to work well when dealing with various business transactions involved in the legal side of the business. This is why they need to be financially literate, or else it will be very difficult to know what to do.
While a commercial lawyer will need to be emotionally detached from the cases they handle, they still need to be empathetic, something which will help them stay grounded. By showing a personal connection to the job, they will show the client they have a clear understanding of the case and aims at becoming successful.
A commercial lawyer will speak to all different kinds of people, from clients to opposing businesses. They will need to be able to get their points across clearly and concisely whilst making their case. Their written communication skills need to be on point as well, especially when it comes to tasks like drafting contracts.
Self-confidence and good interpersonal skills
Similar to communication skills, a commercial lawyer needs self-confidence when they are putting their case forward. They need to really believe in themselves and what they are saying.
It’s vital that a commercial lawyer stays on top of current affairs, and is able to demonstrate opinions on stories of interest to them. This is vital as all law firms are a business, and their work revolves around supporting other businesses in solving commercial issues.
Attention to detail
This applies not only when looking for loopholes and such, but also when creating contract drafts. It’s also incredibly important when applying for jobs to be a commercial lawyer that there are no errors in those application documents.
Being a commercial lawyer needs to have the ability to work in an environment where there may be other lawyer collaborators to work with. By being able to collaborate with others, they will be able to identify their needs whilst also working with others to bring the best out of them.
How to become a commercial lawyer
A vital step into becoming a commercial lawyer is earning your undergraduate or bachelor's degree in law. Those who have finished a degree in law will stand in good stead over those who haven’t when it comes to getting a job.
One way you can get yourself into university to study law, is by studying our Access to HE course, which will give you the equivalent to three A Levels. Alternatively, you could study our A Level Law course to study law specifically.
Building connections and a strong network is important, so start doing this early. If you have had a recommendation from a senior employee or established commercial lawyer, it helps you make a convincing case to the hiring team.
Whilst you can learn a lot in a classroom, it is so important that you get out and earn experience in the working environment. Getting work experience can help develop skills that recruiters are looking for, even if it’s not in the legal field.
It’s also essential that you complete your LPC (Legal Practice Course), as it allows you to use the knowledge you have attained in real-life situations or legal problems. In some cases, law firms can pay for you to go through with this course, so it’s wise to explore and consider your options carefully.
Why pursue a career in commercial law?
Now you know what it takes to be a commercial lawyer, the question is why pursue it?
There are many reasons, with the first being that the job stability is very good. Businesses will always need commercial lawyers, so there will always be jobs available.
Not only that, but the money is very good as well, with the average salary for a commercial lawyer almost twice as high as the median annual earnings for full-time employees in the UK in 2022 (£33,000).
Finally, it is a rewarding job. You can help business win cases, earn better contracts for employees, and much more. By doing so, you come away with a sense of achievement.
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