A corporate paralegal performs transactional tasks. Exciting, right? Maybe not, but they do play a vital role delivering legal services in both law office and corporate environments.
Corporate legal assistants have substantial responsibility and typically enjoy a generous benefits package.
With experience in this specialty you can move into a more senior role. And, overtime opportunities for more responsibility will fatten your paycheck.
Both law firms and corporate offices hire this type of paralegal with the following experience:
mergers and acquisitions (M&A); and
You’ll find your responsibilities often include:
drafting corporate documents;
assisting with closings, corporate maintenance and due diligence;
assisting with formation, dissolution and maintenance of corporations, LLC, LLP and general partnerships;
researching and preparing UCC and SEC filings;
contact and research with federal, state, county and city government agencies;
drafting operating agreements and other business documents;
Blue Sky research;
due diligence and closings of equity financing and M&A transactions;
open bank accounts and review transaction documents;
corporate maintenance and governance;
preparation of letters of intent, agreements and leases; and
working with closing documents (collection and distribution), corporate compliance and governance.
Employment at most law firms and corporate legal departments requires a Bachelor's degree and Paralegal Certificate from an ABA approved program.
However, some offices do consider commensurate work experience in lieu of an ABA approved certificate.
Top qualities include:
excellent communication (both written and oral);
strong research skills;
proficient with MS Office including Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint;
knowledge of legal software;
good interpersonal skills;
strong organizational skills;
strong problem-solving skills;
The corporate arena requires you to function in a fast-paced, deadline driven and ever changing environment. It's very key to be flexible and organized.
While this position can be great financially, it can also be tough to get into. Not everyone can be a Corporate Paralegal because the opportunities don’t exist everywhere. If this is a position you want, you’ll need to get into it early on after graduating from a paralegal program.
The earlier in your career you start with this specialty, the better. It'll be more challenging to cross over to it if you find yourself starting in, say, probate or bankruptcy law. Often we just want to get a break and take whatever paralegal position comes up.
If possible, look for ways you can get this experience with your current employer to prepare to transition over.
Choosing the corporate paralegal path comes with great income and lots of responsibility. You'll need to exercise good judgment and strong time management skills as these qualities drive successful law firms and will make you indispensable to your team.