What Skills Do Financial Services Lawyers Need to be Effective?
At last count, there were over 1.2 million licensed lawyers in America. That’s around one lawyer for every 200 adults, making it one of the most popular white-collar professions in the country.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: How on earth can all of those lawyers find work? Won’t there be a point where supply surpasses demand? Not likely. U.S. law schools have consistently graduated around 40,000 new attorneys each year for the better part of two decades now. The reason? Many fields and specialties of law are growing far faster than the supply of new talent. Securities law is one of those areas
What Do They Do?
Behind every big business deal, merger or investment is a group of experienced financial services lawyers that review documents, structure and properly craft agreements in accordance with state and federal securities laws. That might sound a bit boring, but trust us, it’s not! These talented attorneys ensure that business gets done, new companies receive funding, and people subsequently get jobs. In other words, they help the economy grow. They also dispense legal advice on a wide variety of corporate and finance-related matters.
Who Do They Work For?
Securities attorneys have a wide range of clients whom they help with several different legal issues. Generally they work for either an individual entrepreneur, investor or advisor or an investment firm. While helping their clients pursue their goals, most of their time is spent negotiating the terms of a new venture or guiding them through a case in which financial wrongdoing is in question. Though our clients are often experts in their business fields, they may not be fully versed in the laws that correspond to their practices – they look to us to protect their assets, businesses and reputations.
As we mentioned at the outset, there are many legal fields and specialties from which to choose. Graduates that go into securities and finance law often have a large and impressive skill set that is needed to wheel and deal both at home and abroad. Here are few of the talents the attorneys who excel in this legal area of practice share.
- The Ability to See the Big Picture: They might not know everything about what their client makes or sells or invests in, but all good finance and securities attorneys understand how successful business run. They also know a bad deal when they see one. It is their job to advise their clients on the best course of action for profitability.
- An Outgoing Nature & a Good Sense of Humor: The negotiation process for a deal can last for hours, even days. These exchanges can often be fraught with tension and nerves. An experienced securities and finance attorney knows when to turn on the charm and when to defuse a tense situation with a little levity.
- Good Communication Skills: It should go almost without saying that a talented finance attorney must have a way with words to navigate the often arduous negotiation phrase of any deal. He should be articulate and concise but not blunt, genial and engaging but not be”over the top.”
Because it is an exciting, fast-paced legal specialty that often involves VIP clients and significant amounts of money, securities and finance law is one of the most interesting and fast-growing legal specialties.