There is a lot at stake when it comes to contracts, and you want to make sure you are as protected as possible. For most, this protection starts with hiring a contract attorney near them. Of course, the protection they offer is only as good as their training. So, what training do contract lawyers need to have?
While contract lawyers may not be fighting cases in the courtroom as frequently as other types of lawyers, they are still attorneys. And that means they have to go through the same training as any other type of lawyer, which, when compared to most professions, is significant.
First, a contract attorney must complete their undergraduate degree, which can be in pre-law or another major. Most law students get a bachelor’s degree in a field that will aid them in their pursuit of a law degree. However, any undergraduate degree is generally acceptable.
From there, they need to be admitted into a law school. This starts with passing the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT. This test is required by all law schools that have approval from the American Bar Association.
Next, the contract attorney has to earn their Juris Doctor, which is informally known as a law degree. This takes anywhere from three to five years to earn, depending on the program the attorney enrolled in and if they studied part time or full time. However, this degree alone does not give them the ability to practice contract law.
To be able to practice as a contract lawyer, the attorney must pass the required bar exams in the state or states they wish to work in and obtain any licenses required in their jurisdiction. The exams alone often take significant additional study time to pass and the licensure phase can take several weeks or months, depending on the speed of the issuing authority.
Put simply, any contract attorney you hire who is a legitimate lawyer will have years of training behind them.
The process of becoming an attorney is rigorous, but contract lawyers still have a few steps left to go. Because the laws surrounding contracts are very specific, a contract lawyer needs additional training to draft, revise, and litigate them.
This training is more in depth than you might think. It starts with enhancing legal research skills. Contract law is heavily impacted by case law, which means attorneys practicing it need to be able to dig deep into court cases that might alter how a contract is enforced by the courts. They also need to know how to sift through the various laws that have been passed over the years and determine which remain applicable.
Next, they need training in contract drafting. Contracts must use specific language and hit upon the key points for the type of agreement being created. To become a contract attorney, one needs to fully understand how to use this language and which points are critical to different types of agreements. From there, the attorney needs to become skilled at issue spotting. In other words, they need training on how to spot potential loopholes and close them so their clients are fully protected.
If you hire a contract attorney, you want to make certain they have the appropriate training and licenses for practicing in your state. This can feel awkward for some, but it is essential. Ask the attorneys you are considering working with to provide you with proof that they have their law degree, passed the bar in your state, and are licensed to practice. If they are unable to provide this proof, move on to a new attorney.
If the process of vetting multiple attorneys sounds stressful, take a deep breath: Contracts Counsel can help. Our boutique marketplace features contract lawyers near you who have already been vetted to ensure they are qualified to practice in your state. We even check their experience to help you connect with those who understand your industry. For assistance with contracts that fits within your budget, work with ContractsCounsel.com.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.