The work of a corporate paralegal involves supporting corporate attorneys in all legal matters related to the functioning of corporations and businesses. Their duties include the gathering of relevant data and information from clients and the drafting of specific types of corporate documents such as partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, company by-laws and minutes, and stock certificates.
One major function of a corporate law office is to assist companies as they are created or dissolved. For newly forming companies, partnerships, or limited liability corporations, corporate paralegals may draft articles of incorporation, check the availability of corporate names and trademarks, and assist with mergers. For a company dissolution, they may assist with sale agreements, employment agreements or bankruptcy filings. Additionally, paralegal duties may include the preparation of documents related to the purchasing of franchise operations.
A Corporate Paralegal Works with Securities
Many large corporations are publicly traded companies. As such, they are responsible for registering with the SEC (The Securities Exchange Commission) to whom they must publicly disclose finances and other pertinent information that stockholders need to know about. Paralegals working with these types of companies are responsible for assisting attorneys in identifying securities for registration, preparing the relevant documents, and assisting with the completion of stock certificates and initial public offerings.
A Corporate Paralegal May Work with Inventors
Intellectual property laws will also fall under the purview of a corporate law office. Intellectual property laws protect the ideas and inventions of companies and individuals. In most cases, an employee’s design or invention will belong to the company for whom he or she works. The corporate paralegal may be involved with any official documentation of such a product including patents, trademarks and copyrights. If you are considering this specialty, be sure to check and see whether your paralegal school offers a course covering the topic.
Many large corporations have their own in-house attorneys and paralegals. If you work in-house for a large company, your duties might include the maintenance of documentation related to the daily operations of the company such as minutes, resolutions, by-laws and financial reports. In addition, you will most likely be responsible for overseeing all transactions and documentation related to any government regulation or oversight of the company. The scope of this function will vary depending on the size of the company and its products.
A Corporate Paralegal Should Know About Corporate Finance
Whenever a company engages in any type of financial transaction, there are always legal documents that must be prepared and maintained. A corporate paralegal will be responsible for tasks such as preparing audit letters, dealing with litigation related to billing, tax preparation and filing, and financial documents related to large acquisitions and mergers.
Working as a corporate paralegal, particularly for large corporations can be a very exciting and lucrative career.