Business / Transactional

What is a transactional lawyer?

Most people’s idea of a lawyer is the traditional trial lawyer. But today, many lawyers rarely see the inside of a courtroom. Instead, these transactional lawyers help business owners and other clients with the legal aspects of complex transactions. This guide focuses on perhaps the most common type of transactional lawyer — the business lawyer. To learn more about other areas of transactional practice, visit our Guide to Real Estate Law and Guide to Estate Planning.

What would I do if I were a business lawyer?

As a business lawyer, you are an “engineer” of the legal system, creating business entities and drafting contracts that make the economy go. You will help business clients navigate regulations, arrange financing and design strategies for new businesses. You have the flexibility to work in general business practice or to specialize in a certain area like securities regulation. This is a satisfying role: without business lawyers, companies like Apple could not have grown from a garage startup company to a multibillion-dollar business, and your local hardware store couldn’t join a franchise network like Ace Hardware.

What type of clients would I serve as a business lawyer?

A wide variety. Small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, non-profits — all of these organizations need guidance from a business lawyer to start new ventures, negotiate and draft contracts, enter into financing arrangements and navigate regulations. You might also work for federal and state regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Where could I work as a business lawyer?

You could be anywhere from Main Street to Wall Street, from a small town to a major financial center. Because of its thriving economy, Fort Worth/Dallas is an exceptional environment in which to practice business law.

What skills will I need to be a business lawyer?

Successful business lawyers are:

  • Experts in the law with particular proficiency in corporate and partnership law, contract law, securities regulation, commercial law, tax, financial planning and bankruptcy.
  • Creative in analyzing and solving their clients’ problems.
  • Adept at communicating clearly with their clients, both verbally and in writing.
  • Skilled in the art of negotiating and drafting agreements.

How will Texas A&M​ School of Law equip me for a career as a business lawyer?

As an Aggie business lawyer, you won’t just know the law. You’ll have practical skills and real-world experience as well as access to the legendary Aggie network and to employers in one of the country’s most prosperous states and metropolitan areas.

  • Knowledge and practical skills. Our professors are experts who have practiced at some of the world’s most highly regarded corporate law and accounting firms. Your first year of law school will not only have you learning the foundational law of contracts, but you’ll immediately put that knowledge into practice in our innovative Contracts Laboratory. You’ll then build on that foundation with advanced courses in areas like partnerships and corporations, tax, securities, commercial law and international business. Our practical skills and capstone courses like Contract Drafting, The Business Negotiator, and How the Deals Get Done will expose you to sophisticated transactional law practice as you put your newly acquired knowledge to use. You can even travel to the Cayman Islands with Dean Morriss to learn how to build international business entities from the world-class lawyers who practice there.

  • Real-world experience. Our Entrepreneurship Law Clinic lets you represent real clients who are starting new businesses. Our Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) offers several clinics in patent and trademark law — one of the fastest-growing areas of business law. Our Externship Program can help place you in law firms and corporate legal departments to earn class credits.

  • The Aggie network. Aggies are known for their fierce loyalty. Our network will help you open doors and make connections. There are more than 62,400 Texas A&M University Former Students in the Fort Worth/Dallas area, 290,200+ in Texas, 363,500+ in the United States and 395,600+ worldwide.

  • The Fort Worth/Dallas legal market. We are located in one of the fastest growing and most prosperous metropolitan areas in the country, giving you easy access to law firms and other major employers to start your career. 

Whom should I contact if I have more questions?

You can contact any of our business law faculty: Wayne Barnes, Mark Burge, William Byrnes, William Henning, Gary Lucas, Milan Markovic, Neal Newman and Frank Snyder.