what is a transactional lawyer?

by Prof. Adella Kuphal I 8 min read

A transactional lawyer representing an organization may help the business owner:

  • Form a business entity, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLCs), Corporation, Partnership, or Sole Proprietorship;
  • Prepare partnership, stockholder, or operating agreements;
  • Provide advice on compliance and commercial matters, general governance, and other legal issues;
  • Draft business policies;
  • Draft and negotiate contracts;

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Full Answer

What makes a great transactional attorney?

  • draft wills, powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents;
  • draft and negotiate personal contracts such as leases, employment agreements, or loan modification documents;
  • file tax documents or other forms required to access government benefits.

How can you find a transactional attorney?

  • What is their experience with your particular type of transaction or claim?
  • How much of their business is related to this type of real estate practice?
  • Do they have experience handling real estate transactions or claims in your location?
  • If this is a bigger firm, who specifically will handle your business?

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Does your business need a transactional lawyer?

Transactional attorneys most often work for companies or businesses: Most private individuals don’t require the services of transactional attorneys.

What are the pros and cons of being an attorney?

PROS of Becoming a Defense Attorney. Earning potential is excellent (top pay for lawyers was roughly $187,000 or more as of 2014)*. Can work for a variety of employers, including individuals, companies or the government as public defenders*. Position allows you to stand up to authority on a regular basis and fight for the common man**.


What is the role of a transactional lawyer?

Transactional lawyers counsel individuals and organizations on the legal issues generated by their business dealings. Many transactional attorneys are drawn to this type of work because it is generally less adversarial than litigation.

What does Transactional mean in law?

Transactional law is a type of practice that deals with business and commerce. Transactional lawyers help their clients deal with contracts and other types of transactions.

Do transactional lawyers read cases?

A transactional attorney should never see the inside of a courtroom, either trial or appellate. In fact, if she has done her job well, a transactional attorney can prevent many legal “problems” from arising in the first place.

What type of lawyer gets paid most?

Some of the highest-paid lawyers are:Medical Lawyers – Average $138,431. Medical lawyers make one of the highest median wages in the legal field. ... Intellectual Property Attorneys – Average $128,913. ... Trial Attorneys – Average $97,158. ... Tax Attorneys – Average $101,204. ... Corporate Lawyers – $116,361.

How do you decide between litigation and transactional law?

While transactional attorneys work to bring parties together and avoid future litigation, litigation lawyers are essential for cases seeking to win in court:They analyze the claims their client(s) may have.They are skilled negotiators, and work to discover all evidence and file motions.More items...•

What are transactions law firms?

Lawyers engaged in transactional practice do not often take part in litigation. Their main work involves research, drafting, negotiating and advising. The Commercial Transactions stream focuses on transactions encountered in legal practice, from formation through to completion.

Are transactional attorneys happier than litigators?

But here's what I will say, which I do think is fair: clients generally have more positive associations with their deal lawyers than with their litigators, and clients are happier to hear from their deal lawyers than from their litigators. And this makes perfect sense.

Do transactional lawyers write memos?

Although a transactional practice does not typically involve researching and writing briefs for court, it does involve researching the current state of the law, including the formal and informal statements from regulatory agencies, and writing memos on what you've found.

What does transactional work mean?

The notion that work relationships can be either transactional or transformational has been around for a long time. Transactional work relationships are relationships where the focus is on the trade of time, effort, or results for money. Work is a contract and the terms are primarily about the tasks and the rewards.

What type of lawyer makes the least money?

Legal Aid Attorney Legal Aid attorneys provide counsel to people who cannot afford to pay for their own lawyer. These are public interest jobs that many lawyers get a great deal of satisfaction out of, even if they don't make a large amount of money.

What's the difference between attorney and lawyer?

Attorney vs Lawyer: Comparing Definitions Lawyers are people who have gone to law school and often may have taken and passed the bar exam. Attorney has French origins, and stems from a word meaning to act on the behalf of others. The term attorney is an abbreviated form of the formal title 'attorney at law'.

Who is the most paid lawyer in the world?

Top 10 Highest Paid Lawyer In The WorldRichard Scruggs — Net Worth: $1.7 Billion.Joe Jamail Jr. ... Willie Gary — Net Worth: $100 Million. ... Roy Black — Net Worth: $65 Million. ... Robert Shapiro — Net Worth: $50 Million. ... John Branca – Net Worth: $50 Million. ... Erin Brockovich – Net Worth: $42 Million. ... More items...•

About This Guide

Lawyers are often divided into two (2) broad categories: Litigators and Transactional Lawyers.


Lexis's Practice Advisor , Westlaw's Practical Law, and Bloomberg Law's Transactional Intelligence Center are good places to start researching transactional law areas. These resources are designed for practitioners — both new attorneys and attorneys new to these areas of law.

Practical Guidance on Legal Research Platforms

Starting in Lexis Advance, click on the tiles in the upper left corner to find the tile for Lexis Practice Advisor. You can browse the various "Practice Areas" to focus on a particular type of transaction or area of law ( e.g., Corporate and M&A, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, Tax, etc.).

Recommended Books

The American Bar Association (ABA) and the Practising Law Institute (PLI) publish a number of resources to help new lawyers in specific areas of practice. These resources can not only help you with the practicalities of your work, they can help you to discover whether a particular area of law is a good fit for you.

Don't Reinvent the Wheel!

You don't have to start from scratch when drafting documents. Your firm may have a work product database or document management system you can use to find documents used in prior deals. This allows you to maintain the "look & feel" of your firm's documentation and benefit from its developed expertise.

General Practice Forms

A broad range of common legal forms, from Abandoned, Lost, and Unclaimed Property to Zoning and Planning.

Books and Other Resources

We intend this book as a head start for new transactional lawyers. Provides basic instruction on some of the assignments a new lawyer is likely to receive in the corporate, securities, and mergers and acquisitions departments of most law firms. KF1477 .S925 2007 (Off Site Storage) Also available via Bloomberg Law using the link above.

How to Become a Transactional Attorney

To become a transactional attorney, you need to have many of the same qualifications that you need to become a litigator. This means having a bachelor's degree and attending law school.

What Does a Transactional Attorney Do?

Unlike litigators, a transactional attorney's duties and responsibilities do not involve being in a courtroom.

Transactional Law Defined

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a transactional agreement is “a contract by which parties exchange mutual promises or performances.” This broad definition can refer to pretty much any type of legal agreement that comes into being when you make a promise in return for what you are being given.

Transactional Law in Business

A contract is what transactional law often deals with, and there are many different types of contractual agreements that businesses enter into on a regular basis. For example, corporations must purchase products from their suppliers.

Transactional Law in Business Dealings

Not all examples of what transactional law applies to are what you would typically think of as contractual agreements. For instance, if two companies merge, what transactional attorneys will do is use what’s known as a “stock purchase agreement” to outline the transition process.

Transactional Law Issues Involved in Business Transactions

In order for commercial lawyers to properly draft what has been described above, they must have what is called an “understanding of the business transaction .” In addition, what attorneys often need to put these types of agreements together is what’s known as “business context.”

Transactional Law in Personal Transactions

Transaction attorneys don’t just deal with business transactions, however. They also often draft what is referred to as what transactional lawyers call “personal transactions” to ensure what is being exchanged between parties. For example when a couple divorces or settles their assets if one of them dies.

Transactional Law Translated: What Are the Basics?

It can seem like a complex endeavor, but it’s relatively straightforward. This type of lawyer simply drafts what are known as agreements between two parties for what they believe is what both sides want.

Transaction Law in a Nutshell

If you’re looking for clarity and fairness when it comes to your agreements, what lawyers try to do is make things clear. Not only can this type of lawyer draft what are known as business agreements and personal ones, such as those that involve divorce or estate planning.

Does a liberal arts degree hinder or limit someone's ability to become a transactional lawyer?

Not at all. I don't think anyone should be intimidated just because they don't have an accounting or business background.

Which law school courses give you a good idea of what it means to be a transactional lawyer?

Historically, few, if any, did. For example, you've always been able to take a course on the uniform commercial code, which is going to be only so helpful in helping you decide whether you will like transactional law or not.

How helpful are joint JD-MBA degrees?

I think they're helpful, but I certainly don't believe they're a must. Getting some training in business is a good idea. Our program, Milbank@Harvard, for example, teaches our mid-level associates basics in finance, accounting, marketing, and management.

How important is it for associates to specialize in a particular kind of transactional law early in their career?

I believe the best transactional lawyers continue to be those who have some specialization (such as M&A or corporate finance), but are not limited by that area and not intimidated to venture into other areas when the need arises.

Is it a good idea for a transactional lawyer to get some litigation experience?

It can be, but is not necessary—again, we encourage associates to dabble in different areas of law, including litigation, in order to discover what area of the law most interests them. Like transactional law, there are many kinds of litigation, so it's important to experiment.

What kind of skills will be important to transactional lawyers in the future?

The technology we have today is putting a major emphasis on turnaround time. Increasingly, the primary factor in measuring successful lawyering versus unsuccessful lawyering is how quickly the right answer can be attained or documents drafted.


Types of Transactional Law

  • LAW:
    Transactional law is known as the legal transactions and communication that occur due to doing business. For example, our company handles the following fundamental and comprehensive areas of transactional law: 1. Law of Corporations 2. Business / Commercial Law 3. Law of Intell…
    Corporate legal services are concerned with the establishment and administration of companies. There are several entity kinds. Choosing the proper entity type may necessitate consulting with an accountant and a corporation law counsel. Some enterprises, particularly those requiring licence…
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Transactional Law Overview – Commercial and Business

  • LAW Commercial and commercial legal services concentrate on a wide range of business transactions. Once a company is founded and begins doing business, its owners must guarantee that it is legally compliant. Furthermore, different sorts of enterprises are subject to other legislation. As a result, business law attorneys advise business owners on various legal transact…
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A Transactional Law Overview of Intellectual Property

  • (IP) LAW Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are associated with creative expressions such as inventions, trademarks, and copyrights. Intellectual property rights are incredibly significant assets that you may find across enterprises. As a result, understanding how to preserve various types of intellectual property rights is critical to maintaining such rights. General commercial tra…
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A Transactional Law Overview of Entertainment Law

  • The entertainment sector covers a vast range of categories and involves an extensive range of legal operations. From athletic events to music to cinema, each area of the entertainment business has its own set of unique criteria. As a result, anybody seeking legal guidance in the The entertainment sector should look for attorneys that have handled the specific sort of entertainm…
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