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Working As An Associate Counsel

  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $126,089

    Average Salary

What Does An Associate Counsel Do

An Associate Counsel assists in protecting an organization's legal interests and maintaining its operations within the scope established by law. They are focused on the negotiation of complex acquisitions, sales, and funding.

How To Become An Associate Counsel

All lawyers must have a law degree and must also typically pass a state’s written bar examination.

Education

Becoming a lawyer usually takes 7 years of full-time study after high school—4 years of undergraduate study, followed by 3 years of law school. Most states and jurisdictions require lawyers to complete a juris doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). ABA accreditation signifies that the law school—particularly its curricula and faculty—meets certain standards.

A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into most law schools, and courses in English, public speaking, government, history, economics, and mathematics are useful.

Almost all law schools, particularly those approved by the ABA, require applicants to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This test measures applicants’ aptitude for the study of law.

A J.D. degree program includes courses such as constitutional law, contracts, property law, civil procedure, and legal writing. Law students may choose specialized courses in areas such as tax, labor, and corporate law.

Licenses

Prospective lawyers take licensing exams called "bar exams." When a lawyer receives their license to practice law, they are "admitted to the bar."

To practice law in any state, a person must be admitted to the state’s bar under rules established by the jurisdiction’s highest court. The requirements vary by individual states and jurisdictions. For more details on individual state and jurisdiction requirements, visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Most states require that applicants graduate from an ABA-accredited law school, pass one or more written bar exams, and be found by an admitting board to have the character to represent and advise others. Prior felony convictions, academic misconduct, or a history of substance abuse are just some factors that may disqualify an applicant from being admitted to the bar.

Lawyers who want to practice in more than one state often must take the bar exam in each state.

After graduation, lawyers must keep informed about legal developments that affect their practices. Almost all states require lawyers to participate in continuing legal education either every year or every 3 years. 

Many law schools and state and local bar associations provide continuing legal education courses that help lawyers stay current with recent developments. Courses vary by state and generally cover a subject within the practice of law, such as legal ethics, taxes and tax fraud, and healthcare. Some states allow lawyers to take their continuing education credits through online courses. 

Advancement

Newly hired attorneys usually start as associates and work with more experienced lawyers. After several years, some lawyers may be admitted to partnership of their firm, which means they become partial owners of the firm.

After gaining a few years of work experience, some lawyers go into practice for themselves or move to the legal department of a large corporation. Very few in-house attorneys are hired directly out of law school.

A small number of experienced lawyers are nominated or elected to judgeships. Other lawyers may become full-time law school faculty and administrators. For more information about judges and law school faculty, see the profile on judges and hearing officers and the profile on postsecondary teachers.

Other Experience

Law students often gain practical experience by participating in school-sponsored legal clinics, in a school’s moot court competitions, in practice trials under the supervision of experienced lawyers and judges, and through research and writing on legal issues for a school’s law journals.

Part-time jobs or summer internships in law firms, government agencies, and corporate legal departments also provide valuable experience. Some smaller firms, government agencies, and public interest organizations may hire students as summer associate interns after they have completed their first year at law school. Many larger firms’ summer internship programs are only eligible to law students who have completed their second year. These experiences can help law students decide what kind of legal work they want to focus on in their careers, and these internships may lead directly to a job after graduation.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Lawyers help their clients resolve problems and issues. As a result, they must be able to analyze large amounts of information, determine relevant facts, and propose viable solutions.

Interpersonal skills. Lawyers must win the respect and confidence of their clients by building a trusting relationship, so that clients feel comfortable enough to share personal information related to their case.

Problem-solving skills. Lawyers must separate their emotions and prejudice from their clients’ problems and objectively evaluate the matter. Therefore, good problem-solving skills are important for lawyers, to prepare the best defense and recommendation.

Research skills. Preparing legal advice or representation for a client commonly requires substantial research. All lawyers need to be able to find what applicable laws and regulations apply to a specific matter.

Speaking skills. Clients hire lawyers to speak on their behalf. Lawyers must be able to clearly present and explain their case to arbitrators, mediators, opposing parties, judges, or juries. 

Writing skills. Lawyers need to be precise and specific when preparing documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

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Associate Counsel jobs

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Real Associate Counsel Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Erri Associate/Counsel Ashurst LLP New York, NY Jan 13, 2015 $295,000
Senior Erri Associate/Counsel Ashurst LLP New York, NY Jan 26, 2015 $295,000
International Associate Counsel II Enerflex Services, Inc. Houston, TX May 04, 2016 $198,058
Associate Tax Counsel II HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Mettawa, IL Jan 21, 2012 $177,225
Associate Counsel Frank Russell Company Tacoma, WA Sep 21, 2009 $175,000
Associate Counsel Warner Music Group New York, NY Aug 24, 2014 $168,000
Associate Counsel Warner Music Group New York, NY Jan 10, 2014 $168,000
Associate Counsel Warner Music Group New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $168,000
Associate Counsel Cerus Corporation Concord, CA Oct 16, 2012 $167,475 -
$179,300
Senior Associate Counsel Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Feb 03, 2015 $165,561
Associate Counsel Cerus Corporation Concord, CA Oct 15, 2009 $159,500
International Associate Counsel II Enerflex Services Inc. Houston, TX Sep 15, 2014 $150,000
International Associate Counsel II AXIP Energy Services, LP Houston, TX Jun 03, 2014 $150,000
Associate Counsel Coinbase, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 01, 2015 $136,531 -
$150,000
Associate Counsel AIG PC Global Services, Inc. New York, NY Jun 23, 2016 $135,000
Associate Counsel AIG PC Global Services, Inc. New York, NY Dec 14, 2015 $135,000
Associate Counsel Aderans America Holdings, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Aug 06, 2016 $128,274
Associate Counsel Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2011 $125,000 -
$135,000
Associate Counsel HBI Incorporated N.V. New York, NY Feb 25, 2014 $125,000
Associate Counsel, Business Affairs LBI-MRY Us, LLC New York, NY Feb 15, 2013 $124,000 -
$140,000
Associate Counsel Maxim Group LLC New York, NY May 11, 2010 $110,000
Associate Counsel Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Oct 11, 2010 $91,790
Associate Counsel Alcoa, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Feb 15, 2010 $88,200
Senior Associate Counsel Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Oct 11, 2013 $88,032
Associate Counsel Maxim Group LLC New York, NY May 11, 2010 $86,882
Associate Counsel Teachers Council, Inc. Annapolis, MD Dec 01, 2010 $80,350
Associate Counsel Biz2Credit Inc. New York, NY Sep 19, 2016 $79,123 -
$128,000
Associate Counsel Intertek USA, Inc. Cortland, NY May 01, 2015 $76,365
Associate Counsel Intertek Testing Services Na, Inc. New Haven, CT Sep 01, 2012 $74,140

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Top Skills for An Associate Counsel

RegulatoryComplianceRealEstateTransactionsIntellectualPropertyProceduresTreatmentPlansFinancialLegalResearchIn-HouseCounselLegalIssuesHumanResourcesDueDiligenceLegalAdviceCrisisInterventionLegalDocumentsBankruptcyLegalMattersSubstanceAbuseEmploymentLawSuperviseCorporateGovernance

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Top Associate Counsel Skills

  1. Regulatory Compliance
  2. Real Estate Transactions
  3. Intellectual Property
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and began initial implementation of federal and state regulatory compliance programs associated with operational phase of facility.
  • Represented banks, commercial finance companies and businesses in all aspects of commercial finance and real estate transactions.
  • Managed outside counsel in intellectual property and immigration matters.
  • Collaborate with senior staff on devising Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Developed individualized treatment plans that defined services and interventions and updated treatment plans according to documentation requirements.

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