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I say it is boring and dry as a student and undoubtedly most law students would find business law - for the most part - extremely dull in theory. But there can be no doubt that the law relating to business and commercial transactions form a very important aspect of our lives even as lay individuals. In fact, I feel this aspect of law is probably the most indispensable part of the legal framework of nations next in importance only to criminal law.
As I see it, business law is more about setting the legal framework under which human commercial transactions and dealings can take place within a regulatory system of checks and balances than about the actual rules governing business transactions - which is more an area for MBA graduates and managers. Unlike criminal law which deals with the exceptions of society with its focus being primarily its punitive and deterrence value, business law deals mainly with day-to-day activities and is more about setting boundaries and first principles. However, like any other field of law, commercial laws also do incorporate criminal aspects to deal with blatant abuses of the system and to punish what is popularly known as white collar crime.
Basic contract laws, of course, are the life-blood of any commercial legal framework, but in today's world, we have gone far beyond simple one-to-one contracts. Companies today not only have to worry about local laws, but also about international laws and best practices. Starting and running a business in today's economic and technological environment has becoming increasingly complex. Therefore laws relating to business have mushroomed exponentially covering everything from simple one-man proprietorship firms on tight limited budgets, to multinational corporate giants with international presence concluding mergers and acquisitions as a matter of course.
Because it's also an area of law that is dynamic rather than static, the scope of business law is tremendously wide. Lawyers who specialize in business law have not to be mere lawyers, but domain-specialists in their area of expertise apart from being sound businessmen as well. There are simply no short cuts to success. Pure criminal law is extremely simple and elementary when compared to the sheer scope and range of business law. This may explain why there is far more competition in the area of criminal law than business law. Business and commercial law is highly rewarding as a career but also requires huge depth and range of knowledge and hard work.
Aspiring law professionals who aren't too keen to deal with the nitty gritty of criminal law and the unsavoury associations it brings would find business law a good career path whether as an independent specialist consultant/practitioner or within an organization's legal department.
Posted on Sat, Jun 12, 2010 at 16:21 IST (last updated: Sat, Jun 12, 2010 @ 17:26 IST)