So You Want to Practice Securities Law?

Interested in practicing in the Securities area? Here’s an overview of what you can expect…
Market Segment Overview; Types of Firms Practicing Securities Law
The majority of securities law is practiced in large to national firms. Some small law securities law boutiques exist but they are few in number. The practice can be identified on law firm websites by the following categories: Securities, Securities Litigation, Securities Enforcement, White Collar/Criminal Defense, Corporate Governance, Investment Management, Derivatives, Commodities and Futures, Hedge Funds and Venture Funds, Broker-Dealer Regulation and Global Capital Markets.
      • Large Law and National Perspective: With over 2000 publicly traded companies listed on a securities exchange, e.g., New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ, and over 400 non-U.S. listed companies, large and national law firms are kept busy counseling clients on corporate governance and compliance issues, SEC related disclosure requirements, securities litigation, handling public offerings, and the financing and structuring of securities transactions. 
      • In House Corporate Counsel Perspective: Corporate governance, corporate compliance, and director & officer liability are securities topics which are of interest to all in-house corporate counsel. Corporate counsel often play a critical role in the drafting of periodic SEC disclosure filings as well, in some instances they may be completely responsible for this and use outside counsel review and counsel with specific sections of the filings. Bear in mind that, although in-house attorneys regularly employ outside counsel to handle the corporation’s affairs, they must be equally knowledgeable so as to supervise and competently work with outside counsel. An in-house attorney plays a critical role in securities litigation by being the first person to conduct investigations into securities violations, then deciding when it’s necessary to call upon outside counsel.
      • Small Law Perspective: Small law firms tend to practice more state “blue sky law” than complex federal securities transactions, or they might be securities litigation boutiques. Many are focused on smaller public companies that are publicly traded over the counter.