Mergers and Acquisitions Attorneys


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Mergers and acquisitions attorneys have a wide variety of skills and knowledge so be sure to get a well-rounded education while in high school. Take classes in math, science, history, English, and computers. Strong communication skills are needed to negotiate deals and share information with clients and other lawyers. If your school offers classes in public speaking and writing, be sure to add these to your curriculum.

Postsecondary Education

A law degree is required to practice as a mergers and acquisitions attorney, and a bachelor's degree is required for entry to law school. Bachelor's degree courses include business, mathematics, finance, economics, history, government, English, and public speaking. After receiving a bachelor's degree, students then apply to law schools that are accredited by the American Bar Association. Students must first pass the Law School Admission Test for qualification as law school applicants. Mergers and acquisitions is a sector within corporate law, and students interested in this area typically take classes that cover constitutional law, property law, employment law, contracts, civil procedures, and legal writing. Students also take classes in tax, labor, and corporate law. Upon completion of law school, which takes three years, students receive the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.


The Master of Laws (LLM) degree is a one-year program for advanced certification in law. The LLM is offered in various law specializations, such as business or corporate law, litigation, dispute resolution, as well as general law. A law degree is required to qualify for LLM programs. Find information at and

Other Education or Training

Most states require lawyers to keep up to date on legal issues and take continuing education courses every year or every three years. Lawyers take webinars and participate in educational workshops and programs offered by the American Bar Association, the National Association for Law Placement, other national associations, and state and local bar associations. Many law firms also offer continuing education courses to their employees, including mentorship programs for attorneys who are new to the field.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Prospective lawyers must pass the bar exam in the state in which they plan to practice law. Requirements vary by state but generally all states require that bar exam applicants have a law degree from an American Bar Association approved law school and pass the written exam for that state. Lawyers who pass the bar exam to practice in one state may be allowed to practice in another state if the states have agreements for reciprocity and lawyers are of good character, meet state standards, and pay the required fees. The National Conference of Bar Examiners provides information about state and jurisdiction requirements at

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Three to four years of experience handling mergers and acquisitions transactions is usually required by corporate law firms plus a law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. Attorneys must have strong knowledge of federal, state, and corporate law, as well as knowledge of the laws related to the businesses of their clients.

Law work in general is weighted down in long hours spent poring over documents, both on computer screens and in print, and mergers and acquisitions legal work is extremely complex and overwhelmed with documents. Attorneys must be organized, detail oriented, have strong research skills as well as strong reading, writing, and speaking skills to share information clearly and accurately with other law professionals and their clients. Interpersonal skills are also essential for building and maintaining relationships with the mergers and acquisitions team members and corporate clients. The job requires solid analytical and problem-solving skills. People who do best in the mergers and acquisitions legal field enjoy gleaning facts from a slew of information, identifying potential legal issues, and advising clients on tactics for negotiations.