Property/Real Estate Lawyer
Two primary functions are performed by real estate lawyers in the real-estate world. They can either be litigators or they handle the legal aspects associated with real estate transactions. Real estate lawyers are involved in the Property/Real Estate Lawyer management of real property and mediation of real estate transactions that have gone wrong.
Real estate lawyers can be highly skilled in handling fraud cases, such as mortgage fraud, disclosure fraud, and mortgage fraud. They also have a specialization in zoning, land use, subdivision, or zoning laws. You can also specialize in commercial or residential real estate.
Real estate lawyers must have a juris doctorate from an accredited school by the American Bar Association. This degree is in addition to passing the bar exam. Many law schools offer the possibility of focusing one’s studies on real estate law. Internships at different law firms can help future real estate lawyers gain work experience while in law school. As it is in 45 states, continuing education might be necessary after graduation.
Employers are looking for real estate lawyers who have a higher education. They also require years of contract negotiation and transaction preparation. The Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Division of the American Bar Association is a division. There are also state associations of real estate lawyers. These associations not only offer prestige, but also allow you to network with other lawyers. These memberships can help you gain new skills and job opportunities.
Job Description and Skills Requirements
A real estate lawyer who focuses on real estate transactions is responsible for the preparation and review, negotiation of terms, and transference of titles. Companies may need to call them if they are not sure how real estate laws and regulations might affect their business, when selling or buying real estate. Real estate lawyers can represent clients in court if there is a breach of contract or fraud. As they meet the diverse needs of their clients, the work hours can be lengthy.
It is important to have strong negotiation skills and a solid business law background. Real estate is a network of relationships. A real estate lawyer must be able to network. Because a real estate lawyer may be handling multiple documents and cases at once, time management is crucial.
Outlook on Careers & Salary
A real estate lawyer’s average salary is $118,000. The hourly rate charged for real estate lawyers and the amount of experience are key factors in determining the salary. A real estate lawyer’s salary can increase if they work in a large company or become a partner.
Real estate lawyers are less needed in times of economic recession and a drop in the housing market. Real estate companies might hire fewer lawyers to compensate and hire paralegals or accountants to do similar functions. More job opportunities may be available for those who are willing to relocate. Relocating does not necessarily mean passing another state’s bar exam.
Commercial real estate professionals often work in large companies alongside environmental lawyers and full-time litigators. Real estate lawyers may work for the government and use their knowledge in building and zoning department of local municipalities and counties. Others may work for corporations, financial and lending institutions, real-estate development companies, or title companies. Real estate lawyers who have their own practice or work in small firms typically focus on residential real property transactions.