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Tips for Becoming a Real Estate Lawyer

— January 29, 2021

When you choose to practice real estate law, you can work with individuals and businesses to negotiate contracts, navigate zoning laws and even litigate on their behalf in related cases.

Choosing to go into the field of law is a big decision because of the amount of study and education required as well as the licensing regulations for various states and profession-related organizations. Once you have decided to become an attorney, you will then need to choose a field of practice so you can design your education around the necessary skill and knowledge sets required. One of these fields is real estate law, in which lawyers work with companies and individuals to ensure the fair and legal transfer of ownership for various types of properties.

Start as an Undergrad

The earlier you start in your chosen career path, the easier it is to gather the education and licensing you need for your first job. When it comes to legal careers, most attorneys choose their path soon after high school and use the first few years of college to narrow down possible fields of practice. This means taking a couple of different classes relevant to the field and determining if that is something you want to study. For instance, someone deciding to go into real estate law may take a class on financing to learn about mortgage refinance rates.

Seek Related Undergraduate Degrees

The most common, and arguably most useful, undergraduate degrees for real estate attorneys are business-related such as finance or business management. You can also get degrees and certifications in real estate or choose to seek a law degree after being a real estate agent. All these things will give you skills and knowledge beneficial to a career in this field such as attention to detail, networking skills and an understanding of related legal processes. You can get a law degree and practice real estate law with other undergraduate degrees but having some related coursework on your record can help you with your graduate degree requirements.

Talk to Established Attorneys

Talking to lawyers in your preferred fields can do more than help you decide which one to study, it can also give you valuable information about job duties, challenges, and things to watch out for. You can also get advice on classes to take and sometimes clinical experience opportunities by reaching out to attorneys in the field or applying for university programs focused on real estate law.

Decide Which Type of Real Estate Law You Want to Practice

Chicken Manure is Dumped on Property Right Before Wedding Service
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Once you have determined that real estate law is the right career field for your skills and personality, you will need to decide on what parts of that field to concentrate on. You can choose to work with residential real estate agents to draw up buying and selling contracts, to become a real estate closing lawyer, or to work with businesses and focus on commercial real estate zoning, sales contracts and related litigation. This decision can be changed once you get started in the field or expanded once you are established but can give you a narrower focus for classes before taking the bar exam.

Keep Studying

For lawyers in almost every field, the studying does not stop once degrees and licenses are earned. Since lawmakers are always sculpting laws to reflect needed changes and updates, you will need to keep abreast of how real estate law is changing and how that will affect your clients. Some organizations will have guidelines for continued education and some tests or courses may be required to keep your credentials up to date.

Becoming an attorney means dedicating yourself to studying a field of practice during your college career and beyond to keep updated on changes in the legal code. When you choose to practice real estate law, you can work with individuals and businesses to negotiate contracts, navigate zoning laws and even litigate on their behalf in related cases. The earlier in your academic career you choose a legal field to practice, the easier it will be to take necessary courses, earn the required degrees and get your license.

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