Real Estate Lawyers
Private law firms specializing in real estate law are just one avenue of employment for lawyers, either as an associate, or sole practitioner. Real estate lawyers may also hold positions as house counsel for businesses, such as a real estate brokerage firm or developer. Some may choose to represent banks and mortgage companies. Others may be employed by local government to work on zoning laws or other real estate-related legal issues.
The first steps to entering the law profession are graduation from an approved law school and passing a state bar examination. Usually beginning lawyers do not go into solo practice right away. It is often difficult to become established, and additional experience is helpful to the beginning lawyer. Also, most lawyers do not specialize in a particular branch of law without first gaining experience. Beginning lawyers usually work as assistants to experienced real estate lawyers. At first they do mainly research and routine work. After a few years of successful experience, they may be promoted to junior partner, or be ready to go out on their own and specialize in real estate law. Other choices open to the beginning lawyer include joining an established law firm or entering into partnership with another lawyer. Positions are also available with banks, business corporations such as large title and mortgage companies, insurance companies, and with government agencies at different levels.
Many new lawyers are recruited by law firms or other employers directly from law school. Recruiters come to the school and interview possible hires. Other new graduates can get job leads from local and state bar associations.
You may also want to check out the American Bar Association Web site, which often posts employment opportunities and job fairs in its Career Center section. State bar associations will also provide job leads located in their state. Use the Internet to find out if your state has an association catering to the interests of real estate lawyers.
Lawyers with outstanding ability can expect to go a long way in their profession. Novice lawyers generally start as law clerks, but as they prove themselves and develop their abilities, many opportunities for advancement will arise. They may be promoted to junior partner in a law firm or establish their own practice. Lawyers may enter politics and become mayors, congressmen, or other government leaders. Others may become judges specializing in real estate law. Top positions are available in business, too, for the qualified lawyer. Lawyers working for the federal government advance according to the civil service system. Experienced lawyers may also choose to teach real estate law at colleges and universities. Some may become real estate developers.
Tips for Entry
Working as a law intern or law clerk can help you make valuable industry contacts and lead to a permanent job.
Visit the Web sites of law firms that specialize in real estate law to access job listings. Additionally, use the NALP Directory of Legal Employers (https://www.nalpdirectory.com) to search for employers by location, employer type, practice areas, and other criteria.
Network at state and national bar association career events, conferences, and seminars.
Join professional associations such as the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and American Bar Association to access training and networking opportunities, industry publications, and employment opportunities.
Visit https://jobs.americanbar.org for job listings.