Real Estate Attorneys handle the legal aspects of real estate transactions, including disputes regarding transactions. A Real Estate Attorney also mediates real estate transactions that have gone wrong. Many Real Estate Attorneys specialize in specific aspects of real estate law. Tasks can include drafting sales contracts for commercial or residential real estate, litigating disclosure fraud or mortgage fraud, or dealing with land use and zoning issues.
A Real Estate Attorney should know laws and regulations relating to real property and business law. Skills common to most attorney positions, such as written and verbal communication, research, and negotiation, are also crucial for a Real Estate Attorney.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Advise and counsel clients on real estate matters, including sales transactions, disputes, zoning, subdivision, and frauds involving real estate disclosures or mortgages
- Litigate real estate disputes in court if necessary
- Draft sales and transfer of title contracts
- Write and file claims, motions, and court briefs
- Negotiate real estate agreements
Education and Background
This position requires a Juris Doctorate as well as a license to practice law in the state where the candidate will work.
Employers prefer candidates who have taken college coursework in business law, real estate law, and related topics, and completed internships with real estate law firms.
Skills and Competencies
- Expertise in written and verbal communication
- Knowledge of state and federal laws regarding transfer and sale of real property
- Research skills
- Analytical thinking
- Negotiation skills
- Litigation experience
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Real Estate Attorney with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $41,000
- Tampa, Florida: $38,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $45,000
- Miami, Florida: $57,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $55,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $60,000
- Houston, Texas: $63,000
- Los Angeles, California: $85,000
- New York City, New York: $60,000
- Seattle, Washington: $68,000
- Overall: $59,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $75,000
- Tampa, Florida: $66,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $60,000
- Miami, Florida: $76,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $65,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $70,000
- Houston, Texas: $75,000
- Los Angeles, California: $90,000
- New York City, New York: $90,000
- Seattle, Washington: $80,000
- Overall: $74,000
Similar Job Titles
- Real Property Attorney
- Real Estate Title Examination Attorney
- Real Estate Transaction Attorney
- Closing Attorney
Real Estate Attorneys are required to have a Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school and a license to practice law in the state where they work. College coursework in areas like in business law, real estate law and related topics is helpful and can make candidates attractive to employers, as are internships at law firms.
Most attorneys start in law firms as associates, then progress on either a partner or non-partner track, leading to positions as partners, senior attorneys, or of counsel.
The nature of real estate development is changing as people’s needs change, and Real Estate Attorneys need to stay on top of current trends to best serve their clients. According to the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal, there has been a growth in the demand for “co-living” arrangements. In this, customers rent living space in a multi-unit dwelling for less than market value and share communal space with other renters.
This newer arrangement and the increasing demand for it are several trends in commercial real estate. It creates a unique set of challenges for Real Estate Attorneys handling the development of this type of property, especially when it comes to issues of zoning and subdivision.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for attorneys is expected to grow by six percent between 2018 and 2028, which is as fast as average.
The typical work hours in an office setting for a Real Estate Attorney are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Many attorneys work more than 40 hours a week or on weekends, especially when nearing deadlines.
Where You Can Find Jobs
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