If you’re considering a career as a real estate attorney, you may already know the educational requirements for breaking into this field. However, you may not be aware of how this career path differs from practicing other areas of law. Before dedicating your time to pursuing this path, it may be a good idea to learn more about the reality of working as a real estate attorney.
If you expect to sit at a desk all day, this might not be the type of legal practice you should pursue. In fact, you won’t have two days that are alike, since your duties may take you out of the office for a variety of reasons. You may have to accompany clients as they negotiate a transaction or sign papers with their real estate agent. It will be a part of your job to consult with others on behalf of your clients, which can take you away from your office for hours at a time.
You may also find that it’s necessary to spend a portion of each day researching title histories, land surveys, or other related topics. Additionally, you will be expected to review loan documents and other transactions for each of your clients, so there will be a great deal of office work as well.
In some cases, you may not have to handle all of these duties single-handedly. You may work for a smaller firm, which may mean relying heavily on just one associate or a paralegal. For jobs with larger firms, you may be one part of a large team of real estate lawyers all working to help an individual or an organization work out a commercial real estate deal. The types of cases you handle will depend on the firm you work with and the types of clients they attract.
Since this is a fast-paced career, you can expect to work long, hard hours, especially as a junior associate. Once you have proven yourself, you may be able to apply for a partnership, which will bring with it higher pay and different responsibilities. There’s also the prestige that comes along with being named a full partner, which can open more opportunities for you. The career of real estate attorney isn’t an easy path to take, but it can be a rewarding and worthwhile career.