How Do You Become a Real Estate Lawyer?

The main duties of a real estate lawyer include preparing and reviewing documents, negotiating terms and conditions, and processing transfers of title. Real estate attorneys can assist their clients in a variety of legal issues. They may have to work long hours since they serve the varied demands of their clients. They may be contacted by individuals or firms unfamiliar with real estate law and regulations regarding purchasing or selling property. If there is a breach of contract or real estate fraud, lawyers can represent their customers in court.

Additionally, you will need to understand the role of real estate agents and brokers in the real estate industry, as well as key legal issues related to buying and selling properties.

Real estate lawyers are responsible for the legal aspects of real estate issues such as land development, real estate purchases and asset transfers. Real estate attorneys work long hours resolving legal matters related to zoning, conveyancing and mortgages. They meet with clients and ensure that legal documents comply with current real estate laws and regulations. The majority of real estate lawyers’ time is spent representing buyers and sellers in real estate transactions and providing legal services and legal advice.

How to Become a Real Estate Attorney: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Program

To become a real estate lawyer, you will need to first complete a bachelor’s degree program in law or real estate. A student who wants to become a real estate lawyer should first earn a bachelor’s degree. Most undergraduate programs usually last four years, regardless of study. Law schools do not require applicants to have a specific area of specialization it may be helpful to choose a course of study that covers topics relevant to the legal field. However, since much of the law practice in real estate may involve business transactions, students may consider a bachelor’s degree in business or economics. Alternatively, the pre-law program teaches students the analytical skills, oral, and communication skills needed to enter law school.

Step 2: Take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)

Law schools approved by the Canadian Bar Association require applicants to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The exam, which lasts half a day, tests reading and oral reasoning skills. The LSAT is one of several factors law schools consider in the admissions process.

  • Success Advice

Prepare for the LSAT. Because this exam is critical to law school admissions, students may want to prepare for the LSAT by taking preparatory courses. These courses can help those taking the exam become familiar with the rules for each section and the types of questions the exam contains.

Step 3: Earn a Juris Doctor Degree

A bachelor’s degree in law is often completed in three years of full-time study. Although these programs might take longer, working professionals may enroll in part-time law schools. The first year of law school usually consists of legal education courses that are considered fundamental to the profession. Examples of such practices include civil procedure, legal writing, and torts. The second and third years are electives, internships, or clinical experiences. Administrative law, energy law and civil rights litigation are optional courses in any law school. 

Success Advice

  • Take elective classes in real estate

Real estate law schools might provide elective courses especially intended to educate future real estate lawyers. These courses may include real estate transactions, environmental law, and land use planning.

  • Take a clinical internship

Clinical experiences are often available in various areas of law, including real estate law. Completing a clinical practicum in real estate law can give students hands-on experience in the field.

  • Consider specializing in real estate law

Some law school degree offer students the opportunity to concentrate their studies in real estate law. Students in these programs take additional courses in these fields of law, such as real estate transactions, property taxes, and business organization.

Step 4: Pass the Bar Exam

Once you have earned your law degree, you will then need to pass the bar exam in order to practice law. Most provinces require that you pass the bar exam to work as a lawyer. The format of these exams varies and can consist of several days of essay questions and multiple-choice questions. The next stage in becoming a Canadian lawyer in all provinces is to finish your province’s Bar Admission Course. The Bar Admission Course is a practical, skills-based program that focuses on the professional responsibilities of lawyers.

Step 5: Begin Working as a Lawyer

Once you have completed all of the requirements for a real estate attorney, you can begin working in this field. Some real estate lawyers work independently or run their own law practice, while others may work for a larger law firm. Real estate law requires analytical thinking and excellent communication skills regardless of where you decide to work. Additionally, real estate transactions often involve working with multiple parties, so strong time management skills are also important. With experience, real estate attorneys may choose to specialize their practice in areas like real estate development or property tax compliance.

Step 6: Earn a Certificate or LLM

Some real estate lawyers choose to earn a certificate or LLM in real estate law. These programs often require the completion of additional coursework and can provide students with advanced knowledge in this field. Additionally, real estate lawyers who want to teach at the university level may need to earn a Ph.D. in law. Whether you are just starting in real estate law or already have several years of experience, these steps can help you become a successful real estate attorney.