Real Estate Law
WHAT IS REAL ESTATE LAW?
Real estate law concerns issues related to the purchase and sale of property, including financing and development, construction contracts, securitized real estate, and litigation relating to these areas. Real estate lawyers provide their clients with advice concerning all of these matters. They also help their clients navigate through the myriad government zoning restrictions and land use regulations necessary in order to move forward with a real estate project.
While some real estate lawyers specialize in litigation involving contractual or regulatory issues, many specialize in real estate transactions or land use. Those who practice in transactions advise their clients on tax issues, financing issues, and even environmental issues concerning the transaction in question. Attorneys who specialize in land use often focus on the regulatory aspects of real estate projects.
Lawyers who work on commercial real estate transactions often work in the real estate departments of large law firms. These departments may have a number of attorneys, some who specialize in transactions and investment issues and others who specialize in land use and zoning issues. These attorneys many work closely with other departments in the law firm, inclduing the environmental department. Other real estate lawyers work for the government, whether for county building and zoning departments or for municipalities including cities and suburbs. Real estate lawyers may also work for corporations, real estate development companies, financial or lending institutions, or title companies. Other lawyers, often in small firms or in general or solo practice, handle residential real estate transactions.
IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING PURSUING A CAREER IN REAL ESTATE LAW...
1. Take classes in real estate transactions, real estate developments, zoning, and land use.
2. Also consider classes in areas such as corporations, negotiations, legal drafting, environmental law, and secured transactions.
3. Work as a summer associate or a law clerk at a firm that has an active real estate practice or as a legal intern at a public interest organization or government agency that specializes in real estate, zoning, or land use.
4. Make yourself a part of the community of real estate lawyers by becoming active in national, state, or local bar associations. The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section has a committee on real estate law, and the American Bar Association has a Real Estate Law Committee.
5. Get to know Loyola's professors specializing in real estate, zoning, and land use - John McCormack, Lynn Hanley, Patrick Branklin, Thomas Burney, and Gregory Furda.
REAL ESTATE LAW RESOURCES