Property attorneys serve one of two functions in the real estate realm – handling legal aspects of real estate transactions and acting as litigators in real estate proceedings. Some real estate lawyers specialize in specific areas of law such as fraud litigation including disclosure or mortgage fraud, or land use, which focuses on zoning laws.
Real Estate Lawyer Job Descriptions and Required Skills
Winnipeg real estate lawyers who deal primarily with real estate transactions will spend much time preparing and reviewing pertinent documents, negotiating conditions and terms of transactions, and coordinating the transferring of titles. Companies who are buying or selling property might call upon these lawyers or if they are unsure as to how property laws might affect their business.
If real estate fraud occurs or there is a breach of contract, it is a real estate lawyer who will represent the client in court. They work a number of hours in order to adequately serve their clients. This position requires strong communication and negotiating skills as well as the ability to network effectively.
All Winnipeg real estate lawyers must possess excellent time management skills as they will be juggling multiple cases regularly and need to serve all clients equally.
Career and Salary Outlook for Real Estate Lawyers
The average salary for lawyers in this field is $118,000 USD. Salaries are based on experience and, of course, hourly rate. Being employed in a large firm either as an associate or a partner has the ability to increase an individual’s salary as well.
With the housing market declining during the recession, the demand for Winnipeg real estate lawyers has also declined. To compensate, companies might hire fewer attorneys or enlist the services of paralegals and accountants to help meet their needs more affordably.
Being willing to relocate can open the door to a wider range of opportunities however keep in mind that relocation requires passing the bar exam in your new state. If your forte is commercial real estate, you might have luck finding employment in large firms with full-time litigators and environmental attorneys. Other real estate lawyers are employed by the government and using their knowledge to be successful in the zoning and building departments of counties and municipalities. Generally, real estate attorneys with their own firm practice focus primarily on residential real estate transactions.
Real Estate Attorney Education Requirements
Real estate lawyers must obtain a doctoral degree from an accredited school – some of which offer specialized studies in property law – as well as a license for passing the Bar exam. During law school, it is important to intern with as many law firms as possible in order to gain real life experience in your field. Once you have graduated, it might be necessary to continue your education every three years or even yearly. It is also worth noting that The American Bar Association has a sector called the Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law division. While membership to associations like this is not required, it provides excellent networking opportunities, a chance to learn new skills, and add a level of prestige to your resume.