Real Estate Law?

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Anonymous User
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Real Estate Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:58 pm

I have an interview next week with a real estate practice. I honestly have no idea what real estate lawyers do.

I've read the Chambers practice area article and random articles on the internet, but I still really don't feel like I have a good grasp on what makes a real estate atty, anyone with experience that would really be able to share some first-hand knowledge?

Additionally, a couple specific questions if anyone could shed some light as well
- Does Oil & Gas law tie in with some real estate practices? Maybe in land use?
- What kind of actual litigation are real estate attys doing?
- What differentiates the "big firm" real estate practices from the small law practices?

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thesealocust
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Re: Real Estate Law?

Postby thesealocust » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:27 pm


Anonymous User
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Re: Real Estate Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:- Does Oil & Gas law tie in with some real estate practices? Maybe in land use?
- What kind of actual litigation are real estate attys doing?
- What differentiates the "big firm" real estate practices from the small law practices?


2L here. Worked in a real estate specific court last summer so my answers are based on some limited knowledge.

1. I did notice that environmental law is very much intertwined with land use and zoning. I don't know any specifics, but I'm sure zoning and permitting for oil and gas exploration is complicated but I didn't work in a state with any oil or gas. Also, pollution can hold up real estate development for years if the lawyers and the environmental cleanup firms don't handle it right.

2. Most of the cases that came through the court I worked at had to do with real estate development. Lots of zoning appeals (neighbors don't want something built so they challenge the zoning board decision, or a town/city denies a developer the right to build something so the developer challenges it). Depending on the state there can be a lot of litigation around foreclosures (big firms would be on the bank side, small firms on the homeowner). You also get your typical easement disputes (even some big law firms get stuck with these because large institutional clients have a ton of property and each property has easements of some kind).

3. From what I can gather, a big law firm attorney's job will be more heavily weighted towards finance unless he/she is specifically a land use lawyer. The big firms do a lot of REIT work and work on bigger development projects with complicated financing. A smaller firm would obviously do smaller projects and transactions where the financing is a little more straight forward or they might represent a municipality (there are usually firms that specialize in municipal land use and zoning).

so its safe to say you should demonstrate an understanding of lending and finance on top of an understanding of property law and land use.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Real Estate Law?

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:33 pm

Lots of zoning and land use. Might be title research too, depending on the jurisdiction. Can pay well, too, because the interests are sometimes enormous.

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kalvano
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Re: Real Estate Law?

Postby kalvano » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:34 pm

I work in real estate finance. I haven't been doing it very long, but it's at a large firm, sort of a niche practice.

I'm in Texas, so O&G knowledge is extremely important. It affects all kinds of things here. It's mainly tied to who owns what portion of the land and therefore who can convey what.

I'll never see the inside of a courtroom. Some of our guys do, but a lot don't. I'll defer to others with more experience.

Big versus small firm basically comes down to the size of the client and what they want to do. A large development company isn't going to hire Joe Blow & Associates to do the due diligence on their $100M new development.




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