What does a real estate paralegal do?
Real estate paralegals provide assistance to lawyers in residential and commercial real estate. They help with legal research and the preparation of a many different cases related to real estate and land-use issues. They prepare and review the necessary documents for meetings, hearings, and trial closings. Real estate paralegals often interview and maintain contact with clients, help locate and interview witnesses, manage investigations, and perform a variety of other tasks to assist lawyers. They also provide assistance in the closing of purchases, sales, leasing, and other financial transactions.
What kind of training does a real estate paralegal need?
Real estate paralegals typically need at least an associate degree in legal studies, real estate, or other related field. Many employers prefer candidates that have completed programs from institutions that are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Prospective real estate paralegals typically complete courses in real estate law, bankruptcy, rules of civil procedures, legal writing, and real estate transactions. Many aspiring real estate paralegals complete internships while pursuing their education to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. Some employers train real estate paralegals on the job. New real estate paralegals typically shadow experienced professionals to gain the necessary skills and experience. Real estate paralegals often complete continuing education to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements and changes in real estate law.
What are the prospects for a career as a real estate paralegal?
Employment of real estate paralegals is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 28% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increase in a variety of real estate law issues will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good with some competition. Real estate paralegals with advanced training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace real estate paralegals that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do real estate paralegals make?
As of February 2010, the average annual salary for real estate paralegals is $47,000; average annual real estate paralegal salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a real estate paralegal is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in real estate and the associated laws and regulations. Real estate paralegals must have a solid understanding of the concepts, policies, and procedures of real estate law. Detail orientation, critical thinking, good organization, and excellent problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Real estate paralegals must have good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a variety of clients and other professionals.