Real Estate Lawyer
How to Become a

Real Estate Lawyer

The complete career guide to be a Real Estate Lawyer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $136,260
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 5.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Deal Making
    Career Attribute

A real estate lawyer is an attorney that interprets the laws and regulations that pertain to real estate including, but not limited to, housing law, property management and commercial and residential development project management.

Recommended Schools

What is a Real Estate Lawyer?

The following responsibilities are common for Real Estate Lawyers:

  • Drafts legal documents, contracts and agreements for the client
  • Files necessary and appropriate paperwork for licences and permits for land development
  • Meets with clients regarding real property transactions and contracts signing
  • Assists clients with purchasing and selling of real estate transactions

A Day In The Life

Real estate lawyers are responsible for all the legal facets of real estate matters like, purchases of property, land and asset transfers, and land developments.

They generally spend their day meeting with clients, to advise them on any legal issues they may encounter while purchasing or developing property.  They also review documents and contracts to ensure they are on order with current property laws, statutes and regulations.  They also draft legal documents like deeds, lease rental and buyers contracts and also obtain all the required permits and licenses for building projects.  They are responsible for advising their clients on the documents and contracts that they sign and make sure that their clients are satisfied with their agreements.

Typical Work Schedule

This is a 40 plus hour position.  This career path may require more hours depending on the individuals case load.

Projected Job Growth

With an economic decline the need for residential real estate lawyers declines as well.  But those individuals that work in commercial real estate may be more practical.  Those that own their own businesses or firms may also thrive in the difficult economy.

Typical Employers

Those involved with commercial real estate are often employed in large firms.  Some real estate lawyers work for the government in building and zoning departments.  But typically, real estate lawyers own their own practices or small firms that focus on residential real estate.

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How To Become a Real Estate Lawyer

Students that want to become real estate attorneys must first obtain a four-year undergraduate bachelor’s degree in business or economics.  The student must then complete the LSAT test in the state which they will be practicing law.  A real estate lawyer must obtain a juris doctorate degree from an accredited school along with a license obtained from passing the state bar examination.  A law degree can generally be obtained during a three year program.  The first year of law school preps the student with the fundamentals of the profession.  To work in the state as an attorney an individual must complete a state bar exam.  After passing the state bar exam, lawyers may practice any type of law they choose.

Real Estate Lawyer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Real Estate Lawyer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Real Estate Lawyer's can make an average annual salary of $136,260, or $66 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $76,300 or $37 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #22 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Real Estate Lawyer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Real Estate Lawyers

  • 91%   Doctorate
  • 4.1%   Masters
  • 3.5%   Bachelors
  • 0.5%   Associates
  • 0.4%   College
  • 0.4%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Real Estate Lawyer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 43,800 jobs for a total of 822,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #401 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Real Estate Lawyers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Legal services 376,100 22,100 22%
Self-employed workers 165,500 -1,800 -2%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 55,600 5,300 5%

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