Real Estate Lawyer Salary & How to Become a Real Estate Attorney

Real estate attorneys offer two integral services in the real estate profession—they litigate in real estate cases and they are the ones who handle all of the legal elements of transactions. Typically, real estate lawyers are involved in settling real properties or to act as mediators when transactions don’t go as planned.

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What Do Real Estate Lawyers Do

Aside from specializing in real estate, these lawyers can also work in very specific cases such as disclosure or mortgage fraud and for subdivision and zoning laws. Other lawyers can also specialize in litigating for residential or commercial real estate.

If you’re planning on becoming a real estate lawyer, be prepared to do the following activities:

  • Prepare and review real estate documents
  • Negotiate terms and conditions between your client and another party
  • Transferring of titles
  • Draft contracts of sale
  • Reviewing the lease and mortgage documents of clients
  • Work for companies who need an opinion about whether or not real estate regulations can influence their brand or business when buying and/or selling real estate property
  • If a breach of contract happens or real estate fraud gets committed, it’s the lawyer’s job to go to court and represent a client

Real Estate Attorney Salary

The average salary of real estate attorneys can range from $103,000 to $155,000, depending on experience and hourly rates. If you’re employed by a large law firm or you’re already a partner, your chances of having a higher salary gets better.

However, since the recession of 2008-2009, the real estate market has met a decline, which affected the demand for real estate lawyers. That is not the case today. With the booming market both in residential and commercial, attorney’s practicing law in real estate are in high demand.

Note: To save money, real estate companies tend to hire freelance lawyers or paralegals instead, in which case a real estate lawyer salary can be substantially less.

What are the job requirements for real estate lawyers?

Common requirements include:

  • A Juris Doctor
  • Passed their state’s bar exam.
  • Firms and companies usually hire attorneys who have at least two to five years of work experience
  • Must have exceptional communication, problem solving, research, speaking, and writing skills.

Real Estate Law Schools

Still thinking about entering law school and want to earn a place in a reputable school that has real estate law courses? Here’s a list of the top 20 law schools for real estate law based on data gathered by Startclass.com

Columbia University Law School (New York, NY) 

  • Full-time tuition fee: $57, 838
  • Average GPA: 3.70
  • Average LSAT scores: 171
  • Acceptance rate: 21.3%

University of Michigan Law School (Ann Arbor, MI)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $49,784
  • Average GPA: 3.71
  • Average LSAT scores: 168
  • Acceptance rate: 27.0%

Gould School of Law, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $55,023
  • Average GPA: 3.70
  • Average LSAT scores: 166
  • Acceptance rate: 29.3%

University of Wisconsin Law School (Madison, WI)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $21,365
  • Average GPA: 3.58
  • Average LSAT scores: 161
  • Acceptance rate: 44.2%

Maurer School of Law, Indiana University Bloomington (Bloomington, IN)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $30,526
  • Average GPA: 3.80
  • Average LSAT scores: 162
  • Acceptance rate: 52.6%

University of Illinois College of Law (Champaign, IL)

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  • Full-time tuition fee: $41,226
  • Average GPA: 3.56
  • Average LSAT scores: 160
  • Acceptance rate: 45.5%

Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University (Provo, UT)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $11,280
  • Average GPA: 3.77
  • Average LSAT scores: 161
  • Acceptance rate: 35.6%

Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $45,519
  • Average GPA: 3.63
  • Average LSAT scores: 162
  • Acceptance rate: 33.4%

Baylor Law School, Baylor University (Waco, TX)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $49,481
  • Average GPA: 3.53
  • Average LSAT scores: 160
  • Acceptance rate: 28.8%

University of Florida Levin College of Law (Gainesville, FL)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $21,181
  • Average GPA: 3.55
  • Average LSAT scores: 160
  • Acceptance rate: 50.4%

Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $44,410
  • Average GPA: 3.43
  • Average LSAT scores: 158
  • Acceptance rate: 54.7%

University of Richmond School of Law (Richmond, VA)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $38,250
  • Average GPA: 3.50
  • Average LSAT scores: 161
  • Acceptance rate: 28.6%

Tulane University School of Law (New Orleans, LA)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $47,080
  • Average GPA: 3.39
  • Average LSAT scores: 160
  • Acceptance rate: 46.0%

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville (Louisville, KY)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $18, 578
  • Average GPA: 3.31
  • Average LSAT scores: 155
  • Acceptance rate: 65.6%

Seton Hall University School of Law (Newark, NJ)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $49,070
  • Average GPA: 3.50
  • Average LSAT scores: 157
  • Acceptance rate: 50.3%

SUNY Buffalo Law School (Buffalo, NY)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $23,986
  • Average GPA: 3.48
  • Average LSAT scores: 154
  • Acceptance rate: 51.9%

Marquette University Law School (Milwaukee, WI)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $39,850
  • Average GPA: 3.28
  • Average LSAT scores: 155
  • Acceptance rate: 73.1%

University of Miami School of Law (Miami, FL)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $44,626
  • Average GPA: 3.38
  • Average LSAT scores: 157
  • Acceptance rate: 53.1%

University of South Carolina School of Law (Columbia, SC)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $22,360
  • Average GPA: 3.27
  • Average LSAT scores: 155
  • Acceptance rate: 57.0%
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West Virginia College of Law (Morgantown, WV)

  • Full-time tuition fee: $17,658
  • Average GPA: 3.46
  • Average LSAT scores: 153
  • Acceptance rate: 61.7%