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Career Story: Lawyer In Private Practice

Lawyer In Private Practice

Job Title: Attorney

Type of Company: real estate, estate planning, and estate administration law

Education: BA, Political Science and Russian, College of the Holy Cross •• JD, Boston College Law School

Previous Experience: I interned for various law firms throughout law school, worked as a title examiner during the summers and worked for two other law firms as an associate.

Job Tasks: I work with people who want to buy or sell homes. I help them to negotiate a contract for the purchase or sale, working out the sale price, the date of sale, and any contingencies. I check to make sure there are no problems with the title to the property, and if there are problems, I work to clean them up. If I am working with a buyer, I also help them to get their financing and sit with them to review the various documents they have to sign in order to get the loan.

I also help people with estate planning and estate administration. Estate planning typically means the preparation of wills, trusts, and other documents so my clients can be sure that their assets pass to the people they want. Estate administration takes place once someone has passed away. I work with the family members to help them complete the necessary forms and filings to transfer the decedent's assets to the correct people.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best and worst part of the job is the same: the clients. Sometimes they can be wonderful and others they can be difficult to deal with. For the most part, I enjoy meeting people and helping them with these kinds of issues (buying or selling real estate, or dealing with the loss of a loved one). Much like any job, you will encounter people who are wonderful to work with and you will encounter people who can be difficult.

Job Tips:
1. Regardless of whether you end up practicing law, the law school education is a wonderful education. It teaches you a way of thinking and of analyzing problems which can be helpful in other aspects of life.

2. I don't think it makes much difference what you major in in college as far as preparing for law school. Study something you love while in college. You may not get the opportunity again to dedicate that much time to any one topic.

3. Be aware that the majority of lawyers never set foot inside a courtroom. The bulk of attorneys' work is transactional (negotiating and drafting contracts, reviewing loan documents, drafting wills, appearing before local boards on behalf of clients). There are certainly many attorneys who do litigation and spend time in the courtroom, but the goal of most attorneys is to prepare documents in such a way as to keep their clients out of the courtroom.

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