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Career Story: Real Estate Lawyer

Real Estate Lawyer

Job Title: Attorney

Type of Company: A real estate law firm.

Education: BS, Speech, Emerson College •• JD, Suffolk University

Previous Experience: I was a radio reporter for the Statehouse News Service, a news writer for a local TV station, a public relations executive at a Boston-area university and a member of the AIDS Action Legal Task Force.

Job Tasks: Every day I help people in transactions involving land, houses, condos, and commercial real estate.

Our clients are individuals looking to buy their first condo right out of college, families selling a small house and trading it up to a larger one to accommodate new kids on the way, and investors who buy a two-family house and want to convert it into two condo units and sell each individually.

We are very lucky to have built our practice over a span of thirty years by servicing one client at a time. We know that every time we help a person buy a house, making the process easier for them, they tell their friends about our practice. When it's time for the friends to buy or sell a home, we are the lawyers they call.

We keep our clients up on the current real estate news by sending out an email newsletter to more than 1000 clients every few months, telling them about changes in the law and in the real estate market. We conduct seminars for first-time home buyers in local schools and real estate offices. And we make sure that our clients are ready when their closing or contract signing events are coming up.

We consider our jobs to be critical; we need to make sure that clients know how to move forward in their real estate transactions safely, smartly and without losing any deposit money in the process. In the real estate market, buyers often feel alone and confused, since the sellers and their brokers are watching out for themselves, instead of protecting the interests of the buyer. We step in to make sure that the buyer is safe in the transaction and that their deposit is protected at all times.

Our job is very satisfying because our clients, for the most part, are happy to be buying or selling a home. Our only arguments come mostly with other lawyers as we try to protect our clients and keep them safe.

When I was young, I noticed that I always memorized the room locations in houses that I visited, remembering them for many years. I was always fascinated by basements, roof lines, and how heating systems worked. So I think I picked the right profession; one that lets me find out all about houses...and help other people buy and sell them.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job involve the joy that comes with getting people into a new home or watching people move on by selling a home. A home is such a basic and wonderful oasis in the world for most people. It's the place they feel most comfortable in and where their family surrounds them. Helping people get into these special places - that's the best part of the job.

The worst part of the job is when we see clients getting taken advantage of by mean sellers, bad banks, or their own lack of understanding of the real estate market. It's hard to see people struggling with these outside forces, when all they really want to do is buy a new home.

Job Tips:
1.) The law is made up of people who need to know how to communicate well. So writing clearly is an important first goal in this area.

2.) I would also advise students to pursue things that get them excited, that turn them on, that they are passionate about. Work takes up many hours in your day and if you don't enjoy what you do, it's not productive or fun.

3.) Try to look down the pike to 5 or 10 years from now and ask: Where do I want to be? What do I want to be doing? I always wanted to be working for myself....in my home...in real estate. Setting the goal....is an important first step to getting there.

Additional Thoughts: Sometimes I think that a degree is psychiatry would be a better preparation for a legal career. Law school does not prepare people for the personal interactions that they will face on a daily basis. Knowing how to approach and help people in their needs is an important skill, almost as important as learning areas of the law. What good is book knowledge if you can't apply it to real people and real situations?

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