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Real Estate Paralegal

Career Overview

Real estate paralegals work in the area of commercial real estate transactions as much or more as they do in residential home sales. They review reports from the title company, prepare lease or sales documents, investigate any discrepancies in the title search, review sales terms with bank staff or the seller's (or buyer's) attorney. Experienced real estate paralegals will inspect or author all documents from the initial contract, through the exchange of offers, to closing documents and the final sales contracts.

An experienced real estate paralegal can take a complex commercial transaction through most of the steps, with just periodic consultation with supervising counsel.

Education

The required education for a paralegal varies from employer to employer. In the field of the real estate paralegal profession, however, a job applicant needs either a bachelors degree in paralegal with a real estate concentration, or an associates paralegal degree with experience in the real estate field.

Current Employment

There were 238,000 paralegals employed in the U.S. in 2006. Seventy percent of them were employed in legal offices; that does not mean that some of those professionals didn't function as real estate paralegals. There is a substantial niche for law firms that specialize in real estate law.

Job Outlook

Growth in the overall paralegal job category is expected to be 22% over the decade 2006 through 2016; over twice the rate of overall job growth. Competition will also become livelier for paralegals though, as many people seek to enter the profession. Many of those potential entrants may be former real estate agents.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $13.64  $28,360
Median Salary  $21.63  $44,990
Highest 10%  $34.37  $71,480

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Note: these figures are for the general category of paralegal.

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