What is a Real Estate Paralegal?
A real estate paralegal ensures the efficiency of a law firm by providing clerical services and other supportive aid to lawyers in the real estate field. These specialized paralegals assist with legalities and regulatory compliance in the construction, purchase, and sale of property.
This work involves preparing legal documents, reviewing and researching cases, and performing basic secretarial duties like answering phones, scheduling appointments, maintaining and updating files, preparing for court, and scheduling interviews.
Real estate paralegal jobs require strong communication skills, excellent organization abilities, multitasking capabilities, and professionalism. Confidentiality is key as well, because these paralegals work with sensitive materials and case details.
Typically, a real estate paralegal resume will include a minimum of an associate degree. An ABA paralegal certification and/or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies is a plus. A paralegal's education should cover legal terminology, documents, and practices. Graduates should be able to understand the basics of a career in law and real estate paralegal jobs.
Although formal education with certifications and degrees is desirable and often required, some firms work with highly motivated individuals with minimum education. This on-the-job training becomes experience that they can list on a resume in the future.
Real Estate Paralegal Essential Skills
The need for real estate paralegals is much higher than for many other careers in the U.S. Keep in mind that as demand grows, law firms seek out those with more experience and higher education levels. Here are some examples of required skills in this field:
- Excellent grasp of the English language, grammar, and legal vocabulary to create and send professional court documents.
- Above-average communication skills are needed when working on complex legal matters with clients, lawyers, witnesses, and other professionals.
- Great organizational skills are a must to maintain complicated schedules of attorneys, court documents, and day-to-day agendas that keep the office running smoothly.
- Ability to multitask. You may work with multiple lawyers on several cases at a time, so you must be able to process several tasks at once.
Real Estate Paralegal Roles & Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of a real estate paralegal primarily focus on clerical responsibilities, but additional tasks may be added to the workload. Some of the common expectations for a real estate paralegal job description are:
- Strong understanding of legal terminology and real estate verbiage.
- Attend meetings while taking and consolidating notes.
- Transcribe, proofread, and file legal documents prior to deadlines.
- Manage travel logistics for one or more attorneys.
- Answer phones and take messages.
- Manage schedules.
- Schedule court depositions, hearings, and other meetings as determined by an attorney.
- Keep and organize court files.
What does a real estate paralegal do on a daily basis? As part of the real estate paralegal job, the employee will assist attorneys with everything from routine secretarial tasks to crucial court case assistance. These law firm employees work as the right hand of the attorney, so they need to be able to accomplish the following tasks regularly:
- Negotiate contracts with real estate agents, buyers, sellers, contractors, and title companies.
- Understand, draft, and file bankruptcy pleadings and escrow documents.
- Draft affidavits and prepare for depositions.
- Communicate effectively with insurance companies and adjusters regarding cases.
- Collaborate with landlords, real estate brokers, housing managers, and other real estate professionals.
- Maintain organization of all court cases, hearings, depositions and other court-related material.
The average real estate paralegal salary is $55,020, which is equivalent to about $26.45 per hour. The higher the education, work experience, and motivation of an applicant, the higher the job will pay. In fact, the top 10% of real estate paralegals earn more than $82,500 annually.