Although attorneys in most jurisdictions are legally allowed to practice in any area of the law once licensed, most choose to focus or specialize in a particular area of the law. For an attorney who wishes to become a homeowners association attorney, the requirements may vary by jurisdiction. In the United States, a lawyer who plans to become a homeowners association attorney will first need to complete both an undergraduate and law school education. Following the completion of the educational requirements, anyone who aspires to become a homeowners association attorney will need to become licensed to practice law in the state where he or she plans to reside or practice law and obtain the necessary experience through employment.
A homeowners association is a legal entity created by the individual owners of a condominium community or sub-division. The purpose of a homeowners association is generally to make and enforce rules and regulations regarding the community, as well as to address issues regarding the upkeep, maintenance, and usage of the common areas. A homeowners association is usually formed as a corporation with bylaws and a board of directors just like any other corporation.
The path to become an attorney may vary by jurisdiction. In the United States, an individual who wishes to practice law must first complete four years of undergraduate education resulting in the receipt of a bachelor's degree. All undergraduate majors are considered when applying to law school; however, for an individual who eventually plans to become a homeowners association attorney, an undergraduate major in business or accounting may be a good idea.
After completing undergraduate school, a future lawyer must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and apply to law school. Acceptance into law school is selective and competitive. Most law schools look at a student's undergraduate grade point average, his or her LSAT score, and personal statement when making admission decisions.
A future lawyer must then complete three years in law school after admission, which will result in receipt of a juris doctorate degree. While in law school, a student who wants to become a homeowners association attorney should take advanced courses in property or real estate law, corporations and contracts, as well as tax law if possible. He or she should also seek part-time or summer employment with a local firm that handles property or real estate cases or that focuses on the representation of corporations.
After law school, a lawyer must become licensed in the state where he or she plans to practice by successfully completing the bar examination, the multi-state professional responsibility examination, and a character and fitness background check. Once licensed, he or she should seek employment with a firm that handles property or corporations law. A homeowners association attorney will need to have an excellent understanding of more than one area of the law, such as property, corporations, and tax law.