How do I Become a Property Attorney?

Mary McMahon

To become a property attorney, it is necessary to attend law school, take advantage of elective courses in the subject, graduate, and successfully pass the bar to be admitted to practice. This can take four years or more. After graduation, new attorneys can seek employment with firms practicing property law to develop additional experience so they will have marketable skills. They may choose to stay with their firms, working their way up in the ranks to more senior positions, or they can enter private practice with sufficient experience.

Woman posing
Woman posing

A person who wants to become a property attorney should consider what kind of property she wants to specialize in, as this field has several branches. Real property requires an understanding of real estate law and related subjects. For intellectual property, people need to learn about patents, copyrights, and other protections, as well as how to enforce and file for protection. People may also pursue careers handling personal property in contexts like separations and divorces. Each pursuit requires a different form of legal education.

People preparing for law school can research programs to determine which would be the best to attend. It is a good idea to look up practicing property attorneys to see where they want to school, and to look for programs with well-known faculty members. A student who wants to become a property attorney can also visit and ask current students about their experiences and level of satisfaction with the program.

While in law school to become a property attorney, people will need to meet program graduation requirements and take electives in property law. It is advisable to seek out internship opportunities with law firms to get real world experience and become familiar with legal practices. Some firms invite their interns back for jobs after they graduate, and internships can set people up with professional opportunities. Even if a student does not want to return, he can use his intern experience to apply for jobs elsewhere.

A newly minted property attorney may want to consider joining a professional organization of property attorneys. This will provide access to conferences, trade publications, and other professional benefits. In addition, being listed with such an organization can provide job opportunities, as people usually preferentially seek out attorneys with the highest possible qualifications, and may use the member listings of professional organizations to find a lawyer. Someone who has become a property attorney and joined a professional group also demonstrates a commitment to excellent professional performance, and will be appealing to law firms, as well as potential clients.

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