How Corporate Attorneys Can Market Themselves for Real Estate Positions |

How Corporate Attorneys Can Market Themselves for Real Estate Positions


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You have a passion for real estate, had your sights set on being a real estate attorney, but when you graduated from law school (anywhere from 2009 to 2011, maybe 2012), the real estate market was dead. So, you went into corporate law, but still dream about working on purchase and sale, joint ventures, and other real estate transactions, perhaps related to the resort and hospitality industries. I have good news for you! Now is the time to make this transition.
How Corporate Attorneys Can Market Themselves for Real Estate Positions

Real estate attorneys are in demand, like never before. Though firms can be extremely tough on credentials and may not typically be open to a shift in practice area, there are times when the market dictates an exception - right now one of those exceptions is real estate law.

Here's the reason why: the recession created a somewhat vortex for real estate. Hardly anyone graduating from law school in 2009 through 2011 went into real estate law, since there was virtually no work in this area. Anyone that went into real estate in 2007 or 2008 had to switch practice areas in order to remain competitive and employed. Now we are in the midst of a recovery and the real estate market is bouncing back forcefully. There is a high demand for attorneys with these skills, but there are very few attorneys with the "goods." This situation has created optimal opportunity for those looking to transition into this field.
How does a junior or mid-level corporate attorney market themselves for real estate positions? Here are a few tips for your resume and cover letter:
Interested in these kinds of jobs? Click here to find Real Estate jobs.

Determine your relatable skills and highlight them: Look at the description of the position that interests you. Does it call for real estate finance? (Real estate finance is a very HOT area at the moment). If so, you will want to highlight your finance background on your resume, even though it does not immediately relate to real estate. These are skills that are transferable. The same is true for any other transactional skills they pinpoint in the job order. If you have exposure to these areas (even if it's not in a real estate sense), put it on there - front and center.

Feature any non-legal real estate experience: If you have any non-legal exposure to the area of real estate, you will want to include this on your resume. This could consist of past experience as a real estate agent, that you have a real estate license, real estate investments, or if your family has a real estate business. Anything you can document in this area will also serve to convince the firm of your true enthusiasm for the area.

You are quick to learn new skills: This point is best expressed in the cover letter. You know and they know that you do not have the immediately transferable skills the firm is ideally seeking. Your responsibility is to show them what you DO have and follow that with the fact that you are quick on your feet and pick up new skills expediently. The firm will have to train you in this new area, so put them at ease by letting them know that this training should not take too much time or effort. Address in the cover that you are quick to learn new things and include examples of how you picked skills up swiftly in the past. See if you can incorporate any quotes or comments that support this assertion from supervising attorneys, clients, past employers, or even law school professors.
Be open taking a hair cut with respect to your entry year level: Understand that you are transferring into a new practice area that will require some training. In all actuality, you will not be at the level of a third year attorney that started his or her career in the real estate arena. Be open to negotiating your entry level from the outset. By addressing this in the cover letter, you advise the firm that you are well aware of the extra hurdle and respect their position. If you make this transition, it can actually be beneficial to your career in the long run to take the hair cut now because this will work to assure that you are on a partnership track at your new firm. You do not want to be considered a third year real estate attorney if the other third years at the firm all have more real estate experience than you do (or if a second year at the firm has more real estate experience than you do).

Don't relax when you get the initial meeting. You will have to reemphasize and "bring these points home" on the interview with a vigorous amount of enthusiasm and tenacity.

Transitioning to a new law practice is never easy. Keep in mind that it will become more difficult as you get more senior, especially as you move from a mid-level to a senior associate. Now, you have the market on your side, so go for it!

Sometimes, it all comes down to supply and demand
Interested in these kinds of jobs? Click here to find Real Estate jobs.

About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog,, and, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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