Many paralegals work for law offices, corporate teams, or government agencies that specialize in the field of real estate/property law.
Like all paralegals, real estate paralegals work directly under the supervision of an attorney. In firms, corporate offices, or government agencies that specialize in property law or real estate law, there are still many needs for paralegals to provide support.
Paralegals in real estate may provide support as part of a corporate legal team, or internal legal team in a real estate brokerage firm or a law firm that focuses on property law.
Primarily, real estate paralegals take on a number of tasks such as reviewing purchase offers and title documents, providing clients with updates on property sales and leases, preparing legal documents, reviewing case files, drafting contracts, or reviewing the legal description of a parcel of land.
Duties and Responsibilities for a Real Estate/Property Law Paralegal
Here is a more detailed list of some of the roles and responsibilities a real estate paralegal may take on each week.
- Preparing and assessing contracts, including lease or rental agreements, purchase offer documents, title documents, and closing documents.
- Analyzing legal descriptions of a property and title documents.
- Communication liaison between property owners, landlords, attorneys, and clients.
- Facilitating communication between property buyers and sellers.
- Monitoring and tracking financial transactions and foreclosures.
- Preparing and drafting documents for eviction proceedings.
- Preparing and drafting documents for foreclosure proceedings
- Reviewing sales contracts
- Preparing a closing checklist, detailing roles and responsibilities of all affected parties.
- Prepare transfers/affidavits of transferees, closing documents, closing reports, and accounts.
- Reviewing financing options, lending requirements, title affidavits, and bankruptcy claims.
- Review and prepare general correspondence, trust letters, mortgages, and statements of adjustment.
- Keep clients up to date with status of real estate applications.
- Review, request, and order real property reports, title certificates, title insurance, due diligence searches.
- Record important dates and contingencies on calendar
- Maintain and organize legal files
- Organize closing funds
- Conducting research and distributing real estate documents.
- Submitting accurate legal documents in a timely manner.
How to Become a Real Estate Paralegal
To become a real estate paralegal in California, the steps are similar to becoming a regular paralegal in California.
1. Complete an approved paralegal program.
The first step is to complete an approved Paralegal Studies program. Any of these will satisfy that requirement in the state of California.
- Complete a minimum of 24 credits in paralegal studies at an accredited college or university.
- Complete a bachelor’s degree program in any field, and have one-year of experience working under the supervision of a California attorney who has been licensed for at least three years, or who works in the federal court system in California.
- Complete a paralegal certificate program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
2. Gain paralegal work experience.
While you are enrolled in an accredited Paralegal Studies program, it is a good idea to gain some relevant work experience in the legal field, working under the supervision of an attorney.
3. Pass your certification exam. (Optional)
Becoming certified as a paralegal is optional in California, but getting certified allows you to specialize in different niches. In California, paralegals who pass NALA’s Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) and California Advanced Specialty (CAS) examinations may call themselves California Advanced Specialists.
4. Get specialized certification as a real estate paralegal and start your career.
NALA offers two advanced certifications for specific areas of real estate law.
Both of these are self-study courses that expire after one year.
Interested in Becoming a Paralegal in California?
MTI College has two ABA-approved Paralegal Studies programs that offer flexibility for California students become a certified paralegal.
Our AA in Paralegal Studies program is a two-year degree program that teaches students everything they need to start their paralegal career. Graduates will also have access to professional placement services. This program is offered in our OnlinePlus format where most of the coursework is completed online, with minimal required in-classroom days at our Sacramento, California campus.
Our second Paralegal Studies program is a fully online paralegal training program specifically for California residents who already have an Associate’s degree or higher. Our fully Online Paralegal Studies program for California residents helps students become a fully certified paralegal in about 48 weeks. All coursework is completed online.
The Paralegal Studies programs at MTI College are, meaning your training and curriculum will be top-notch. MTI College is also accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
If you have any questions about any of our Paralegal Studies programs, feel free to reach out our team via our Contact page or call (916) 339-1500.