About Real Estate Law

Real estate law concerns every aspect of commercial and residential transactions and investments. It involves issues related to the purchase and sale of property, including financing and development, construction contracts, real estate investments, property management, environmental compliance, and litigation relating to these areas. Real estate lawyers provide their clients with advice concerning all of these matters. They also help their clients navigate through the governmental zoning restrictions and land use regulations necessary in order to move forward with a real estate project.

Real estate lawyers who work on commercial real estate often work in the real estate departments of large firms, many times working in conjunction with the environmental law and litigation departments. Other real estate lawyers work for the government, in the building and zoning departments of counties and municipalities. Real estate lawyers may also work for corporations, real estate development companies, financial or lending institutions, or title companies. Lawyers working in solo or small firms generally handle residential real estate transactions.

Lawyers who specialize in real estate transactions spend much of their time drafting and reviewing documents, counseling clients, and negotiating terms for the transactions on which they are working. Students interested in this field should, in addition to taking real estate classes, develop a broad business law foundation and strong negotiating skills.


Note: Whether a particular course is scheduled depends on faculty availability and student demand. View the Course Descriptions for more information about each course and when it's offered.

Core/Foundation Courses

These are the entry level courses that — at a minimum — employers expect a student interested in this specialty to have.

Recommended Courses

Students interested in this practice area should consider including one or more of the following courses as electives. Students may also want to consider classes through the School of Business ( limited to six credits applicable towards the J.D.)

Enrichment Courses

These courses deepen or broaden the skills and substantive information that a lawyer in this field needs and also provide advanced courses for students interested in a specialty area.

For additional information, please visit the Real Estate Concentration page.

Student Organizations & Related Activities

Students involved in student activities and organizations are often strong job candidates. Employers look for students who show leadership, public service, and community involvement.

For a full list of student organizations at UW Law, view the Student Organizations, Journals, & Activities.


The Law School's adjunct faculty members — prominent practicing lawyers and judges — bring their specialized knowledge and experience to the classroom in this area of law. Filter by "Adjunct" in the Law School Directory for a full list.

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