Real Estate Law Focus Area

The Real Estate Law Focus Area provides a range of courses dealing with the purchase and sale of real property and its development for a variety of uses. The focus area builds from the first-year Property and Contracts courses to the foundational courses: Real Estate Transactions, which provides coverage of the formation, execution, and enforcement of real estate contracts and the transfer and financing of real property; and Land Use Regulation, which provides coverage of issues dealing with the development and use of real property. Building on these basics, a student then takes a course in Advanced Real Estate and chooses from elective courses in the real property area dealing with more specialized use and development issues, development of real estate and its taxation, and other issues that can affect real estate, such as bankruptcy, income taxation, and municipal law. There are opportunities for skills development in skills component courses such as the real estate drafting lab and externships in environmental law and land use.

There are two paths within real estate law. One deals primarily with the financing and development of real property, the other with issues of land use and environmental law. Although there is a separate Environmental, Natural Resource, and Land Use Focus Area, the Real Estate focus differs from it in that it deals with the transactional and financing aspects of real estate.

Students Who Should Take this Focus Area

Students whose primary interest is real estate should, of course, consider this focus. In addition, students who are considering a more general practice of law may want to consider the real estate law focus; specific knowledge of real estate law is helpful because most lawyers in a general practice are routinely faced with real estate issues as their clients buy and sell land, houses and commercial properties, and seek to find space in which to develop their businesses.

Real Estate Law Faculty

Career Faculty
Steven Bender Real Estate Transactions
Henry McGee Land Use Regulation, Housing Law & Policy Seminar
John Weaver* Real Estate Transactions

* Focus Area Chair

Adjunct Faculty
Tom Brubaker Municipal Law
Jeremy Eckert Real Estate Drafting Lab
Michael O'Connell Water Law
Ed McGuire Growth Management Act
T. J. Parkes Advanced Real Estate
Roger Wynne Washington Land Use

Foundational Courses (all courses required)

  • Real Estate Transactions  (3 cr)
  • Land Use Regulation (3 cr)
  • Advanced Real Estate (3 cr)

Skills Component Courses (at least one course required)

  • Land Use/Environmental Law Externship (3-4 cr)
  • Real Estate Drafting Lab (1 cr)

Elective Courses (at least three courses required)

  • Bankruptcy (3 cr)
  • Construction Law (2 cr)
  • Corporate/Partnership Tax (4 cr)
  • Federal Indian Law (3 cr)
  • Housing Law & Policy Seminar (2 cr)
  • Municipal Law (3 cr)
  • Water Law (3 cr)

* Students may count either Environmental Law NEPA/SEPA/ESA or Hazardous Wastes and Toxics Regulation toward the elective requirements, but not both. Students are, of course, free to take both courses, but only one will count toward the focus.

Additional Related Courses

These courses are not part of the focus area but are sufficiently related that students might wish to take one or more of these in conjunction with the focus:

  • Business Entities
  • Business Planning
  • Community Property
  • Environmental Law Fundamentals
  • Individual Income Tax