Real estate is an important economic sector that plays a crucial role in society, influencing how and where we live and work. It’s also the largest asset class in the world, offering a breadth of career opportunity spanning investment, development and leasing in big law firms, corporations and government agencies.
More recently, the importance of real estate has been highlighted by environmental concerns, with land and property seen as crucial to creating a more sustainable future.
A LL.M. in Real Estate will address these and other topics, in this dynamic field.
After completing a Real Estate LL.M., graduates have the opportunity to play important roles in real estate development, finance, investment and transactions, as well as drafting and reforming the legal rules that govern real estate markets.
A number of leading law schools offer LL.M. degrees in real estate, while many more offer specializations within their more generalist LL.M. programs. These programs include foundational modules in tax, leasing, development, transactions, environmental regulation and mortgage law. There are also electives in such areas as land house, affordable housing, corporate law, negotiations.
Students usually work across disciplinary lines with engineering, design and architecture schools. The programs are hands-on, featuring legal clinics and internships. Many have been developed with an advisory board of real estate practitioners.
See the Top 10 LL.M. programs in Real Estate Law below.
University of Miami School of Law runs the Real Property Development LL.M. The program includes foundational modules in mortgage law, tax, leasing, development, transactions and environmental regulation. Alumni of the program typically working in large law firms such as DLA Piper or boutique real estate advisory firms such as Rennert Vogel. Others find work in government agencies or become entrepreneurs, developing or investing in real estate.View School Profile
At Notre Dame’s Law School, LL.M. students can specialize in certain programs of study including real estate law. The real estate specialization gives students a foundation in development, finance, land use and transactions. Participants work across disciplinary lines with the Schools of Architecture, Business and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame’s Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate.View School Profile
The Emory LL.M. allows students to focus on real estate law as a practice area. Students take classes in real estate as well as corporations, negotiations, legal drafting, environmental law and secured transactions. Participants work in legal clinics, attend local planning board meetings and take up summer internships in top law firms with active real estate practices.View School Profile
John Marshall, Chicago’s only public law school, has run the LL.M. in Real Estate Law since 1995. The curriculum was developed by faculty together with an advisory board of real estate practitioners, so it remains responsive to industry needs. The program takes a practical approach to training, using real-life case studies to bring learning to life. Students can concentrate in areas such as development, finance, sustainability, or transactions. The degree can be completed entirely online, providing flexibility.View School Profile
At USC Gould School of Law, LL.M. students can specialize in areas of concentration including business law. Within this concentration, students can specialize further in real estate law. Students learn from practitioners through the USC Real Estate and Business Law Forum, a conference in Southern California. Students can also join the Real Estate Law Society, a student club that provides networking and professional development events.View School Profile
The LL.M. degree at the UK’s York Law School includes a core module in real estate that focuses on providing legal advice to companies on property transactions. On the course, students advise real commercial clients in business simulations, putting their knowledge into practice. Students will learn about the regulatory framework as well as professional ethics. York Law School is ranked among the top 10 UK law school by the Guardian newspaper.View School Profile
LL.M. students at the Fowler School of Law, can take opt for the Certificate in Environmental, Land Use and Real Estate. It integrates content on environmental protection and land use regulation with real estate transactions and development. Students can take electives in climate change law, commercial leasing, local government law and more. Internships can be counted towards academic credit.View School Profile
The UK’s University of Salford puts on the LL.M. in Construction Law and Practice. Students on this distance learning course explore construction contracts and the law underpinning them, as well as risk management. Students are encouraged to apply the knowledge directly into their workplace, which is how they are assessed. The LL.M. program is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.View School Profile
Fordham University’s School of Law offers an LL.M. in Real Estate, with foundational modules in real estate finance, leasing, land use, affordable housing, corporate law, tax and environmental law. International students also take courses that get them familiar with the US legal system and practice. New York City, one of the world’s strongest property markets, offers real-world case studies on Fordham’s doorstep.View School Profile
Golden Gate University’s School of Law runs the LL.M. in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, which has an elective course in real estate, exploring tax and other issues. The LL.M. itself has many modules that are highly relevant to real estate lawyers, including corporate law, litigation, international taxation and estate planning. Students are taught by practitioners and judges and complete internships at Bay Area law firms.View School Profile