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Navigating Your Career Path: A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Paralegal

Published on: Feb 20, 2024

Real estate paralegals offer valuable paralegal support to real estate lawyers, corporations, realtors, and banks. Their duties generally involve preparing checklists for property sales, analyzing title documents, and reviewing purchase offers. This role may also provide clients with regular updates on property leases, purchases, or sales. It is also important to point out that these duties differ depending on the position. For instance, commercial real estate paralegals will have different responsibilities than residential real estate paralegals. Commercial real estate paralegals often deal with corporations and other entities, performing Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) checks and other searches and assisting with various lease documents. In comparison, residential real estate paralegals will spend most of their time working with real estate lawyers and focusing on work that involves selling homes, dealing with foreclosures, handling leases and short sales, and purchasing properties. 

We have prepared the comprehensive guide below to better understand what the real estate paralegal profession entails. This guide will provide an overview of the real estate paralegal profession, the skills required to get hired, and how to become a real estate paralegal.

Real Estate Paralegal Responsibilities and Role

A real estate paralegal's job is primarily clerical, but it may also include additional responsibilities based on the law firm they work for. However, generally speaking, a real estate paralegal job description consists of the following tasks: 

  • Preparing and assessing real estate documents such as a lease agreement, title insurance, contracts, or closing documents

  • Reviewing tasks such as lending requirements, financing options, title affidavits, and bankruptcy claims

  • Researching real estate industry issues

  • Performing legal research on issues related to property law or estate planning

  • Analyzing documents, including title documents and property legal descriptions

  • Handling communications between landlords, clients, property owners, and lawyers

  • Answering questions and escalating more serious matters to attorneys or other legal professionals

  • Ensuring that clients remain informed of the progress of their applications

  • Helping attorneys and other legal professionals to submit legal documents in a timely manner

  • Maintaining client files and ensuring that they are properly organized and easy to find

  • Assisting attorneys with the negotiation of contracts with real estate agents, contractors, and title companies

  • Drafting affidavits and helping attorneys prepare for depositions

  • Appropriately communicating with insurance adjusters and insurance companies regarding a specific case

  • Dealing with real estate brokers, landlords, housing managers, and other real estate professionals

  • Organizing all documents regarding the transaction, such as court cases, depositions, hearings, and other court-related material 

In addition, those who work as a commercial real estate paralegal may also be responsible for additional duties such as:

  • Obtaining, preparing, and filing numerous types of documents, statements, amendments, and certificates

  • Helping with the formation of limited liability companies and other organizations

  • Preparing real estate closing checklists and transactional documents, such as letters of intent

  • Obtaining Registry of Deeds documentation

  • Obtaining documents from governmental agencies

Educational and Certification Requirements

A real estate paralegal job typically requires at least an associate degree. However, having an ABA paralegal certification focusing on real estate and a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies or a related field is considered an added advantage. Individuals can also take continuing education classes, such as the Paralegal Real Estate Law Specialist Program through UC Davis, to stand out in the resume stacks. However, these educational requirements will generally depend on the position and the law firm where a person is seeking a position.

Moreover, if a job requires a particular degree or certification, it is important to enroll in courses that will help you understand the basics of real estate law, legal terminology, and specific legal practices. This knowledge will prove extremely useful in complex real estate laws. For example, New York has some of the country's most unique real estate laws. Therefore, if you are planning to secure a real estate paralegal position in New York, you must be familiar with the state's real estate regulations and rules. This familiarity can help you navigate the process effectively.

Skills and Qualities for Success

Successful real estate paralegals are detail-oriented and can handle complex tasks to support their attorneys and other legal professionals. However, law firms also seek individuals for this position with the following skills and qualities: 

  • Knowledge of legal project management software, including Accelo or Amberlo

  •  Strong organization, multitasking, and time management skills

  • The ability to collaborate with others in different positions

  • Solid communication and negotiation skills

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced setting, handle complicated issues, and problem-solve

  • Knowledge of real estate contracts, applications, documents, submissions, and transactions

Real Estate Paralegal Career Path and Advancement

Career opportunities for real estate paralegals are not only unique but extensive. More importantly, with experience and demonstrated success, real estate paralegals can advance to higher-level positions, including managing director or portfolio manager. 

The career path of a real estate paralegal is often determined by their employer and the job they hold. Generally, those who aspire to become a real estate paralegal start with entry level positions in law firms, in-house legal departments, government agencies, and real estate companies with titles such as legal assistant, legal secretary, administrative assistant, office manager, or real estate assistant. However, as real estate paralegals begin to gain experience in the field, they may come across opportunities for advancement, such as assuming a managerial role or specializing in a specific field of real estate law, such as becoming a commercial real estate paralegal. 

Real estate paralegals can also advance by expanding their skillsets, earning further certifications, switching career tracks and going back to school to become an attorney, or moving to in-house positions.

Real Estate Paralegal Salary and Job Market Trends

According to Zippia, The Career Expert, the real estate paralegal job market is projected to grow by 14% from 2018 until 2028. It is estimated that almost 49,900 new positions for real estate paralegals will be added over the next decade. 

Additionally, as real estate paralegal positions have been on the rise, providing increasing job opportunities in recent years, the salaries for real estate paralegals have also increased by approximately 7% in the last five years. As of 2024, the average real estate paralegal salary is around $68,387. However, the earnings of a real estate paralegal will typically depend on various factors, such as the paralegal’s job level, their years of experience, the type of employer they are working for, and their geographic location. For example, the following areas offer the most job openings for those seeking positions as a real estate paralegal in the United States:

  • Massachusetts, with an average salary of $68,226 for a real estate paralegal

  • Iowa, with an average salary of $59,101 for a real estate paralegal

  • Delaware, with an average salary of $67,967 for a real estate paralegal

  • Connecticut, with an average salary of $68,406 for a real estate paralegal

It is also worth noting that real estate paralegals with significant experience may earn a higher salary. The top 10% of real estate paralegals today make over $82,500 annually. However, even new paralegals can expect a reasonable wage and opportunities for progression, thanks to the positive outlook for this career path. This is because real estate transactions continue to occur in all economic circumstances.

What To Expect as a Real Estate Paralegal in North Carolina

In North Carolina, real estate paralegals make, on average, $62,525 per year. However, the salary for a real estate paralegal in the state can vary greatly. While some individuals in this role earn as much as $99,513 annually, others make $31,808. However, the majority of real estate paralegal salaries fall within the range of $49,100 (25th percentile) to $76,800 (75th percentile).

Securing a Role as a Real Estate Paralegal

If you want to secure a job as a real estate paralegal, there are specific steps you should take before starting this job search:

Secure Education Requirements

Law firms will often include education requirements for their available positions. That is why if you are searching for a real estate paralegal role, you should check whether the job requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree or certification or whether a high school degree is enough for an entry-level position. In addition, if you are considering pursuing further legal education, this information can also help steer you in the right direction of what courses you may want to take.

Prepare a Detailed Resume

When you begin your job search, ensuring that your resume is well-prepared and showcases your specific skills and experience is crucial. For example, in the experience section, focus on how you have helped law firms streamline their real estate operations or handled sizeable real estate projects. Additionally, emphasize your organization, research, and communication skills to demonstrate the attributes that you can bring to the organization or firm.

Interview Preparation

After securing an interview for a real estate paralegal position, it is essential to prepare adequately for the interview. This typically involves conducting thorough research on common interview questions and preparing appropriate answers, gaining a deeper understanding of the firm you are interviewing, and familiarizing yourself with the individuals conducting the interview. 


Networking within the legal and real estate field can help secure a position as a real estate paralegal. You can explore networking opportunities, such as joining professional association committees like the American Alliance of Paralegals, the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals, or the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAPE). You should also attend annual conventions, join social media groups, participate in meetup events, and explore other options. Networking within legal and real estate communities, such as the  Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Section through the American Bar Association, can also increase potential opportunities.

A Final Recap

Paralegals are highly skilled researchers and often play a crucial role in the success of real estate law firms, government agencies, in-house legal departments, and title companies. These positions are usually responsible for managing communication between multiple parties, dealing with important deadlines, and helping attorneys with real estate transactions. 

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a real estate paralegal, you should continue to explore the different specializations available in this field and consider seeking education and training opportunities to help you achieve your goals. With the right skills and knowledge, you can succeed in this exciting and diverse area of law.

About the Authors

Written by:

Kasia Nelson, Esq.

Kasia Nelson is a licensed attorney and skilled legal content writer with years of experience. With a background in corporate immigration law, she is well-versed in the intricacies of producing legally accurate and well-researched work. 


  • Michigan State University, B.S.

  • Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School, J.D.

Law Licensures

  • Michigan

Kasia Nelson

Kasia Nelson, Esq.


Education: Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School, J.D.

Knowledge: Corporate Immigration Law

Reviewed by:

Ryan P. Duffy, Esq.

Ryan P. Duffy is an attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina. His practice focuses primarily on Estate Planning, Personal Injury, and Business law. 

Law Licensures

  • New Jersey

  • Pennsylvania (inactive)

  • South Carolina

  • North Carolina

Ryan Duffy

Ryan P. Duffy, Esq.

Editorial Lead

Education: Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, J.D.

Knowledge: Estate Planning