Real Estate Practicum   

In the Real Estate Practicum, students experience the world of real estate practice and real estate practitioners and discuss and reflect on those experiences and observations in a weekly seminar, all with the goal of helping each student to prepare for the practice of law. To accomplish this goal and to provide this experience, the practicum has three required segments: an initial training, an externship and a seminar.

1) Initial Training: In preparation for the externships, the first two weeks of the semester involve hands-on training, homework and simulations in title examination and residential real estate closings.

2) Externships: The externship involves placements with real estate professionals and requires a commitment of 10 hours per week (two sessions of 5 hours). Externships are done as a two-person team. One member of the team is initially placed with a real estate attorney specializing in residential real estate, the other with an attorney at a title insurance company. Each team member works for six weeks with one attorney or the other and then switches right before spring break. In both placements, students will work on a variety of title, closing, contract and related problems and will observe the operation of a law office and the interaction with clients, staff and other real estate professionals (brokers, lenders, appraisers, surveyors). Most placements are in Springfield; there is also a paired placement in Connecticut (Windsor Locks and Hartford).

3) Seminar: The seminar component consists of a weekly 2-hour seminar meeting, with required readings and discussions structured and led by the two faculty members and frequently featuring presentations by experts in different aspects of real estate transactions. In some weeks, there will be individual or smaller-group meetings instead of the full-class seminar meetings.

Click here for the Real Estate Practicum Informational Packet.

Prerequisites: As prerequisites for the course, students must have taken 2 or more of the following 6 courses: Land Finance and Transfer, Conveyancing, Real Estate Transactions, Taxation of Property, Land Use, Landlord-Tenant, and Bankruptcy.  The more prerequisites you have taken, the better, and Professors Baker and Stonefield strongly urge students to take (and will give preference in selection to students who have taken or will take) Land Finance and Transferand Conveyancing). In addition, students must have successfully completed 32 hours of law studies.

Semesters Offered: Spring Only

Credits: 4-credits includes Seminar and Field Placement

Spots available: 10

Grading: Pass/Fail

Application: Applications are not being accepted for the Real Estate Practicum at this time.

The application period for Spring 2014 clinic spots has concluded.  The clinic application period for Academic Year 2014-2015 will reopen in March, 2014.

Application Requirements: Resume, writing sample, and Real Estate Practicum application.

Sam Stonefield Samuel Stonefield
Professor of Law

Professor Stonefield co-directs the Real Estate Practicum. He earned his J. D. from Harvard University and served as a Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. He has also served as a managing attorney for the Western Massachusetts Legal Services program, a staff attorney in a prisoners' legal assistance program, and has engaged in the private practice of law. He recently completed a term of service on the Board of the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, a government bank that grants mortgage loans for affordable housing, and has authored the chapters on the national secondary mortgage markets in a leading real estate finance law treatise.


William Baker
William G. Baker
Professor of Law

Professor Baker co-directs the Real Estate Practicum. He earned his J.D. at Union College, Albany Law School and then clerked for Judge Andrew V. Siracuse of the New York State Supreme Court. He has been a consultant to the Rochester, New York, law firms of Kaufman, Kenning, Tyle and D’Amanda and Pauley & Barney. Professor Baker is coeditor of The Law of Liability Insurance.









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Real Estate Practicum