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.
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
Application: The application period for particpation in the Spring 2015 Real Estate Practicum will open September, 2014.
Application Requirements: Resume, writing sample, transcript, and Real Estate Practicum application.