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At Virtual Real Estate Roundtable, Alumni Offer Career Advice to Recent Grads

08/07/2020

“Reach out” was the advice emphasized by alumni at the Law School’s recent Real Estate Roundtable Discussion: “Starting or Reinvigorating a Real Estate Legal Career in 2020 and Beyond.” At the virtual event, more than 60 current students and recent graduates learned how to break into the industry from a distinguished panel of successful alumni.

The panel featured Tim Oberweger ’05, vice president at Stewart Title Company, and member of the Brooklyn Law School Alumni Association Board, who served as moderator; Lisa Bova-Hiatt ’94, executive vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at the New York City Housing Authority; Adjunct Professor Richard J. Sobelsohn ’98, vice president, legal, at Cohen Brothers Realty; Craig L. Price ’99, partner at Belkin, Burden, Goldman; Robert Alleman ’10, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig; Niki Tsismenakis ’11, partner at Goldstein Hall; and Karl Dowden ’13, of KarlDowdenLaw.

The panelists highlighted the diversity of roles within the industry, including alumni in roles in the public and private sectors, at large law firms and solo practitioners, as representatives for buyers and sellers, and in financing and bankruptcy.

“We have a plethora of people practicing all over real estate, and it’s a part of our alumni network of which we are particularly proud,” said Michael T. Cahill, president and dean of Brooklyn Law School. “We are delighted to have so many people from so many different settings here to talk to you so that our strength in real estate and alumni network can be passed on to the next generation.”

“Use your education to find the next opportunity,” said Oberweger. The other panelists agreed, stressing the strength and generosity of the Law School’s alumni network, and citing the network as instrumental in developing their own careers. The panelists encouraged attendees to reach out to individual alumni personally for advice. “We take such pride in our school,” said Bova-Hiatt. “Even if we can’t offer you a job, we can help talk you through the path you want to take.”

The panelists who faced the difficulty of launching their careers in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis offered encouragement to recent graduates facing similar concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alleman suggested that low interest rates will drive development and re-financing and that foreclosures, commercial leasing, and government regulation will be busy areas where recent graduates and students might focus.

The panel was conceived of and organized by Professor Debra Bechtel, director of the Law School’s Corporate and Real Estate Clinic, with assistance from the Brooklyn Law School Real Estate Society and its co-presidents, Molly Drescher ’22 and Daniel Landau ’21; the Office of Development and Alumni Relations; and the Career Development Center.

Watch the video