Residential, Commercial, and Environmental


Residential, Commercial, and Environmental

Our course offerings cover every aspect of real estate practice. Students receive a solid foundation in the fundamentals of corporate and real estate law, commercial law, and transactional work. At an advanced level, paths of study can assume a narrower, more intense focus in areas such as the Law of Condos, Co-Ops and Homeowners Associations, Land Use Controls, Environmental Law, International Environmental Law, and Public/Private Partnerships in Real Estate Development.

New courses reflect the scholarship focus of our faculty. Professor David Reiss’s Property Law Colloquium co-taught with a Pratt Institute faculty member attracts prominent scholars, practitioners and government officials, who debate significant concerns in property law and urban issues, such as eminent domain, the subprime crisis, and predatory equity. The forum is an opportunity for students to participate in a high level of dialogue on specific topics with guest speakers who are leaders in their fields.

Hands-on Experience

A new advanced internship in the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the Office of New York State Attorney General allows selected students to work under the supervision of Assistant Attorneys General. The work involves the actual offerings for the sale of individual units in condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners associations. Not only do students have a chance to work with attorneys, but they also interact with developers, engineers, and architects. Moreover it presents an opportunity to apply some of the theories and principles of the law of the development and sale of common interest communities to real-life situations.

In Professor Debra Bechtel’s Corporate and Real Estate Transactions Clinic students represent low-income cooperative boards. With over 25 years of experience in this area, she serves as an ideal mentor as students acquire a hands-on introduction to the transactional aspect of real estate law, drafting business formation documents, assisting in the formation of joint ventures, and drafting and analyzing contracts. Students in our Community Development Clinic provide legal representation to community organizations to ensure that important, but smaller voices are heard as Brooklyn communities are rethought, rezoned, and redeveloped.

Practice-based courses and externships regularly place students with government agencies and nonprofit organizations, and simulation courses in Commercial Leasing and the Legal Issues of Sustainable Building expose students to the actual documents used in practice.

Strengthening Your Career Options

In an age where interdisciplinary study is becoming more common, we offer the option of several joint degree programs related to real estate law. One is a Master in Urban Planning through Hunter College. The other options can be coordinated through Pratt Institute: a Master of Science in City and Regional Planning, a Master of Science in Environmental Systems Management, and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation. These joint degrees provide students with an added edge in the marketplace. We also offer a Certificate in Real Estate Law for students who want to concentrate in this specialty area.