The real estate field is comprised of real properties, either corporeal which refers to soil and buildings and incorporeal which refers to easements. And either of these types commonly needs legal assistance and services especially when it comes to agreements and contracts. Real estate lawyers may use an employee who is not admitted to practice, in this case, a paralegal. As such, he is called a real estate paralegal.
As the law becomes more complex, paralegals have responded by becoming more specialized.. dealing with specific areas. And so, real estate paralegals have their own specific tasks different from other types of paralegal careers.
Real estate paralegals assist lawyers with contracts, shareholder agreements, stock-option plans, and employee benefit plans.
A Real estate paralegal also functions as a messenger who delivers and picks up documents and funds required for a real estate deal or closing.
In addition, as provided in the CBA Guidelines for Paralegals, a paralegal may attend closings, even though no lawyer from the law firm employing the paralegal is present. However, at the closing, the paralegal may act only as a messenger and should not use or express an independent opinion or judgment about the execution of the documents, changes in adjustments or price, or other matters involving documents or funds
The real estate paralegal should not, however, be involved as an intermediary between the seller’s attorney and the buyer or the buyer’s attorney to negotiate or otherwise resolve questions about the funds or the legal sufficiency or price, or other matters involving documents or funds.
The real estate paralegal function could also include communicating information or questions from an attorney in the firm to the buyer’s attorney.
But as required by Rule 4.2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, If the buyer is represented by an attorney who is not present at the closing, then the seller’s attorney should not communicate with the buyer directly or through the real estate paralegal without the prior permission of the buyer’s attorney.
The real estate paralegal should not compromise his function as a messenger by providing information regarding the legal implications of a document nor should a real estate paralegal use or express an independent opinion or judgment on real estate matters wherein he is involved.
In the event of any questions raised about the execution of the documents, changes, or adjustments of price, or other matters involving documents or funds, the real estate paralegal must contact an attorney in the firm for instructions.