There are some fundamental truths in life, especially when it comes to success. Like the old adage, there’s no substitute for experience. It’s also true that you can’t fake determination. A person lacking either or both has very little chance of personal or professional success. On the other hand, what happens when someone decides they want to be the ‘best’ at their career, be it teacher, doctor or attorney? They need the later (determination) to gain the former (experience) to work their way to the top.
Knowing that truth can bring you to the top of your game. It’s one formula that works every time.
It’s also always been my goal. When I decided to practice law, I made it my mission not just to practice till I got it right. I was determined to practice till I couldn’t get it wrong.
The Right Road
The initial decision to become an attorney wasn’t one I made lightly. It was the right road for me at the time, but it wasn’t an easy road.
You don’t become a lawyer overnight and law school was hard. The school I attended had very high standards for its students. I liken the experience to boot camp, except 30 times longer! It was three years of an immense amount of reading and studying until you had absorbed the material.
Note-taking in law school should be an Olympic sport! Outlining, writing legal memos and briefs, learning trial advocacy skills and more all added up to the pressure of just one chance.
You had one shot. Three years ended in one final exam as your only grade.
Class time was a real treat. I’m not talking about some scene out of ‘Legally Blond’ either. You know, the one where you bring-your toy pup in your designer bag to class and impress your professor with one quick-witted answer.
No. That’s the Hollywood version. The real-life version is different. When called on you were expected to stand and be prepared to answer a myriad of questions from the professor about any of the assigned reading for that day. Failure to be prepared for class meant an automatic half grade reduction in your final grade.
Rubber Meet Road
There was a good reason for it all though. You need to train to think like a lawyer. That is, to acquire the ability to analyze large amounts of information, identify relevant issues, craft arguments, support a position, negotiate, and draft documents that protects your client’s interests, whatever they maybe.
These skills helped me succeed in my niche as a litigator – an attorney that does trial work.
I started in Chicago as a litigator/in-house counsel for the largest regional bank. I worked at a respected boutique litigation law firm in the city. It was here I gained the experience and put into practice every skill and piece of knowledge I learned in law school.
A New Career Calls
Time went by in Chicago and I had worked on commercial-leasing transactions for large office buildings. My skills and experience expanded.
My reputation grew such that I opened my own practice. Here, I diversified. My client-base began to change from corporations to individuals. I started partnering with various real estate agents to handle their transactions.
You see, in the Midwest, sales of residential real estate use lawyers during the transactions. It’s much the same process as commercial transactions. The difference was, these were homes. Families were involved.
I reviewed contracts, negotiated amendments and repair issues. I considered becoming a title agent as well, but then my husband was relocated to Dallas. When I opened my practice in Dallas, I knew that I wanted to continue working in real estate and handled commercial transactions for several doctors. I also opened a fee attorney office for Lawyers Title.
The more my fee attorney business grew, the greater my interest became in selling real estate. This felt like where I belonged. I knew the contracts back and forth, I understood the entire transaction including the title aspect. Counseling and advising clients on their options was another one of my strengths.
It all made sense!
Certain things about me knew I would make a good Realtor. It’s important, for instance, for me to be involved in my community. I took a good look at myself. When I put it all together, the leap to selling was logical. First, I loved residential real estate. Second, my interest in helping families gave me great satisfaction. Third, my pride in being a good citizen meant I care for the neighborhoods I sell.
My time practicing law has proven invaluable as a real estate agent! There’s my ability to spot issues before they arise and to understand the complexity of a transaction and a contract. It works the same for state promulgated forms, builder forms or contracts specifically drafted for a specialty sale.
There’s also the fiduciary duty that is owed, the importance of protecting a clients’ privacy and the ability to place the client’s interests at the forefront of each transaction.
A real estate transaction is for many clients their largest financial transaction. Why wouldn’t you chose the strongest representation possible?
Then there’s the other side. There’s that intangible side that no facts, figures or forms can cover. It’s the side that makes you worry when you think about moving. Money, homes and furniture can be replaced if you make a mistake.
The people you love are irreplaceable.
They’re the ones I want to help you protect and make happy as you make these large financial decisions. Out of all the reasons I chose residential real estate, this is the biggest one.
I can have:
- Experience drafting multimillion-dollar commercial real estate contracts.
- Experience drafting loan documents and transactions involving seller financing.
- Owned and operated a title insurance company prior to selling real estate.
But I can also say that I care about you, and the people you care about…and mean it.
Contact Lynda Here