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Real Estate Experts and Lawyers Working Together: A Partnership for Growth



Friday, June 29, 2018

As residential towers and commercial buildings rise toward the heavens, as they pierce the clouds and refract the light from sheets of glass unto frozen crystals, creating a rainbow so many stories above the ground but below the stars, construction accelerates. It accelerates in cities large and small, increasing the need for real estate developers and agents - in addition to buyers and sellers - to have sound legal representation. For construction to continue apace, so the economy does not lose its pace, we need real estate experts and lawyers to work together. Anything less than full collaboration threatens to stall growth and bring the real estate industry to a standstill.

According to Wayne R. Cohen, a professor at The George Washington University School of Law and a partner at Cohen Cohen, P.C., lawyers are an essential part of this equation. He says:

Growth is sustainable only to the degree that there are enough lawyers to ensure developers can break ground without fear of breaking the law, because they do not have the right permits or are in violation of some zoning ordinance. As much as the law can hinder growth, or an injunction can slow or stop it, good lawyers can do their best - they can do everything in their power - to reverse that restriction.

I second Cohens analysis, since the real estate industry cannot operate without effective legal counsel. The same rule applies to the rights of tenants who can too easily be bulldozed pun intended by one side. If there is to be balance, lawyers who specialize in these matters need to come forward.

What I foresee is not so much an adversarial >For these things to happen, a conversation must begin and actions must follow. The arrangement must be right, so lawyers can do justice and real estate developers can pursue legal means for a just outcome. In turn, a national conversation can ensue for the good of the public and the advancement of those goods that benefit the republic - things like the construction or repair of parks and playgrounds, the renovation of libraries and museums, the expansion of roads and highways, and the availability of affordable housing.

If the currency of the legal profession is language, if lawyers pride themselves on the precision of the words they use, much like architects and engineers must be precise in their calculations, they have a duty - we all have a responsibility - to have a dialogue about how lawyers can aid the real estate industry and assist the economy.

The jobs that result from that discussion are one of several rewards for us to enjoy.

I welcome this chance to talk, so we can succeed greatly and grow mightily.

A writer and branding consultant, Lewis Fein covers the real estate industry, technology, and marketing, among other issues. A graduate of The Emory University School of Law, Lewis resides in Southern California. You may reach him at

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