Given the ever-increasing demand for residential and corporate real estate, the real estate market in India is expected to grow to INR 65,000 crore by 2040, from INR 12,000 crore in 2019.
The U.S. real estate market is estimated to be worth USD 5.85 trillion by 2030, while the global real estate market is valued at USD 7,063 billion as per 2022 data.
These are high-value, high-stakes markets, and legal professionals associated with them can expect to earn handsome returns from a plethora of work ranging from contracts to due diligence to litigation.
Who gets the most?
Among the highest-paid real estate law professionals are:
Real estate partner at a law firm: Partners at large law firms can earn substantial salaries, and those who specialise in real estate law may be able to command particularly high pay. Tier 1 law firm partners could be making INR 1 crore-plus per year, while partners in smaller law firms could easily earn over INR 40 lakh, which can be substantially higher in certain years when the market heats up, which may be happening in the upcoming years.
In-house counsel for a real estate company: Many large real estate development and investment companies have their own legal teams, and the head of such a team can earn a substantial salary. Salary ranges between INR 50,000 per month at the lower end, up to INR 30 lakh per year in listed real estate companies, international REITs and MNCs.
Real estate lawyer at a boutique law firm: While many large law firms have real estate practices, there are also smaller law firms that focus exclusively on real estate law. Lawyers at these firms can earn good salaries, particularly if the firm has a successful practice. At entry level, specialised real estate lawyers could be earning INR 50-70,000 per month.
Independent commercial real estate attorney: In this role, one can work as a consultant for private firms, small firms or large firms and can work on deals related to commercial properties. such as apartment complexes, shopping centres, office buildings, and industrial parks. The real estate industry is full of small realtors who need help from independent real estate lawyers who can take care of contracts, permissions & licences, compliances and disputes. This is a very lucrative area of work, and successful real estate lawyers can make upwards of INR 10 lakh per month in tier 1 as well as tier 2 cities by working for realtors.
Government positions: Positions in government related to real estate and housing can also pay well and can be more secure than private-sector jobs. Many government lawyers work at RERA, urban development agencies, public-private partnerships that work on infrastructure and housing development, etc. Many of these jobs are contractual in nature rather than permanent government jobs, but they can pay really well, commensurate with the private sector.
It is worth noting that the earning potential within these jobs can vary depending on the location you work in and the specific employer or clients you work for.
Metro cities like Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai have the highest salaries and prevailing fee rates for lawyers, while market standards can be lower in other cities.
What are the numbers like?
Foolproof and 100 per cent authentic data for the annual income for different categories of real estate lawyers in India is almost impossible to find, but this table created by CollegeDekho may give you some idea. The numbers may be a little outdated, but apart from our own research, this is one more resource we found and thought of including for your benefit.
Note that the real estate industry does not only employ experts in real estate laws. They need different kinds of lawyers for different purposes:
- Real estate litigator
- In-house counsel in real estate companies (handling the four very important areas of contracts, compliances, disputes and policy)
- Conveyancing and registration expert
- Due diligence expert
- Licence, permissions & compliance expert
- Tax lawyer
- Investment and banking lawyer
- Insolvency & bankruptcy lawyer
- Valuation expert
Can I do international remote work as a real estate lawyer or paralegal?
You do not have to restrict yourself to the Indian real estate job market as a real estate lawyer. In fact, you can start tapping into the international remote job market also, provided you can learn US-specific real estate legal work.
According to Salary.com, average yearly earnings for a real estate lawyer in the U.S. stand at a little over USD 158,000 (around INR 1.30 crore), and the range typically falls between USD 138,060 and USD 175,400. However, this range can vary widely depending on several factors, including education and qualification, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years spent in the profession.
In the UK, the average real estate lawyer salary is GBP 65,000 (almost INR 65 lakh) per year, according to UK Talent. Entry-level positions start at GBP 52,500 per year, while more experienced lawyers can make up to GBP 87,500 per year.
If you work as a remote lawyer or paralegal, you can easily charge between USD 10-30 per hour working from your hometown in India! We have many learners and alumni at LawSikho who are earning USD 2000-5000 per month working remotely with US lawyers, law firms and clients.
What strikes you about these numbers?
Obviously, even taking into account such factors as purchasing power parity, real estate lawyers in India have a lot of catching up to do with their international counterparts, even from rough estimates.
Which is why we place great emphasis on encouraging our learners to upgrade their skill sets so that they become competent to serve international clients in various legal capacities.
Of course, they can still continue their practice in India side by side, but why would you not want to take up international offers that could double or triple your annual income, apart from building a fantastic track record?
And the best part about this is that for your international clients, your fees per hour would probably be near rock bottom for a professional from their own country. Which means everyone wins in this situation.
Would you like to explore these opportunities as a real estate lawyer?
Do you want to equip yourself with the skills to serve clients across jurisdictions?
Simply join our FREE, online (LIVE only) bootcamp on ‘How to make it big with real estate law’ from January 21-23, 6.00-9.00 pm IST daily. Not only will we give you a clear overview of the real estate work available in India, but a clear roadmap to securing such work abroad, along with an idea of the kind of skills expected of you.
For more information and interesting updates, do also join our Telegram channel at https://t.me/lawyerscommunity.