Alternative Careers for Lawyers


Well there are various angles aren't there, and if you are interested enough in leaving law to make a living in professional property dealings, you are going to know your game. Otherwise, probably best to have a re-think. You should also be commercially minded, willing to take the odd risk, and therefore in possession of sound common sense and judgement.

Going it alone is going to require significant capital to get balls rolling, whether investment based, for example starting to build a portfolio, or whether development based.

Many an amateur will start whilst still in paid employment, securing the borrowing and still with a seamless income. Management time of a residential letting can be surprisingly little. As a rule of thumb, professional investors may have a 30% loan to value ratio across the board to ensure the requisite margins. Commercial freehold premises can spread risk, i.e. shops with long leases. In whatever, go for the best you can afford. People will always pay for quality.

Developing is highly competitive, and so better to think more laterally than refurbishing a 2-up-2-down. Bigger margins are in, for example, splitting properties into flats, change of use, or even just 'flipping' , i.e. buying a plot without planning consent or with limited consent, and selling on with increment to a professional developer having obtained those consents. The gamble is in undertaking to apply for the consents, and whereas it is possible to get a fair idea of the chances of success from a local planning authority prior to purchase, there is no guarantee. Get friendly with an architect you can take to potential sites. It is they who will apply for the consents, and know how planning authorities work and how policies change, at both local and national level.

Anyone considering going to work for a professional entity will probably be in residential or commercial property law and will know what that sector offers. Professional developers, funds, agents, brokers, estate management, in-house portfolio management... Times might not have been so great over the last couple of years, but people will always continue to make money out of property.

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