Mattone Family Institute

Real Estate LL.M.

Located in Queens, New York, one of the most diverse places in the world and one of the five boroughs of New York City, the global epicenter of real estate development, investment, and finance, St. John’s provides the perfect launching pad for a career in real estate law. 

As a student in our Real Estate LL.M. program, you will learn real estate law doctrine and practice in an array of advanced real property law courses; gain insights into cutting-edge issues impacting the real estate law bar and industry through our robust roster of special events; form networking connections and friendships with St. John's Law alumni in the real estate industry; and have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with real estate practice through our diverse externship and internship offerings.

Starting on your first day on campus, the resources of the Mattone Family Institute for Real Estate Law, home to the Law School’s real estate program, will be available to you, including individualized career development support.

Watch a video introduction to our Real Estate LL.M. program led by the program's co-director, Rob Sein:

This degree is suitable for attorneys who have earned a J.D. from an American law school, or who have international practice experience in real estate and a base of knowledge of the U.S. legal system. Internationally trained attorneys with appropriate experience who want to prepare for the New York Bar exam should apply for our dual degree LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies/LL.M. in Real Estate Law.

Questions? Connect with us at [email protected].

Degree Type
Area of Interest
Law, Policy & Government
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours
Associated Centers or Institutes


Requiring the completion of 24 credits, the Real Estate LL.M. program at St. John’s Law combines academic rigor with a practice-oriented approach that is designed to produce real estate attorneys with the skills, ambition, and knowledge needed to advise clients on sophisticated real estate transactions. You can begin your studies in either the fall or spring semester, and U.S. citizens and permanent residents can enroll part time to complete their degree within 48 months.

In completing the requisite 24 credits of Real Estate LL.M. coursework, you may choose from a diverse roster of Law School courses, subject to the following:

  • You must take two Required Courses, comprising a total of 5 credits: Real Estate Transactions (3 credits, taken in your first semester of study) and Advanced Topics in Real Estate Law (2 credits, taken in your last semester of study).
  • You may earn the balance of your credits by taking Real Estate Elective Courses, Designated Elective Courses, and—with the Program Director’s permission—courses at the Tobin School of Business and other courses relevant to your chosen area of study or contemplated area of expertise, in all cases provided that you have not taken a similar course before and that you meet any prerequisites.
  • At least 14 of your total credits must be comprised of Required Courses and Real Estate Elective Courses.

Required Courses
Real Estate Transactions (3 credits)
Advanced Topics in Real Estate Law (2 credits)

Real Estate Elective Courses (vary by semester)
Affordable Housing Law and Practice (2 credits)
Commercial Real Estate Leasing (2 credits)
Condominiums, Cooperatives & Homeowners Associations (2 credits)
Construction Law (2 credits)
Directed Research (2 credits)
Drafting: Real Estate Transactions (2 credits)
Emerging Issues in Real Estate Law Seminar (1 credit)
Environmental Law (3 credits)
Externship Placement (2 credits) + Externship Seminar – LLM (2 credits)
International Environmental Law (3 credits)
Land Use Planning(3 Credits)
Real Estate Development (2 credits)
Real Estate Finance (3 credits)
Real Estate Workouts & Bankruptcy (2 credits)
Research and Writing: Real Property Law (3 credits)

Designated Elective Courses (vary by semester)
Alternative Dispute Resolution (2 credits)
Advanced Interviewing and Counseling (2 credits)
Banking Law & Regulation (3 credits)
Bankruptcy and Security Interests (2 credits)
Bankruptcy Sales (1 credit)
Business Bankruptcy Reorganizations (2 credits)
Business Planning (3 credits)
Consumer Bankruptcy (2 credits)
Consumer Protection (3 credits)
Corporate Finance (3 credits)
Creditors’ Rights (3 credits)
Executory Contracts in Business Bankruptcy (1 credit)
Insurance Law (2 credits)
Negotiation (2 credits)
Secured Transactions (3 credits)
Securitization, Structured Finance & Capital Markets (2 credits)
Small Business Bankruptcy (1 credit)
Tax Federal Corporate Income (3 credits)
Taxation of Business Entities (3 credits)

You can learn more about the courses listed above by reading the St. John’s Law course catalog.


St. John's University Crest
  • Partner, Real Estate Practice Group, Certilman Balin,
  • Adjunct Professor
St. John's University Crest
  • Director, Mattone Family Institute for Real Estate Law,
  • Adjunct Professor
Male student working in classroom

J.D./LL.M. Joint Degree

By counting courses in real estate law taken while earning a J.D., St. John's students can earn both the J.D. and Real Estate LL.M. degree in as few as seven semesters.

Up to 12 credits of real estate law coursework taken while enrolled as a J.D. can be counted towards the 24 credits required for the LL.M. degree.


Student Selection Standards:

The student body is limited to outstanding candidates who have the capacity to handle a rigorous academic curriculum. Acceptance is based on the applicant's performance at undergraduate and law schools, experience in practice (where applicable), published and unpublished written work, and other relevant factors. Particular emphasis is placed on the applicant having achieved an outstanding academic record in obtaining a Juris Doctor from an accredited A.B.A. law school and on the applicant’s employment history. Applications are evaluated by the LL.M. program faculty committee, together with the Law School Faculty Admissions Committee and the Dean of Admissions.

Rolling Admissions and Application Deadline:

Students may start the program in the Fall or Spring terms. We use a rolling admissions process, consider applications as they come in, and make every effort to inform you of our decision as soon as possible after receipt of your completed application.

Notes on Application Materials:

See the full list of application materials on the Frequently Asked Questions page. Additionally, please note the following.

  • Two letters of recommendation - Applicants will be expected to submit at least two letters of recommendation with the application, directed to the student’s capacity to handle the intensive program contemplated. Current students and recent graduates should submit at least one letter from a faculty member. Practitioners should submit at least one letter from a practicing attorney with whom the applicant has worked.
  • Personal statement - In addition to explaining why the applicant desires to enroll and how the applicant believes the program will advance his or her career goals and objectives, the statement should address any real estate law related coursework and/or relevant professional experience.

International Applicants: 

In order to succeed in the program, students need a foundation in American law topics such as property law, civil procedure, contracts, and business organizations.

Students who still need to build this foundation can apply for the joint degree in U.S. Legal Studies and Real Estate Law. In this path, students complete two semesters of coursework in U.S. Legal Studies, and then can begin the specialized Real Estate LL.M. coursework. This path will also help internationally educated students qualify for the NY Bar Exam, where the Real Estate LL.M. alone does not. This path can be completed in four semesters of full-time study. 

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Margie L. Townsend, Co-Director, LL.M. in Real Estate Program, at [email protected].

Tuition & Scholarships

All students are automatically considered for scholarships. No separate application is needed. 

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