St. John’s Law Launches Real Estate LL.M. Program

Colorful watercolor rendering of the New York City skyline.
September 5, 2023

Since opening its doors six years ago, St. John’s Mattone Family Institute for Real Estate Law has built one of the premier J.D.-level real estate law programs in the nation. Now, it’s expanding on that foundation of success with the launch of the Law School’s Real Estate LL.M. program.

“St. John’s has created a program that’s tailor-made for U.S. and international attorneys who want to be in New York City, the global epicenter of real estate development, investment, and finance,” says Mattone Institute Director Rob Sein ’03, who leads the new LL.M. program with Associate Director of Graduate Academic Programs Margie Townsend. “Real estate practice offers attorneys the opportunity to positively influence the places where people live, work, and play on a daily basis. We’re excited to further our mission and help prepare even more students who want to embark on, or advance, their careers in this dynamic practice area.”

While completing 24 credits full time or part time, Real Estate LL.M. students take an array of advanced real property law courses; explore issues impacting the real estate bar and industry at special events; forge connections and friendships with St. John's Law alumni in the field; gain experience and skills hands on through externships and internships; and get individualized career counseling from day one at St. John’s Law.

Anchoring the LL.M. program’s offerings is a distinguished faculty that draws on years of real-world practice to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. “I’m thrilled to be able to offer my knowledge and expertise to the L.L.M. students, and will greatly enjoy watching them develop an understanding of the varying concepts in real estate law,” says Donna-Marie Korth ‘83CBA, ‘86L. My focus in teaching is not only on the substance of the course, but also on the practical and ethical aspects, particularly geared to real estate practitioners.”

As a Partner in the Coop/Condo and Litigation Practice Groups at Certilman Balin, and as a member of the Mattone Institute Advisory Board, Korth also understands that St. John’s Real Estate LL.M. program is launching at just the right time. From the industry’s post-pandemic recovery to office building vacancies, a dearth of affordable housing, and new legislation at the state, city, and local levels, there are challenges to address and opportunities to seize.

“These compelling matters need to be given thoughtful consideration, and the L.L.M. program’s intense focus on all aspects of real estate is highly relevant and critical at this juncture,” Korth says. “Our students will be able to study and analyze existing and emerging issues, trends, and legislation in order to develop creative solutions. This advanced program will no doubt produce new leaders in the real estate industry, who will, in turn, shepherd in positive change and growth in this vitally important field. I look forward to seeing what they will do, and the mark each will leave on our profession.”