What does land law cover?
Land law, as the name suggests, is the set of rules that govern the land and in fact anything attached to it, such as trees or buildings, or anything in it like treasure or oil.
People who work in this area of law have the task of fighting or defending disputes over land matters, such as rights of way and boundary issues. These cases may involve matters which involve landowners, private individuals or the state.
When do people turn to land law?
Almost everyone will have to deal with some elements of land law at least once in their life, whether you buy a house, walk up and knock on someone’s door or decide to cut down a neighbour’s overhanging tree.
Land law has evolved over hundreds of years. Working in this area of law can be particularly interesting and stimulating. Although the remuneration is not as high as you might expect in corporate or commercial law, it can still be lucrative; especially when you consider the high value people place on land. After all, a man’s house is his castle!
What would I be doing as a land lawyer?
A great deal of the work involves going through deeds, agreements and the land registry records to see if you can decipher who owns what and what rights people may or may not have over pieces of land.
You will need to have excellent attention to detail and you will need to be highly-motivated to be able to concentrate on long paper trails and deal with the often unclear intentions of the individuals involved. Some of the disputes can require you to go back and refer to documents that are hundreds of years old to try and decide the facts of the case.
Research is a key part of this area of law. Furthermore, you will frequently be required to draft legal documents and liaise with the land registry, other lawyers and law firms that are sometimes located on the other side of the country, or even the world.