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Leave Law & Break Into Commercial Real Estate Careers

Do you ever find yourself saying, “I hate being a lawyer“? After 6 months of law school, Josh Gorin knew law wasn’t for him. So he used his law degree to pursue non-law jobs for lawyers. He broke into commercial real estate careers thanks to informational interviewing, and has never looked back. As you’ll see here on JDCOT, real estate careers are one of the popular things to do with a law degree.

Today, Josh works with law firms, entertainment companies and other businesses to help them evaluate their real estate holdings. He loves the variety of experiences, but commercial real estate careers aren’t for everyone. Watch my interview with Josh to find out if this path makes a good fit for you. And if you want help transitioning from law to a fulfilling alternative career: check out my free online training.
Become a JD Careers Out There member or join the JD Refugee® class for access to this interview plus more day-in-the-life career videos & transcripts.

Today’s Guest

Commercial Real Estate Advisor Josh GorinCommercial Real Estate Advisor Josh Gorin
Title: Senior VP, Los Angeles Managing Partner for Savills-Studley
City: Los Angeles, CA
Law School: Loyola University Chicago School of Law in Chicago, IL
College: University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI
Of Interest: Josh has worked in commercial real estate since law school graduation. He has led negotiations for transactions of more than 20 million square feet valued in excess of $2.5 billion.
Videos: Commercial Real Estate Careers & Josh’s Career Advice

BONUS: Want help finding a fulfilling career & transitioning from law? Watch my “How to Transition from Law to Fulfilling Alternative Careers” workshop for 5 steps you can start taking now. You’ll also discover how I can help you step-by-step via my JD Refugee® class.


This is a preview of the video transcript on being a commercial real estate advisor.

Join JD Careers Out There for access to full transcripts and career path interviews, plus professional development videos.

Luber: Hey everyone – Are you looking to make your law degree work for you without actually practicing law? Lots of lawyers choose to work in Real Estate – and today we’re gonna be looking at one of those paths. Those of you who are real risk-averse might want to sit this one out! We’re exploring Commercial Real Estate careers today on JD Careers Out There – so stick around!


Alright – As you may already know, at JDCOT we explore career paths you can do with a law degree – both in and out of law – and we do this to help you find a career that fits you – so you can love what you do.

Today’s guest is Josh Gorin –he’s a Corporate Real Estate Advisor for Savills Studley, which is a global commercial real estate services firm with 600 offices around the world. Josh has been with the firm since 1997. He’s the Senior VP and Managing Partner for Los Angeles, where he specializes in large, complex transactions for organizations ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to law firms and entertainment companies.

Many of you will be happy to know that Josh entered this industry right out of law school. So if you’re hoping to dive into a JD advantage job without first working in a law firm, I’ll be asking Josh how you can do that – and how your law degree’s gonna help you.

Alright, let’s get started and meet Josh! Josh, welcome to JDCOT!

Josh: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Luber: Definitely. Thank you for being here. Josh, let’s start with this, why don’t you give us your elevator pitch on what you do as a corporate real estate adviser?

Josh: Sure. I’m hired by organizations to evaluate their real estate to determine what is a more efficient and less expensive way to operate their business.

This can take the path of a law firm who leases office space and is considering renewing or a relocation; a global company who requires a full portfolio examination of thousands of locations; or a large corporate headquarters or movie studio that may need to evaluate whether to buy, to lease, develop, sell, structure their real estate occupancy by a more sophisticated financial design.

Luber: Interesting. So what would you say makes this path rewarding for you?

Josh: What’s most rewarding is really my clients. My client base is so dramatically different and my client contacts are generally CFOs or managing partners of law firms, so I really get an opportunity to learn about different businesses every day, get a clear understanding of what works, what doesn’t work within those businesses, and so I have an incredible amount of experience with every business line you could possibly imagine.

Luber: That’s great. When you started law school, did you intend to practice law?

Josh: Not really. I think I really didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I was an English major in college and it seemed like a natural path. Growing up in the Midwest, I didn’t have a tremendous amount of exposure to the entertainment business, so what to do as a writer seemed fairly limited in that regard, so it seemed like a more natural path for me to get involved with law school. Six months into it, I quickly realized that that was absolutely something I did not want to do and then started figuring out what would come next.

Luber: What led you to conclude that this was the right path for you?

Josh: I always had somewhat of an interest in real estate. Not sure where or how that came about. During college, I worked in financial services companies, so I did have sort of a finance background in that regard, but I just felt like it was something that I wanted to learn more about and so I set out to do just that.

Luber: And how did you break in?

Josh: I started by, really informational interviews. And I went out on a crazy path of meeting anybody I could that would sit with me for five minutes and I would ask them every question I could think of. They would tell me about their area of expertise, what their business was about.

Many times, they would share with me their thoughts on different areas of real estate that I should explore further, and then I would take the experiences from each interview and apply it to the next interview. Through that network, I ultimately found where I am now.

Luber: Alright, we’ll continue this discussion on these alternative careers for lawyers in the Full Interview. You’ll hear lots more from Josh on what it’s like to work in different commercial real estate careers as well as what it really takes and how you can break in to these jobs.

You’ll want to join the JDCOT membership for access to full, in-depth interviews & transcripts to get your career on track. Check out what people say about JDCOT by clicking here.

Thanks again for watching everybody. I’m Marc Luber and I’ll see ya soon.

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©2019 Careers Out There

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JDCOT's self-reflection questionnaire 


Thinking of leaving the law? The best first step you can take is a good look in the mirror. START HERE:

it's free!
You’ll also get periodic updates, reminders & access to career guidance programs sent to your inbox. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe via a click at any time.