A new learning option for Real Estate Law

A new learning option was offered to Menlo College’s Real Estate Program this spring thanks to student, Andrew Hart ‘15, president of the Menlo College Real Estate Investment Team (MCREIT). Under the auspices of MCREIT and with seed funding from a grant from Menlo College, nine students in the Spring semester real state law class pledged to obtain a real estate sales license from the California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE).

One of the BRE requirements is the completion of BRE-approved real estate courses. Harold Justman, Menlo College professor of real estate law and faculty advisor to MCREIT, was inspired by Andrew Hart to arrange his class so that students in the real estate law class could enroll in an on-line course called Real Estate Principles offered by Allied Business Schools (Allied).

Andrew explained, “An alumnus named Matt Lopez created MCREIT in Spring semester of 2014. Since he was graduating he asked me to help carry on MCREIT’s legacy. I accepted and thought to myself that it would be a way to make an impact with MCREIT and the real estate program at Menlo.

“During Winter break, MCREIT Vice President Dan Hendrix, Treasurer Victor Mena, and I realized the best way to brand MCREIT was for members to take the Allied courses to obtain the real estate sales license.  After we presented the idea to Professor Justman, he was gung ho for it. Since all of the classmates in real estate law were MCREIT members, the whole group decided to be the first wave.  When Justman saw that his students were so passionate about this cause coming to life, he enrolled in Allied to get his broker’s license!”

The on-line real estate course is designed to prepare students to take and pass the California real estate sales multiple choice license exam. Professor Justman recognized an opportunity to “flip” his class because the on-line course would cover much of the basics regarding real estate law that would have been otherwise covered in his lectures.

In the flipped learning option, students that completed an appropriate on-line real estate course did not have to take the quizzes and tests in the real estate law class. By taking the on-line class, they were able to focus their efforts on the two essay portions of the real estate law class and discuss complex real estate law problems that are currently being litigated in California courts.

Justman believes that the students who learn independently on-line are better prepared for class to discuss real estate legal problems. “The classroom discussions challenged the students to think critically about current real estate industry problems and clearly communicate their conclusions,” said Justman. “These ‘soft skills’ are critical to making the transition from the classroom to an internship to the workplace.”