Pursuing Law and Engineering in Real Estate

Who did you meet with today? 

Today, my fellow interns and I got the opportunity to speak with Mera Baker Ramos, an in-house lawyer for Pacific Charter School Development (PCSD). Later that same day we got the chance to speak to Gilbert Tercero, one of the many project managers working at PCSD. 

Where do they work? What does the company do? 

Both Mera and Gilbert work for Pacific Charter School Development (PCSD), a non-profit focused on real estate. The organization works tirelessly to achieve their goal of building facilities for charter schools who are under-resourced. From organizing the finances for the construction to finding locations for the facilities, PCSD looks to make the process of building a school more welcoming and simple for charter schools in order to promote access to high-quality education in our community.

What did you learn today? What were some highlights? 

From speaking with both Mera and Gilbert, I learned about how law and planning go into real estate. I got to hear about Mera’s journey and how she came to work for PCSD. Also, I got to get her perspective on how difficult it is to study law and the work it requires. On the other hand, I learned from Gilbert that it is good to be well connected in college to secure a job through internships. Also, I gained more of an understanding about the work of a civil engineer and the work they do to make sure a property is set to start construction. 

Some highlights from our conversations were hearing about Mera’s experience in criminal justice and Gilbert’s work on the Sofi Stadium and Intuit Dome. I got a good understanding about how there are many different types of law that someone can study depending on what you like most. Also, I got to hear about the work and process put into constructing a large project, with the challenges of flooding and traffic.

What insights did you gain into the field of real estate development?  

One of the many insights I gained into the field of real estate development was the importance of law in being able to get multiple entities to agree on a project. The attorney on one side writes up a document representing their interests and needs on a project, then it gets sent back and forth between all parties until they all agree. But, the process is more difficult than this as both sides have redlines.

Redlines represent the editing of one side to better suit their needs in a contract as they won’t always agree, this is when the negotiations happen. 

This showed me how real estate can become more complicated as many people disagree with each other in the process of writing a legal document that can affect their position in a project. So having someone who understands law is important as you want to make sure that you are being treated fair in any legal situation. 

Did you become more interested in the field after today? 

After today, I have become more interested in real estate, specifically in law and its many different sub categories that are all important.  I have become more interested in the law side of real estate because I liked that you are able to justify your intentions and come to a reasonable compromise between many people legally. Furthermore, I think real estate is a field that I can see myself in as it has many career paths that are all some I like. Also, I think that it is very interesting how all the different careers come together to be able to effectively develop a property.

Gilbert talking about civil engineering
Mera presenting about becoming a lawyer

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