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Construction Lawyers: Who Are They & How to Become One?

| February 13, 2024 | Last Updated on: March 30, 2024

Rules, law, and regulations that oversee construction, planning, and architecture of infrastructures fall within construction law. Similarly, matters that are associated with construction are divided similarly into local, state, and federal laws. Attorneys specializing in construction law are known to deal with a variety of matters associated with construction.

Moreover, creation of codes and regulations to increase safety for workers within the construction industry is a continuous process. This allows employees working within such areas to effectively install fittings adhering to the safety rules. One of the very reasons construction lawyers come into play is to determine whether the codes and regulations related to construction are applied effectively. In this article, we will be talking about who is a construction lawyer and how one can become one.  

Who are Construction Lawyers?

Who are Construction Lawyers

Contractual and legal aspects are common within a construction project, that requires efficient management. Here is when a construction lawyer comes handy. However, they are legal experts known to have expertise in matters associated with the construction industry. These lawyers also hold the skills of handling legal matters that might arise in a construction site.

They have a comprehensive understanding regarding the processes that are associated with construction, including from planning to completion. Construction lawyers also have contracts that bind a construction project.  

Similarly, they have the capacity to provide advice to stakeholders when an issue arises within a construction project. These might include delays in payment, delay in action, defects, and variations from the original plan. Similarly, construction lawyers also come into play for providing solutions regarding payment and performance bonds, and issues that surround them.  

Contractors, owners, and claimants are parties who are generally represented by construction lawyers. Alongside, representation of homeowners, construction workers, and business side of construction are included within a construction lawyer’s litigation practice. So, they play a vital role in assuring a construction project is completed while being compliant with legal factors.

What Does Construction Lawyers Do?

What Does Construction Lawyers Do?

Legal representation and providing advice on matters related to construction projects are the primary job role of a construction lawyer.  They provide important insights and guidance to individuals and organizations who are involved within a construction project. However, they provide their services to a wide variety of clients which includes property owners, developers, tenants, project managers, contractors, consultants, and suppliers.  

These lawyers also have knowledge regarding contracts that bind construction projects. They are skilled at providing appropriate advice on construction agreements that might be regarding any issue that arises within a construction project.  Moreover, it is also essential that you take their consideration to make well-informed decisions within a construction project that has lesser scope of legal liabilities and disputes.  

How to become a Construction Lawyers?

How to become a Construction Lawyers

Before you embark on the journey to become a construction lawyer you must have the appropriate educational qualification to become one. Similarly, you’ll also require a license that would allow you to practice law within your state. After getting a license, you’re free to specialize in construction law, However, here are the steps to becoming a construction lawyer.

Step 1: Complete Bachelor’s Law Degree  

The first step you’ll have to take before becoming a lawyer in the US is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Make sure you’re getting it from an institute that is accredited with the American Bar Association.  

While you’re pursuing your degree make sure to enroll in classes that will expand your horizon about construction law. So, make sure to enroll in classes that will teach you topics like drafting contracts, acquisition of contractor licenses, real estate principles, and navigation of the bidding process.  

Step 2: Take the LSAT 

To get into a law school you’ll have to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The test will assess your reading, reasoning, analytical, and writing skills. As they are vital skills to gain success in a law school.  

However, you must take one thing into consideration is that your LSAT scores are not reflective of your capacities, and you can sit for the exam more than once. Moreover, ensure that you have the capacity to take the LSAT thrice per testing cycle, and a maximum of seven times.  

Step 3: Join an ABA-approved Law School  

After clearing the LSAT, you’re now eligible to enroll in the law school of your dreams. Make sure you are getting into a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).  

So, it is advised that you effectively research the various law schools before getting admission into one. We also suggest that you go through their curriculum and apply to law schools approved by the ABA.  

Step 4: Intern at a Law Firm  

When you reach your second year of studying law, we recommend that you begin seeking internships in law firms. Make sure you’re applying to law firms that deal with construction law. This opportunity will allow you to have a better understanding of the ways construction lawyers go on with their daily responsibilities.  

Similarly, seeking an internship will also assist you to gain practical skills and expand your legal network, which will assist in your future growth.

Step 5: Earn your Juris Doctor Degree  

To become a lawyer, you must earn a juris doctor’s degree (J.D.), which is the highest qualification for law in the US. This qualification can be gathered from more than 200 ABA accredited law schools across the nation.  

However, a regular J.D degree takes three full-time years for completion, which involves studying legal theories and practical training. Making it a comprehensive program that shall assist you in becoming a construction lawyer.

Step 6: Pass the Bar Exam 

After you’ve completed your J.D degree, you’ll have to sit for the bar exam. Passing this test will allow you to acquire the license allowing you to practice law in your region of choice.  

Make sure you go through your state’s guidelines that will apply while you sit for the bar exam within your state.

Salary & Job Outlook of Construction Lawyers

Salary & Job Outlook of Construction Lawyers

Being a lawyer is one of the lucrative fields to work in and being a construction lawyer is not any exception. On an average Construction lawyer in the US tend to earn an $83,807 on a yearly basis. So, their hourly rate stands at $36.35 according to the data published by PayScale.  

However, bonus and additional commission of construction lawyers’ range between $5,700 to $11,665. Moreover, after tax deductions these lawyers take home a whopping salary of $50,000 to $60,000. One thing you must know is that the demand for construction lawyers is interconnected with the real estate industry’s performance. So, the income of these lawyers is subjected to fluctuations within the real estate industry.

Top Skills in Construction Lawyers

Top Skills in Construction Lawyers

To excel as a construction lawyer, you must have certain skills to conduct your duties efficiently. We have listed some of the required skills to become a construction lawyer below.

Analytical Abilities  

When you analyze a case or arbitrate a dispute you must remain unbiased and stick to the facts given. Make sure that you do not put your emotions or opinions into play while you’re handling a case. This is because, if you put your emotions in play, it can lead to a biased outcome of the case.  

So, make sure you are equipped with analytical skills that will assist you in determining the merits and demerits of a case, and sharp focus on the case irrespective of circumstances.

Research Skills  

If you want to succeed in research-based tasks, you must possess the capacity to analyze, determine, and acquire facts from a variety of sources. Moreover, if you’re associated with prosecution, make sure you have the knowledge to research existing laws and precedents for making appropriate decisions.

Public Speaking  

Effective communication is an essential skill that is apparent for success. As it allows you to effectively deal with your clients and pursue your case in front of the judge and jury while involved in litigation.  This means, the ability to speak clearly and understandable by all is a vital skill to become a construction lawyer.  

So, it is crucial that you brush up on your public speaking capacity to effectively communicate your thoughts to the court or clients. Moreover, strong communication and public speaking skills are crucial abilities for becoming a lawyer in general.  

Writing Skills  

Generally, as a lawyer, you’ll be responsible for drafting a variety of legal documents like contracts, agreements, amendments, and affidavits. The presence of writing skills is vital as these documents require an immense amount of accuracy, clarity, and compliance with legal standards.  

Moreover, the capacity to write a well-written legal document is a vital role within your profession of being a construction lawyer in general.  

Final Words  

Seeking a stable and rewarding professional life, then becoming a construction lawyer is the best option for you. Choosing this career path will assure you that you earn handsomely and lead a comfortable life.  If you reach the pinnacle of construction lawyers, you’ll have no worries in earning a good salary on an annual basis, which is attractive if you are seeking financial stability.  

Moreover, construction lawyers tend to play an important role in ensuring that construction projects are conducted in a legally valid process. Pursuing this specialization, you’ll be able to make a positive contribution to society along with lucrative profession. Best of luck!

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nilanjana basu
nilanjana basu

Nilanjana is a lawyer with a flair for writing. She has a certification in American Laws from Penn Law (Pennsylvania University). Along with this, she has been known to write legal articles that allow the audience to know about American laws and regulations at ease.

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