The path to a career in construction law will take dedication and hard work. Construction law is one of the most complicated legal areas that anyone can choose to work in, and a construction law firm can be expected to deal with a vast array of issues during the course of any particular day. Here is some of what you need to know if you’re considering a career in construction law.
What Exactly Is Construction Law?Construction law combines any area of law, regulation, and code that could in any way affect the work of construction. Whenever a contractor puts up a building, they need to deal with important contracts with both private entities and with the government, they must know all about employment issues for those they hire, they need to navigate a myriad of regulations and codes on the federal, state, and local levels, and they need to be prepared for arbitration and disputes should anything go wrong during the course of planning and construction.
What Are Some Areas That a Construction Law Firm Must Be Expert in?
Anyone who enters into construction law should expect to deal with certain issues on a very regular basis. This means understanding all of the complexities in at least these different areas:
Employment law is an important part of the construction industry, and contractors and construction companies need to follow employment law regulations regarding hiring, promotions, and firing. People must be legally employed, all regulations regarding the treatment of employees must be followed, and all taxes and withholdings must be done correctly. Most construction companies will need a construction law firm to help them navigate these complexities.
Whenever a building is to be constructed, a contract is required. There may be multiple parties to any contract and the precise language of that contract can become critically important if there are questions or issues later in the process. The contract must cover precisely what is to be done, who is responsible for which portion, the timeline involved, how payment is to made and when, all the contingencies in case the timeline is not followed or payment is not received in a timely fashion, how arbitration is to be conducted, and for how long after the construction the building owner can seek recompense for improper or substandard work.
Construction is inherently dangerous work and every year many people who work in construction are killed and injured. This is why it’s absolutely crucial that all companies carefully follow every regulation and code related to safety and know everything about workers compensation that may affect them as they complete a project. The professionals who work at a construction law firm must be expert in understanding all of these issues.
Anyone who works for a construction law firm will also need to be an expert in property law. It is not unheard of for a construction project to be stalled over disputes concerning ownership, liens, inheritance issues, and many other things that affect properties. There may be issues with zoning and other codes and regulations that affect a client’s right to construct in a particular way or particular place. Not only are property rights important, but what’s under the property is equally important. If oil or gas should be found during the course of construction, who owns it and what will happen to the construction project?
A Career in Construction Law
To excel in construction law, it is important that a person not only be familiar with all of these areas of the law, but also that they have stellar multitasking skills, excellent negotiation skills, and are good with interpersonal relationships. A construction attorney needs to be able to think outside the box, problem solve, and think quickly during stressful situations. It’s important to be the type of person who remembers those little things that other people tend to forget.
If you are a creative thinker who can understand the complex and express it to others and if you have a great memory, analytical thinking patterns, and good interpersonal negotiating skills, a career in construction law may just be for you.