This guide will cover everything you need to know about how to become a construction lawyer, including what these attorneys do on a daily basis, the skills required to succeed in construction law, and more!
As an aspiring lawyer, you’ve likely heard of criminal law, family law, environmental law, intellectual property law, and corporate law – some of the most popular legal specialties students pursue. But have you heard of construction law? It’s a high-paying, lucrative legal career that might be perfect for you!
To learn more about this lesser-known area of law, read on!
Becoming a construction lawyer will take at least seven years, and here’s what these years will entail:
Any aspiring lawyer must complete an undergrad at an accredited university or college to qualify for law school. During your college career, ensure you maintain high grades to be considered a competitive candidate at the law schools you apply to.
Since law schools do not have prerequisites, you have the freedom to choose a major that complements your strengths and interests. Develop your critical and analytical thinking, writing, and communication skills during your undergrad to be better prepared for law school.
Your transcripts alone won’t be enough to get into law school. As law schools aim to admit the most diverse and accomplished students, they seek candidates who also excel outside of the classroom. Pursue useful extracurriculars that can demonstrate your well-rounded excellence.
Search for leadership roles, make meaningful contributions to any activity you join, and join at least one or two service-related extracurriculars, as service is one of the pillars of the legal field!
Another important part of the law school application process is the LSAT. While some schools accept the GRE instead of the LSAT, the LSAT is still the most trusted form of standardized testing for law school.
Depending on the schools you hope to join, determine your target score. Find resources such as prep books, courses, or 99th-percentile tutors to help you get your desired score. Commit to a structured study plan and remain consistent!
To pursue a career as a lawyer, no matter your specialty, you’ll need to complete a JD program. Again, it’s important to maintain high grades, so you have more job opportunities available to you during and after your legal education. Most JD programs take three years to complete, although part-time programs take four.
The MPRE is a two-hour exam that assesses law students’ knowledge and understanding of the ethical standards of professional conduct that govern the practice of law. The majority of students write this exam after their first year of law school, and each jurisdiction sets its own passing score.
The final step before becoming an official lawyer is to pass the bar exam. Depending on your state, you will have to obtain a certain score to pass this exam and gain licensure to practice law. Since the bar exam is notorious for being difficult and extensive, give yourself adequate time to study and practice before writing your exam.
The last optional step you should be aware of as we discuss how to become a construction lawyer is pursuing a Master of Legal Studies, or an LLM, in Construction Law. Completing this one-year program can make you a more competitive candidate for higher-position jobs and help you acquire deeper expertise in this specialty.
Now that you know how to become a construction lawyer, you might still be uncertain about the specific responsibilities and tasks involved in this job.
Broadly, construction workers ensure that any building projects run smoothly in terms of the contracts of the project and the potential risks involved. To be exact, construction lawyers are responsible for the following:
Construction lawyers can be involved in any project, whether it be a simple renovation or massive residential development!
Here are several skills are required to be successful in this specialty:
It can be extremely beneficial to also have some experience in, or knowledge of, the construction field outside of just the laws involved. Knowing the construction process, terminology, and people involved can help you provide the most informed legal advice.
So far, we’ve answered the questions, “how do you become a construction lawyer?”, “what is construction law?”, and “what do construction lawyers do?”
The final inquiry you might have is, “how much do construction lawyers make?” On average, construction lawyers make $115,054 a year and can make upwards of $200,000 with experience. While construction law is competitive, these lawyers are in demand because they are required for every construction project.
While we’ve covered some of the most pressing questions students have about becoming construction lawyers, here are the answers to other common inquiries about this legal specialty.
Construction law is a specialty that deals with the legal side of construction projects. It encompasses a wide range of issues that arise during every stage of construction and involves the interpretation and application of contracts, regulations, and laws governing the construction process.
These professionals are largely responsible for advising and representing clients involved in construction projects, including developers, contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
They assist in drafting and negotiating construction contracts, resolving disputes, ensuring legal compliance, and managing risk to ensure projects are constructed as efficiently as possible.
The median salary for construction workers is just over $115,000 a year. However, depending on your location and experience, it’s possible to make more than $200,000 in this field.
To become a construction lawyer, you must complete a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor (JD). Some higher-paying positions may also ask you to have a Master’s in Legal Studies in Construction Law (LLM).
It will take at least seven years to become a construction lawyer: four years for your undergrad and three for your JD. An LLM will add an additional year to this timeline.
Embarking on a career as a construction lawyer offers a unique and rewarding path that is typically less traveled within the legal profession.
With the growing demand for construction workers and ample opportunities for career advancement, you will not only be making a meaningful impact in the construction industry but will be paid well to do it!