Originally posted 2012-11-12 09:00:02.
This past week, I attended the Construction Law and Public Contracts seminar in Charlottesville, VA and also a breakfast meeting of the Richmond chapter of the Associated General Contractors of Virginia. Reflecting on this past week, I realized that my membership and participation in both of these great organizations (I am a member of the Board of Governors for the state bar section and the Executive Committee for the Richmond District of AGC-VA) not only provides great marketing and friendship opportunities, participation helps my construction clients in ways that a singular online marketing and interactive path would not (even with the growth of social media).
Among other benefits (including case digests and the insightful newsletter), being a member of the Construction Law and Public Contracts section helps my clients in numerous ways, not the least of which is the ability to network and gain the perspective of many of the great construction attorneys here in Virginia. The ability to bounce legal thoughts off of others for their perspectives gives me the benefit of their experiences and, importantly to my clients, allows me to be more efficient in my research and arguments because of their insight.
Additionally, as a solo construction attorney, knowing other attorneys in other parts of the Commonwealth of Virginia gives me a network of trusted lawyers to whom I can safely and confidently refer a case where a conflict exists or other factors (like geography) make such a referral a benefit to a construction firm in need of legal assistance on a particular matter.
Membership in the AGC of Virginia is beneficial from an industry knowledge perspective. Hearing construction industry leaders in the Richmond area discuss the projects that are going on (or not going on) gives me practical insight that allows me craft solutions for clients that are tailored to their needs. In short, a practical knowledge of the industry in my area of Virginia is something that I could not get just from reading ENR and other great industry publications.
Add these benefits to the great networking opportunities and friendships that I’ve gained and joining both of these great organizations, and the decision to join and remain active in them is a no-brainer. If you are a Virginia lawyer interested in construction, I highly recommend paying the small fee with your next dues renewal to become a member of the Construction Law section. If you have a connection to the Richmond area construction industry, I recommend membership in the AGC-VA. You will find the benefits immense.
Before you see this as an indictment of social media, I clearly see social media as a part of any learning and marketing strategy. I wouldn’t be blogging here at Construction Law Musings if I did not. I just think ignoring “boots on the ground” face to face contact misses some opportunities to help out clients and the bottom line.
Thanks to all of you who read Construction Law Musings. I seem to meet someone who reads on a weekly basis (many times at a meeting of one of these two organizations).
As always, please contact me or comment below with any insights or questions. I also encourage you to subscribe to keep up with the insightful Guest Post Friday posts and my other Construction Law Musings.