Thoughts on construction law from Christopher G. Hill, Virginia construction lawyer, LEED AP, mediator, and member of the Virginia Legal Elite in Construction Law

Construction Law Job Opps and How to Create Them

Image of kgrant from Twitter
Image of kgrant

For this weeks Guest Post Friday, Kirsten Grant (@kgrantcareers on Twitter) has graced us with her thoughts on a very timely topic: How to get a job as a construction attorney. Before becoming a career specialist at Kaplan University, one of the largest online universities in the nation, Kirsten Grant had faxed almost 1000 resumes, e-mailed close to 300 resumes, personally mailed 20 resumes with each one featuring “special inserts” to encourage hiring managers to read her resume (50% of those resumes received calls for an interview) and interviewed with 50 companies over the course of 5 months. Based on the feedback hiring managers provided, in addition to 10 years experience in human resources, training, recruiting and staffing she REALLY learned what hiring managers look for in a candidate and today helps over 40,000 adult learners understand how to conduct successful job searches and earn a promotions.

As the real estate industry makes torrid adjustments to right itself due to foreclosures, short sales, and falling house prices, court rooms are seeing more construction law cases. As houses and properties fall into states of disrepair and as efforts are taken to repair them a chain of events take place:

  1. Property is purchased
  2. Contractors are hired to make repairs to a property
  3. The selected contractor files permits for the type of work performed
  4. After work has been performed, contactor receives compensation

Sometimes, things don’t always go as planned. When things don’t go according to plan, the following situation results:

  1. Property is purchased
  2. Purchaser discovers property has municipal code violations
  3. Demolition court summons due to municipal code violations

If you understand municipal code violations then you can tap into this quickly expanding section of the construction law industry. The ability to talk a stressed out client that has been summoned for demolition court is a valuable asset. Being able to navigate and help a client through the labyrinth of appearing in demolition court is an “in demand skill”. So how do you “tap into” this pool of people that need your services? Expand your professional network of the following people:

  1. Real estate brokers
  2. Neighborhood associations
  3. Banking associations
  4. Debt consolidation agencies
  5. Non-profit advocacy groups
  6. Churches
  7. Park districts

Try holding informational workshops or meetings to educate the public and establish yourself as a “subject matter expert” in your field. Contacting institutions via phone or e-mail to alert them of your services is another great way to build your network. As people learn that you can help them (or their friends) with their situation, you will receive referrals and create your own construction law job opportunity!

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6 Responses to Construction Law Job Opps and How to Create Them

  1. Great post! I have been practicing construction defect litigation in California for 10 years and have recently taken the plunge and started my own solo practice. I have long believed that small contractors really need risk management procedures in place before they are sued for construction defects. And trust me, here in Southern California chances are contractors will eventually be sued (especially in economic down turns).

    Your post has provided me with great ideas to help me "get the word out"

  2. Thanks for the comment Laura! I appreciate it. Check out the other guest post Friday posts for more insight. Kirsten has been a great help to me.

  3. […] injury as a result of motor vehicle defects, accidents and car accidents in Chicago, IllinoisConstruction Law Job Opps and How to Create Them …A great Guest Post Friday by Kaplan University’s Kirsten Grant on how to find and land construction […]

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