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

LEED AP Update- Worth It For a Lawyer?

LEED AP Update- Worth it For a Lawyer LEED 3.0 is here and with it the new CMP requirements for a specialty designation. As I think about this new world of specialty designation outlined by the USGBC, I am torn regarding an attorney’s need to update the designation.

I learned a lot while studying for the LEED AP exam, and received my designation earlier this year. For this reason, I know that I will keep up with the various issues (check out Tim Hughes’ (@timrhughes on Twitter) take on the extended reporting issues here) relating to the new LEED energy reporting requirements and the new points that can be gained.

On the other hand, as an attorney, I will not likely be physically building anything in a way that a contractor or subcontractor would be so the knowledge is key, not necessarily the credential. Additionally, according to Real Life LEED (a great site for information on this topic), only 1.6% of legacy LEED APs have opted into the new system.

While this may be because we are all waiting to see what shakes out or just haven’t gotten around to it, I do not know. But such a small percentage could be significant.

What do you think? Please comment below and let me know your take on this issue. I am truly torn, so your input will be taken to heart.

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LEED AP Update- Worth It For a Lawyer?
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25 Responses to LEED AP Update- Worth It For a Lawyer?

  1. Chris- Thanks for the article. I for one am waiting to see how it all shakes out. I am considering the new system but I want to make sure I can achieve the credentialing maintenance requirements without too much difficulty. I agree with you that the bottom line is having the knowledge to help our clients. We have already demonstrated an interest and at least certain level of knowledge by earning the designation.

    I for one am going to hold off on making a decision for now.

  2. Thanks for the input. I am leaning your direction, especially with time to get the hours in before 2011.

  3. Chris,
    We must be thinking in tandem these days! I was thinking of posting on this very topic … so far, the legacy status compared to the stack of classes sounds like a better deal. I am happy to keep abreast, but the investment of time, energy and money into picking up a couple extra letters seems out of whack.

    The cynic in me sees a significant cash stream associated with all these on-going educational opportunities, but maybe that is not being fair.
    .-= Timothy R. Hughes´s last blog post .. Yes, Virginia, Contract Terms Do Matter =-.

  4. I guess great minds think alike! Cynicism is not necessarily a bad thing, but I can see the merit in specialization for construction professionals such as architects, engineers, and contractors that will be “on the ground” to show their particular expertise.

  5. I am interested in continuing to learn more in these disciplines, but stacking 10s of hours of classes on top of CLE on top of everything else just seems nuts. The 1.6% figure from RealLifeLEED says that I am not the only one thinking this.
    .-= Timothy R. Hughes´s last blog post .. Show Me the Money: Know and Protect Your Lien and Bond Rights =-.

  6. True, True. That is why the wait and see attitude among more advisory professions.
    .-= Christopher G. Hill´s last blog post .. If You Enjoy Musings- Let the ABA Blawg 100 Know! =-.

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matthew DeVries and Timothy R. Hughes. Timothy R. Hughes said: RT @constructionlaw: RT @BlawgTweets Nu @constructionlaw : LEED AP Update- Worth It For a Lawyer? […]

  8. Chris,
    I think another interesting point which must be considered by attorneys is that under the new system it appears as though if you are professionally grieved or disciplined you might lose your LEED credentials. Under the current system being grieved as an attorney will not affect your status as an AP. Until I see some clarification as to this issue I am unwilling to make the switch.
    .-= Rich Cartlidge´s last blog post .. Building "Nutrition" Labels =-.

  9. I left a comment on the Real Life LEED blog that my understanding was that GBCI would be sending out emails starting back in August to all LEED AP’s, and at that point, you elect what to do. I also understood/inferred that these emails would be sent out in groupings, versus all at once to all 122,000 plus LEED AP’s. A former client already received one, which he forwarded to me, asking me to explain what he needed to do. The email was quite specific as to the options a LEED AP could choose for credentialing and how to go about them. I have not received this email yet however; my last name starts with ‘S,’ though, his with a ‘B.’

    Now, fast forward to today. After erading this post, I just logged into my GBCI account for credentialing maintenance, and there is an orange/red colored message that reads “You will be eligible to enroll on 10/16/2009.” So they are tiering this somehow. I’ll let you all know if I receive an email notification also, prior to or on the 16th. That will be the next test!

  10. Sara and Rich,

    Thanks for the comments. Sara, I got my e-mail in September. I do understand how the “tiering” can affect the numbers.

    Rich, Thanks for the head’s up on the possible legal/credentialing ramifications of upgrading. We should keep an eye on this.

  11. […] post: LEED AP Update- Worth It For a Lawyer? | Construction Law Musings … Comments […]

  12. Not planning on getting disbarred anytime soon, so I will leave that off the scale in weighing this decision 😛
    .-= Timothy R. Hughes´s last blog post .. Should You Cash That Check? The Virginia Supreme Court Weighs in on Accord and Satisfaction. =-.

  13. You pose a very interesting question. I think it all depends on how interested you are in LEED and if LEED plays a role in your occupation. The CMP requirements will certainly keep you up-to-date on the industry if you do choose to opt-in to the new system. However, if you’re a LEED AP under the old system, you have sufficient knowledge to discuss the matter in general circumstances. I don’t believe there is too much of a dilemma here. I think it’s truly a matter of what you as a professional want to do. Good luck with your decision.

  14. Thanks Lesley, I appreciate the insight. That is sort of the direction I am leaning. I just need to gauge my time and need. I appreciate the comment.

  15. For those of you that do decide to prepare for the LEED AP exam, the U.S. Green Building Council Colorado Chapter is updating its study guide! The Colorado Chapter’s Building Design and Construction study guide will be on sale November 6. The original guide helped thousands of people all around the world pass the exam and the updated version is even better. Call 303-454-3393 to preorder a copy today!

  16. I like the new twitter feature Chris, very cool!
    .-= Timothy R. Hughes´s last blog post .. Cowboys Practice Facility Collapse: NIST Finds Serious Design Flaws =-.

  17. Thank you for your article on this is very important subject.Very informative and easy read. I think it all depends on how interested you are in leed and if leed plays a role in your occupation. The CMP requirements will certainly keep you up-to-date on the industry if you do choose to opt-in to the new system.Hope so i will get the further updates in future.

    Storage Containers,

  18. Glad you find it interesting and easy to read. I appreciate any feedback on style or content. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  19. When the new specialties first came out, USGBC told us that we could opt-in and have a “LEED AP+” designation, or if we did not opt-in, we would need to describe ourselves as “Legacy LEED AP” (which intimates inactive, to me). I have not seen the “legacy” word used in a long time, however. I opted in to avoid being viewed as a ‘dinosaur’ or an out-of-touch oldster with LEED.

    If it wasn’t for appearances, I would have preferred to stay with a more generic “LEED AP”, as I have my toes in more than just one area!

    As an attorney, it is a huge advantage just to be LEED ANYTHING! I think you’re smart in waiting to see how it shakes out, and you have plenty of time to do so!

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