Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Construction Law Salary???  (Read 18231 times)

jcarroll17

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
    • Email
Construction Law Salary???
« on: November 16, 2007, 08:02:08 AM »
I dont know why this is so hard to find but does anyone have any information on typical salaries for construction law? I have a PE license as an electrical engineer and would like to pursue construction / engineering / contract law.

Thanks!

mtfbwy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2007, 02:45:17 PM »
Not too sure what you're talking about, but I'll try... 

1) Do you HOPE to work at a big firm?  If yes, your salary will be whatever "market" is for that city (e.g. NY, Chi, DC, LA, Boston, etc. is $160k, Philly, Atlanta, etc. is around $145k, Denver is roughly $120k, and so on down the line).

2) If you end up at a mid-size firm, your salary will be 40-65% of whatever "market" is for that city (with a few rare exceptions). 

3) Most big firms, as well as some mid-size firms (i.e. ones that aren't just insurance defense sweatshops), do some type of (transactional) construction work.  For many, it's based out of their real estate practices.  All associates are generally paid the same salary within a given firm, based on their class year (e.g. first year, fourth year, etc.), regardless of practice area (with the exception of some IP work, noted below). 

4) Some firms, particularly mid-size (and some smaller firms), do a good amount of construction-related litigation (if mid-size, it's likely defense-oriented; if small, more likely plaintiffs). 

5) Your engineering background would matter (for salary purposes) only for "hard" intellectual property work (i.e. patent), in which case some firms are paying a bit more to their patent lawyers.  But I don't think electrical engineering would count for much in IP.  Perhaps there is some rare niche practice area reserved for folks with electrical engineering backgrounds, but I'm not aware of it. 

6) By "contract law," do you mean that you want to be a transactional lawyer (i.e. drafting contracts, closing deals, etc. related to construction/development), or a litigator (i.e. bringing or defending lawsuits for breach of contract or warranty, e.g. faulty construction, building product defects, etc.)? 

7) For the city in which you plan to practice, research law firm websites for construction-related work.  This should give you a sense of what the firm does in the practice area.  Look at the bio's of the associates and partners in the construction/development practice groups, looking at both their undergraduate educations (i.e. for any signs of engineering backgrounds) as well as their recent legal work (if listed).  If nothing else, their bio's should be informative as to what exactly a "construction" lawyer does. 

8) Here's some bonus insights: given the crises in the credit and housing markets, it stands to reason that transactional work in construction/development will be increasingly scarce (however, such is not the case internationally, in emerging or rapidly developing markets).  My guess would be that construction-related litigation will be on the rise over the next few years (as are most litigation practices when the economy hits the skids). 

9) Good luck.

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2007, 10:43:02 PM »
Your pay is generally determined by the firm you work for, not by the type of law you practice (although I'm sure there may be exceptions out there)

jcarroll17

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2007, 06:23:43 PM »
Not too sure what you're talking about, but I'll try... 

1) Do you HOPE to work at a big firm?  If yes, your salary will be whatever "market" is for that city (e.g. NY, Chi, DC, LA, Boston, etc. is $160k, Philly, Atlanta, etc. is around $145k, Denver is roughly $120k, and so on down the line).

2) If you end up at a mid-size firm, your salary will be 40-65% of whatever "market" is for that city (with a few rare exceptions). 

3) Most big firms, as well as some mid-size firms (i.e. ones that aren't just insurance defense sweatshops), do some type of (transactional) construction work.  For many, it's based out of their real estate practices.  All associates are generally paid the same salary within a given firm, based on their class year (e.g. first year, fourth year, etc.), regardless of practice area (with the exception of some IP work, noted below). 

4) Some firms, particularly mid-size (and some smaller firms), do a good amount of construction-related litigation (if mid-size, it's likely defense-oriented; if small, more likely plaintiffs). 

5) Your engineering background would matter (for salary purposes) only for "hard" intellectual property work (i.e. patent), in which case some firms are paying a bit more to their patent lawyers.  But I don't think electrical engineering would count for much in IP.  Perhaps there is some rare niche practice area reserved for folks with electrical engineering backgrounds, but I'm not aware of it. 

6) By "contract law," do you mean that you want to be a transactional lawyer (i.e. drafting contracts, closing deals, etc. related to construction/development), or a litigator (i.e. bringing or defending lawsuits for breach of contract or warranty, e.g. faulty construction, building product defects, etc.)? 

7) For the city in which you plan to practice, research law firm websites for construction-related work.  This should give you a sense of what the firm does in the practice area.  Look at the bio's of the associates and partners in the construction/development practice groups, looking at both their undergraduate educations (i.e. for any signs of engineering backgrounds) as well as their recent legal work (if listed).  If nothing else, their bio's should be informative as to what exactly a "construction" lawyer does. 

8) Here's some bonus insights: given the crises in the credit and housing markets, it stands to reason that transactional work in construction/development will be increasingly scarce (however, such is not the case internationally, in emerging or rapidly developing markets).  My guess would be that construction-related litigation will be on the rise over the next few years (as are most litigation practices when the economy hits the skids). 

9) Good luck.

thats interesting you do not see electrical engineering as useful in intellectual property law. not only is it a hard engineering field, it is by far the broadest, with a vast majority, nearly all, of all patent work requiring electrical components. to say electrical engineering is not at all useful is... funny.


jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2007, 08:29:45 AM »
I thought the majority of patent work (at least the work pursued by the big IP firms) tended to be bio-chem stuff, which would mean that an EE degree wouldn't be all that helpful?

jcarroll17

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2007, 11:02:28 AM »
I thought the majority of patent work (at least the work pursued by the big IP firms) tended to be bio-chem stuff, which would mean that an EE degree wouldn't be all that helpful?

nah, majority is electrical. so much so, that they dont even consider biochem majors as useful  - you need a phd in it to be competitive, while an electrical engineering major with just a bsee is very competitive.

mtfbwy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2007, 04:00:39 PM »
Wow, you've become so well informed and authoritative.  Just a week and a half ago, you wrote that you "would like to pursue construction / engineering / contract law," but were unable to find "any information on typical salaries for construction law." 

"Contract law"?!  Unable to find information on salaries?  And now you're an authority on the (hard) IP market?  Jee whiz, what a waste it would be if you opted for "construction law"!

I must confess, I think my firm only has around 100 IP lawyers, including both hard and soft.  So perhaps I'm a bit ignorant.  Could you please enlighten us as to what it is that makes electrical engineering-related work the "majority" of the IP market?  Some examples of clients, or at least client types, along with some products, might help to clear up the extremely widespread (and, according to you, incorrect) belief that bio-tech, chemical, and software work account for the vast majority of the (hard) IP market. 

jcarroll17

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2007, 01:13:59 PM »
Wow, you've become so well informed and authoritative.  Just a week and a half ago, you wrote that you "would like to pursue construction / engineering / contract law," but were unable to find "any information on typical salaries for construction law." 

"Contract law"?!  Unable to find information on salaries?  And now you're an authority on the (hard) IP market?  Jee whiz, what a waste it would be if you opted for "construction law"!

I must confess, I think my firm only has around 100 IP lawyers, including both hard and soft.  So perhaps I'm a bit ignorant.  Could you please enlighten us as to what it is that makes electrical engineering-related work the "majority" of the IP market?  Some examples of clients, or at least client types, along with some products, might help to clear up the extremely widespread (and, according to you, incorrect) belief that bio-tech, chemical, and software work account for the vast majority of the (hard) IP market. 

oh boy. here we go. lets get into a fight now.

first i would like to preface the following by noting a distinction that you have failed to grasp. what law firm do you work at? this distinction is so obvious, it makes me shudder for those you represent. the distinction is that patent law is not construction law. i asked for help on construction law, i already know about patent law. but thanks for trying to make me look dumb.

first i purused our beloved uspto website. employment opportunities show they want a multitude of expertise for various positions. http://usptocareers.gov/Pages/PEPositions/Jobs.aspx

just so happens, ee/cme is in the most demand. how do i know? look at the job descriptions. 5000 for a biomed engineer and 9900 for a ee or comp e. further, there are many upper level positions for ee/cme and none listed for biomeds. fun.

but this is not conclusive at this point so let us continue our search.

here is a clip of interest:
"Sixth, it is also important to note that attorneys with technical expertise in certain fields are far more likely to obtain employment as patent attorneys than other types of patent attorneys. This fact, in turn, makes the pool of potential candidates for patent positions even smaller. While there are certainly differences that could be pointed out, for the most part, the expertise of patent attorneys falls into the following categories: (1) the life sciences, (2) chemistry and pharmaceutical, (3) material science, (4) electrical engineering, (5) physics, (6) mechanical engineering, (7) medical devices, and (8) computer science. In terms of demand, the greatest demand is for attorneys with backgrounds in electrical engineering or computer science. There is also a strong demand for attorneys with biotechnology, biochemistry, or organic chemistry backgrounds. The lesser demand is for those with mechanical or chemical backgrounds."
http://www.bcgsearch.com/crc/ip.html

who cares about bcg? BCG Attorney Search is the largest legal recruiting firm in the United States dedicated exclusively to placing top associates and partners in premier law firms.

how about hard data on what is being patented? lets look at the most recent year, the top, say 17 categories. tell me how you think biochem is vastly leading the way ok? if you add it up, electrical/compE vastly out numbers biochem patents. its not even close.

Class   Class Title   Year-2006
365   Static Information Storage and Retrieval   2172
340   Communications: Electrical   2218
250   Radiant Energy   2282
439   Electrical Connectors   2286
382   Image Analysis   2301
359   Optics: Systems and Elements   2366
375   Pulse or Digital Communications   2382
709   Multicomputer Data Transferring (Electrical Computers and Digital Processing Systems)   2414
520   Synthetic Resins or Natural Rubbers (includes Classes 520-528)   2451
532   Organic Compounds (includes Classes 532-570)   2874
345   Computer Graphics Processing and Selective Visual Display Systems   2934
435   Chemistry: Molecular Biology and Microbiology   3104
370   Multiplex Communications   3805
455   Telecommunications   4062
257   Active Solid-State Devices (e.g., Transistors, Solid-State Diodes)   4484
438   Semiconductor Device Manufacturing: Process   4793
424   Drug, Bio-Affecting and Body Treating Compositions (includes Class 514)   5498
ALL   ALL CLASSES   173772

this found here: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/clsstca/all_stc.htm

so there you have it, there is more demand for EE/COMPE in job placement as told by the USPTO, more demand in private industry by a well known job hunting company, and finally there are simply far more patents as shown by the hard data.

I think i have defended my position sufficiently. please rethink your communication when acting like a jerk. its unbecoming of you.

now back to the ACTUAL topic of discussion. CONSTRUCTION law....


Mr. Roe

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2007, 02:58:03 PM »
If you want to work in construction law so bad, why not go in house with John Deer?

jcarroll17

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Construction Law Salary???
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2007, 07:37:58 PM »
If you want to work in construction law so bad, why not go in house with John Deer?

sorry, i dont follow you. why would i want to work at john deer?