Message from the Associate Editor: Learn and Reach

Vol. 15 No. 4


“I am still learning.”—Michelangelo (age 87) 

Has this happened to you?  A taxi driver asks what you do or guesses that you’re a lawyer.  The follow-up question often is “what kind of law?” 

Despite discovering your field is construction law, taxi drivers may proceed to seek legal advice in such diverse practice areas as divorce, medical malpractice, eviction (questions differ, depending on whether driver is landlord or tenant), mechanics liens (think moonlighting), or even school suspensions (many, many drivers are parents).

However, a taxi driver’s recent response reminded me of my own desire to continue to learn and reach.  He paused after I uttered the words “construction lawyer,” and asked me slowly but with great sincerity, “It takes a lawyer to put up a building?”  He was perplexed.

I responded that owners enter into contracts to design and build a building, and lawyers draft those contracts; and also that parties may disagree at some point and resolve their dispute through the legal process.

He got it.  He learned.   

Continuing to learn remains key for each of us.  In terms of the Forum’s goal of “Building Better Construction Lawyers,” Steven Lesser states it perfectly in his Message from the Chair-Elect:  the Forum is the best place to learn.  People and resources abound. 

Another example of learn and reach concerns this digital age and its relationship to education.  You know that many textbooks now are only available electronically.  You also may know that students no longer have to copy what a professor writes on the board.  Instead, students simply snap a photo of the board with their cells and then later scan the image into their notes.  In fact, you already may do this yourself.  To consider these digital age tools and continue providing content that assists its current and future membership professionally, the Forum itself learns and reaches as it examines additional ways to deliver content electronically and otherwise.

If I only had the length of my taxi ride to impart this message to you, here it is:  Become involved at the Forum.  Learn and reach professionally.  In fairness to Benjamin Franklin, I borrowed from his similar message:  “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

We look forward to seeing you at the Forum.  Please let any of the Division Chairs know if you would like to become involved.


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