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October 01, 2017

YLD Helps Ensure Law Student Liaison’s First Forum Meeting was a Success

Andrew Murphy

My first trip as Student Liaison to the Forum’s fall meeting was nothing short of spectacular. I walked away with knowledge not taught at most law schools, new professional relationships, and, most importantly, a fun experience.

On the first day of the meeting, I attended the Young Lawyers Division’s Mobsters and Lobsters Trolley tour and dinner. As a native New Yorker, I was really impressed by Boston. What was more impressive was meeting and talking to young lawyers and construction professionals from all across the nation sitting in the trolley. I remember discussing organized construction labor with a young lawyer from Virginia, notably how trade unions in NYC will send its members to various commercial non-union construction sites and blow up a giant air balloon rat to protest non-union labor, which I learned doesn’t usually happen in Virginia. Also on the trolley, I met a civil engineer from Chicago who taught me a bit about the pros and cons of modular building. The night ended with me meeting one of the former Law Student Liaisons, now a practicing construction attorney in NY, who offered insightful advice on the position.

The following day was the first day of plenaries. The content was very informative, and, as law students, we feel fortunate learning now about the new AIA documents and the other legal issues discussed. I also was introduced on stage as the Forum’s new Law Student Liaison. I don’t consider myself a shy person, but being in front of seven hundred attendees, I was terrified.  

On the last day of the meeting after the last plenary, it was time for the site visit to a high-rise Suffolk Construction project.   As I went to give one of my colleagues a hard hat and a vest with the Forum logo on them, she looked at me and said “Andrew, I have never seen you this excited in almost three years of law school!” She could be right. I couldn’t help but reflect back to the first day I put on a hard had and stepped onto a commercial construction site to work as a laborer mixing fireproofing plaster. Fast forward to now, I can’t help but feel fortunate where I am and for   attending the Forum’s Fall Meeting in Boston. Most of all, I am appreciative of the lasting professional relationships I formed with many Forum members who were all willing to share with me their experiences and knowledge acquired throughout their legal careers. I truly am blessed to be a part of this organization. I look forward to attending future Forum events.

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Andrew Murphy

Roger Williams University School of Law, ABA Law Student Liaison to the ABA Forum on Construction Law