What is construction law, anyway? To some degree, an understanding of legal remedies more or less unique to the building construction industry, such as mechanic's or construction liens. But more importantly, construction law is the application of garden variety legal principles - the law of contracts, negligence law, administrative law, labor law, how to collect money, etc. - in the context of the construction industry. What makes a construction lawyer is 'industry competence'.
Being a construction lawyer in Portland Oregon means: having more than a passing understanding of the basic means and methods, and the ability to quickly come up to speed on the details of any particular dispute; knowing the language and the relationships of the building construction industry; knowing when a problem does or does not have a simple business solution; knowing what can be done quickly and inexpensively about any particular problem; knowing up front whether a problem will be simple or cheap, or not; knowing a lot of the local people in the industry; having been with the industry through its ups and downs over the decades.
It means knowing the struggles that the industry - owners, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, laborers - large and small - is suffering, and understanding that efficiency and economy are means to the goal of preservation, recovery or creation of capital as the case may be.