"a fire...brought the project to an unfortunate stop."
The first time I got on to the construction site, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had a fairly nice shirt and running shoes on, but I quickly realized that I should have been wearing to the very least steel toe boots, as is typically required on such a site. So I did a quick scan of the area, hopped in one of the crew trailers and kindly asked the workers if I could borrow some gear. Next thing you know, I was ready to go with my steel toe Dunlop boots, safety vest, gloves and my trusted hard hat. Who said lawyers always had to wear a suit?
I climbed my way up the scaffolding and walked along a narrow walkway located on the underside of the bridge to get to the pillar. The layout was very interesting: a steel casing was installed around the pillar, from the base of the river up to about 40 feet, and there were 4 levels of wooden planks that we could walk on. I climbed down the ladder from the walkway to the fourth level and was given a detailed explanation of the site by our knowledgeable expert. The rubble from the fire had accumulated mainly on second and third levels. The first visit was mainly just an assessment of the work that needed to be done on the site, so after a walk around the pillar and a tour of the third level, we were out of there. However, on my second trip, the plan was to have the experts examine the rubble while the construction crew followed behind and threw out the useless pieces, which was unfortunately most of what we found.
"before I knew it, I was down on the second and third levels, shoveling away a mix of burnt two-by-fours, electrical wiring and wet ash."
I felt this story was a good one to share because it demonstrates at what point it is important to be adaptable in our profession. I’m not saying that most of us will be throwing on a hard hat any time soon but it is incredible to see how diversified this type of work is. After only seven weeks here, I've become familiar with various types of claims that always involve a new and exciting scenario. Our profession requires us to become experts in plenty of fields, sometimes overnight, and I believe it is one reason why working as a lawyer is such a thrilling experience. As I was shoveling, one of the crew members looked at me and asked me who I was. I told him I was a lawyer, and my laugh said it all: More than just a “Suit”!