What’s the story with the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA)?

by Ross Fishman

So what's the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA)?

There's been quite a bit of conversation (and some confusion) regarding the CLSA. This is a new honorary international association of top construction lawyers. The invitations to leading lawyers across the US and around the world went out a little while ago.

As is often the case, the selected lawyers asked their firms' marketers whether CLSA is a legitimate honor. That's the right question to be asking, because so many of these "honors" are simply bogus money grabs by directory publishers who simply sell costly trophies, plaques, and website badges to any lawyers who'll buy them.  Superficially, these organizations can look similar, making it difficult to tell which ones are worth participating in.  I've written and spoken pretty extensively regarding my disdain for the fake honors and their waste of marketing dollars.

I've been getting so many questions from marketers regarding whether they should recommend CLSA to their construction lawyers who've received an invitation that I thought it'd be helpful to simply post my thoughts publicly.

Here's the short answer:

CLSA is legit.

I actually know CLSA very well. 

It’s a new honorary network of global construction lawyers, founded by the same people who run the well-established 3500-member Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), see litcounsel.org.  I personally believe that membership in the CLSA should be considered a (1) legitimate honor and (2) great networking opportunity for the lawyers who’ve been selected and choose to actively participate. 

Full disclosure - Fishman Marketing has worked closely with LCA for 5+ years — Fishman Marketing rebranded LCA, developed LCA's website, and I’ve presented marketing programs at their last 8-10 national semiannual conferences. We also developed the branding and website for CLSA, see http://www.constructionsociety.org/.

CLSA is brand new, so there’s no long track record to look at.  That being said, I know the commitment of the LCA professionals to make it successful for its members (“CLSA Fellows”).

Generally, there are two reasons to accept an invitation into this type of organization:

First, it is in the credibility the association bestows, i.e. does membership considered a significant professional credential.  For example, if you’ve been selected as a member of the American College of XYZ, lawyers and sophisticated clients know that you’re vetted and pre-qualified. It’s CLSA’s intent to build a strong brand for CLSA, to help its Fellows market.

Second, and arguably more importantly, is the personal networking opportunities that lead to referrals. Unlike the honorary groups that are pure directories (e.g. Super Lawyers), this type of organization encourages in-person attendance at their regular conferences — which are always at fabulous resorts.  I just spoke at the inaugural conference at the fabulous Terranea resort in Rancho Palos Verde, CA, and will be presenting regularly at CLSA’s future programs as well. The inaugural attendees clearly had a fabulous time (some photos are below)

I can speak to the credibility of the people behind CLSA. They’re some of the most customer-oriented people I know. That is, although CLSA is new, I know their commitment to making CLSA successful and providing value to its members.

The founders of the CLSA consulted with me for over two years before launching. They have had 2-3 researchers pouring through bios for the past few years and have also taken suggestions for nominations from current Fellows and industry experts.

They created an invitation list of 1,000 elite construction lawyers and rising stars and began sending out invitations based upon a variety of factors, including sub-specialties, geographical distribution, potential speakers and authors, and Diversity, which is a core CLSA value.

The CLSA gives lawyers with outstanding credentials who are not already in an exclusive group (e.g. the American College of Construction Lawyers, ACCL) the opportunity to be part of one, although obviously there’s going to be some overlap.

I view the CLSA as an additional accolade and not a substitute, and the founders believe strongly that these honorary credentials help create opportunity within the construction law specialty.

Feel free to contact me directly any time if you have any questions, or I'd be happy to simply put you in touch with the CLSA founders.



Written by:

Ross Fishman

Fishman Marketing, Inc. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.