I was recently asked by a community-minded friend, who was quoting from my web site: "'If you build it...I'll help.' What if we don't want it built?" Meaning (I inferred), was my office going to help people build structures that tear at the fabric of their community?
This question was loaded with implications, so I answered it very carefully: "I need to be mindful of the ethical rules governing representation, particularly EC 2-37: The personal preference of a lawyer to avoid adversary alignment against judges, other lawyers, public officials or influential members of the community does not justify rejection of tendered employment. That said, when it comes to preservation and design, I think my previous experience shows my stripes."
What did I mean by "my stripes?" Any potential client, looking at my record, will see that my work in this arena leans toward preservation, adaptive re-use, and good design. Here are the qualities of projects I would like to help build: Compliant with applicable laws and codes; Adapting legacy structures for current use through preservation and thoughtful renovation; Respecting the community and the location; Environmentally responsible. CARE.
On any project, CARE must be taken to build the world, the city, and the neighborhoods we want to live in. The world I want to live in honors its past, makes the best use of its resources, and plans for the future. That's what I help do.