Scholefield Construction Attorneys

Pamela J. Scholefield


Pamela J. Scholefield, P.E. Esq.



Pam graduated from University of San Diego School of Law in 1998. Her decision to become an attorney was not one taken lightly. She chose to give up a promising corporate career and follow her interest in the law.

She went full time for the first year, and finding that law school was not as demanding as expected, she was lured away from full-time status to part-time status by being offered a job from one of her previous distributors. The electrical industry was well aware of Pam's product knowledge and did not want to lose her anytime soon. She decided to complete her legal education on a part-time basis. As a student by night, and a GE product specialist during the day, she completed her legal schooling only 6 months later than a full time student.

Pam graduated with honors, was the executive editor of the San Diego Law Review, tutored at-risk students and wrote for the school newspaper while at USD.

Rather than follow the typical path of going to work for a large law firm, she decided that she had already experienced enough of the corporate bueracracy with GE, she struck out on her own. Deep down, she knew that she would be able to make a more significant impact by serving those she came to know when she worked within the electrical industry.

Over the years, Pam has stayed true to her beliefs and has become one of the few practitioners that know construction law inside and out. She knows how the business of construction works, and often guides clients to make smart business decisions rather than just exercising their legal rights.

She knows that manufacturers handles problems differently than contractors and can help bring things to a quick resolution when dealing with technical problems. She has made it a point to surround herself with staff that has direct construction experience, who help make a legal dispute go much more efficiently

Over time, Pam has realized that may disputes or problems usually arise from some weakness in the documents or procedures. Construction contracts are important, just as good documentation goes a long way toward preventing litigation problems. Because of this, Pam has made a special effort to offer training and education to clients and anyone in the construction industry.

She is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education seminars, construction trade groups, conducts contract classes for apprenticeship programs and provides customized training programs for construction businesses. Her dozens of articles on various aspects of construction law can be found in publications such as the San Diego Daily Transcript, Professional Engineer Magazine, Contractor News & Views, American Concrete Institute newsletters.

As someone who came from another industry to the legal world, Pam believes there is much to apply from other business models. She is a strong supporter of changing the way attorneys bill clients to make it more of a risk sharing experience. Nearly all other industries operate in a much more balanced environment, and Pam is making strides to implement corporate best practices into the world of law. From a lawyer's perspective, she is marching to the beat of a different drummer. As a business person with corporate experience, Pam sees it as doing what should have been done all along.


Pam started out as an entry level engineer with General Electric, on a prestigious executive track program (the Manufacturing Management Program). One of her more memorable assignments at a factory in Boston in charge of a particular aircraft cockpit instrument used in Av-8B Harrier VTOL jets. Her role was to assure that final testing was performed as required. She quickly learned the ins and outs of precision electronics and government regulations.

Her next assignment was in North Carolina, a little more high tech, in that her job was to automate a panelboard manufacturing plant. Her task was to assure that the automation system was installed in a timely manner and would perform as expected. Little did she know at the time, that she would be working for the division that sold this product to the electrical industry. Because of the this factory experience she was one of few people who could literally say that they knew exactly how the product was made.

She had the opportunity to move to a GE sales office in Denver, leaving the factory life behind. She now knew what the panelboard was used for, and became involved in nearly aspect of electrical power distribution products. It was in Denver that Pam really became exposed to the construction industry through the various GE industrial products distribution channels.

Pam was eventually offered the Area Manager position in San Diego, which is how she came to California. She came well prepared for the marketplace and quickly became an authority on the technical aspects of power distribution products.



Pam graduated from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering. For those that are not familiar with this discipline, it is commonly found in manufacturing where the emphasis is on process improvement, efficiency and optimization. The same skills also are often used in business environments to improve the process when achieving a particular goal, whether it is a paperwork, information or procedure function. Hospitals often apply industrial engineering to improve their ability to effectively serve more patients with the given resources. In the hospital environment, it could be a matter of life or death, so process improvement is given high priority.

Most aspects of industrial engineering are applied every day in a construction environment. Since time is money, and efficiency is much sought after, things like CPM and project scheduling analysis become the center of focus when there is a construction delay claim. Industrial engineering is exactly what is used to analyze these situations.

A significant part of industrial engineering training involves computer programming, and the ability to think logically. Anyone who has experience at writing computer programs, knows that a change in one part of the program may produce a surprising result in another. Logically, when analyzed, it makes sense, but on the surface it may not be apparent.

Pam applies this logical thinking style to analyzing complex construction problems and contracts. Often there are numerous terms and conditions that all inter-relate. The same thought process goes for applying the laws, as convoluted as they may be. This is a distinct advantage for complicated problems.

She has found that the ability to verbalize the complexities into an easy to understand and logically sound argument goes a long way toward success in law. This is where Pam believes that many attorneys with training other than a technical field often have difficulty applying and conveying terms in a clear and logical manner.

While working for GE, Pam went through all the steps to sit for her Professional Engineering license. After 5 years of "engineer in training" status, she passed the PE exam on the first try. Overall, the number of licensed engineers is very small compared to the number of graduates, but some industries, especially construction, the need for a PE license is still strong, if not mandatory in some areas.

Based on her extensive background and proven experience, Pam was selected to teach a graduate course at the SDSU J.R. Filanc Construction and Engineering Management Program in Spring 2011. Course taught: Construction Claims Con E 654 covering all aspects of claims found in construction projects, from identification of risk, through evaluating and effectively presenting and defending claims and challenges in ADR styled formats.

Contact information:
Telephone: 619-544-0086 ext. 102
Fax: 619-544-0045


Scholefield Construction Law
We are...
Anything But Typical

Call us now to discuss how you can benefit by using a different approach to managing to your legal needs.

Contact us | View site map