Practical Law Of Architecture, Engineering, and Geoscience By Samuels & Sanders

Mike Grossman
Professional Engineer
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Minute Read
April 14, 2014
Practical Law Of Architecture, Engineering, and Geoscience By Samuels & Sanders

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Even though most Associations stock the text required for the National Professional Practice Exam, they can also be ordered through Amazon or rented for half the price of purchasing in the form of an online textbook at CourseSmart.  

This text, Practical Law of Architecture, Engineering, and Geoscience, is required reading for the National Professional Practice Exam and thus it is in high demand.


Engineering students have a lot of information to assimilate and time is almost always of the essence.  Thus it comes as no surprise that they are on a constant search for efficiency.

One way of cutting down on the time spent studying without missing out on anything relevant is by reading books that tackle key subjects. Practical Law of Architecture, Engineering, and Geoscience, Second Canadian Edition was written by Brian Samuels & Doug Sanders and is of practical use to students and professionals alike.

The latest edition has been brought up to date with all legislative changes and can serve as an excellent support for those who plan on taking the exam.

The Authors

Doug Sanders is a partner at the Vancouver office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and a member of the Saskatchewan Bar since 1990. He joined the corresponding Bar in British Columbia nine years later and prior to that he graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Laws in 1989.

He is also a Professional Engineer licensed in two Canadian provinces and his area of practice is construction litigation, public-private partnerships and construction contracts. He published numerous articles besides co-authoring Practical Law.

Brian Samuels graduated University of Victoria in 1987 and holds a Bachelor of Laws and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. Now he is the principal of Samuels & Co., a Vancouver construction law firm and a registered professional engineer in British Columbia.

He has tremendous experience in this line of work as a mediator, arbitrator and construction lawyer and has published Construction Law (Prentice Hall, 1996). Samuel also co-authored Expert Evidence in British Columbia Civil Proceedings.

Practical Law of Architecture, Engineering, and Geoscience

This text covers a broad spectrum of subjects so it was only natural for a law book incorporating all of them to be comprehensive. The text is almost 400 pages long, but well-structured, so finding useful information is easy. A total of 27 chapters cover all subjects of interest and each of them has at least 6 sub-sections, to facilitate the students’ mission.

Compared to other Canadian engineering law texts, this book written by Samuels and Sanders is the most up to date. Given its popularity among students and professional alike, the authors found it worthwhile to release a second edition. The laws change fairly often and much to their credit, the authors did a fine job in keeping Practical Law of Architecture, Engineering, and Geoscience, Second Canadian Edition up to date.

This book is the required text in many construction, architecture and geoscience classes for a good reason. Students can put their newfound knowledge to good use immediately after learning a chapter, as each of them is followed by a bundle of pertinent questions. Some of them are likely to be asked during the final examination, so it comes in handy that the same book has the answers to all these selected questions.

Students are encouraged to answer the questions themselves before matching their answers to those given at the end of the chapter. The text also has plenty of case studies that accompany the most important chapters. This helps the reader adopt a hands-on approach and see how theoretical concepts apply to real-life situations.

The entire book is written in a logical and clear language, so even those who make their baby-steps in these difficult sciences will understand the text with ease. On top of that, the book features plenty of figures and tables that are supposed to illustrate the key topics, including privacy and internet law or risk.

Textbook Reviews

The text is the required reading in some universities, so students are the main beneficiaries. The practice questions and easy to comprehend language are its best-selling points, among both Canadians and foreign professionals. The latter get up to speed with law concepts in Canada and helps with the otherwise steep learning curve.

Samuels & Sanders’ book is also an invaluable help to those who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of law and practice as engineers, architects or geoscientists. Citations and case studies succeed where walls of text would normally fail and help reader better understand the legal concepts discussed in the book.

There are of course critics who claim that the authors tried to cover a subject that is too broad and as a result, reading the book can be exhausting. The problem is that those who make the questions for the professional engineer exams hold it in high regard, so it is very likely to remain a required text for many years to come.

Reading the entire book is not recommended and would not be considered good use of time to prepare for the NPPE exam.  A targeted approach, respecting your Association's exam syllabus is far superior.

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