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High-tech has become synonymous with the California’s Bay Area legal industry. But construction attorneys building Web portals? Come on. That has largely been the response among attorneys to New York-based Thelen Reid & Priest’s Internet venture, ConstructionWebLinks.com, a first-of-its-kind Internet portal for the construction industry and likely the first Net-based operation to incubate in a law firm. The site is designed to be a one-stop information center for the $3.2 trillion construction industry. Need to track legislation? They can do that in all 50 states. How ’bout calculating the dimensions of an I-beam or converting metric measurements? Need to find out if that subcontractor you hired is licensed? It’s all there — almost 2,500 links in all, with a short synopsis and rating of each site. With an advertising blitz and other practice group portals planned, is there an IPO in Thelen’s future? Without the slightest hint of being facetious, construction practice chief Stephen O’Neal answered: “Securities laws permitting, I’ll call you first.”

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