It is often wise for an architect to regulate his course with regard to legal considerations. An architect in active practice cannot acquire such a knowledge of the principles of law as will enable him to dispense with expert advice in unusual circumstances, or in matters of great importance. The trained power of legal reasoning which, as well as an accumulated knowledge of law, is part of the equipment of a good lawyer, and which even in apparently simple situations is constantly called into use, is not to be attained by a man whose chief energy is given to another profession. Nevertheless, it is important for an architect to have some knowledge of the nature of legal considerations and of the legal principles of commonest application.

In the following pages will be found brief general statements of the law upon certain matters with which an architect is much concerned, and suggestions as to the application of these princi-pies to his business. It should be mentioned that the law in different states differs widely in details; it is impossible here to go into such details; and what is given is intended to provide such an understanding of principles as will give the student a certain knowledge of the nature of his legal rights and duties, some con-ceptiou of the nature of the mistakes which are possible, and of the precautions which may be taken, so as to constitute a practical safeguard in everyday business.

It is proposed to present first a general statement of legal principles largely affecting the relations into which an architect is brought in the practice of his profession.