I stood in the foyer on the twenty-something floor of one of the tall buildings in Vancouver and peered through the floor to ceiling glass of the north wall to the mountains, the sea, and the multi-activity facets of human nature spread before me. I had come to this palace of glass and chrome, fine wood, and polished leather to meet a lawyer working for the mining industry. The hush of thick carpet and a truly professional receptionist put me in my place and cowed me to quiet submission as I waited and wondered what truly goes on in these hallowed halls.

The answer came in Lang Michener LLC’s recent brochures: Mining and Mining Successes. Taken together they present a fascinating picture of what lawyers do for mining companies and why tall buildings and fabulous views are integral to success—or is it the result of success? The lowest cost project involved $2.5 million; the highest cost project involved $23 billion (not mere millions).

The lawyer I had come to meet arrived, smiled, was friendly and personable, and we went to lunch in one of those innumerable eating holes in the side streets of Vancouver. The food was good, the service spotty. The conversation was lively and informative—so much so that we left in deep discussion to walk back through the plazas and fountains and flowers only to realize a block from the restaurant that we had not paid the bill. Much embarrassment as I ran back to pay a mere $20 for three. Hopefully we will meet again to further explore what lawyers do to keep the mining industry vibrant and successful.