Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Law: What’s Hot & What’s Not

From consultant Bob Denny, here are the hot practice areas:


  • Energy. In many parts of the United States and certain foreign markets.
  • Regulatory. Particularly in health care, energy and financial services.
  • Health Care. The Affordable Care Act adds more confusion to a broad and complex area.


  • Financial Services. Including banking.
  • IPOs. They have been surprisingly hot but may be showing signs of cooling.
  • Litigation. Although, except for “bet the company” suits, it varies widely by firm. Large companies continue to send work to midsize and smaller firms due to lower rates.
  • Labor and Employment. Collective bargaining is just one of many reasons.
  • Intellectual Property. Patent litigation continues to be hot because of infringement claims filed by “patent trolls.” Now Garmin International claims to be the first company to fight back by using a new process, inter partes review (IPR), to avoid litigation. Trademark suits have also increased. Patent prosecution continues to be hot.
  • Real Estate. Due in part to a big increase in multi-family developments.
  • Corporate. Despite general counsels’ efforts to keep more work in-house. Midsize and even      some smaller firms continue to receive more work due, in part, to their lower rates.


  • Interns Rights. A small but growing area due to recent legislation in Oregon and proposed      legislation in New York state to give unpaid interns the same protection as employees.
  • Privately Held and Family Business. Also see B Corps under “Other Trends and Issues.”
  • Education. Many issues here but hourly rates remain low as do profits.
  • Elder Law. Like it or not, we’re all getting older.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The high cost of litigation has reawakened interest in mediation and arbitration.

For more information on what’s hot and what’s not in the legal practice world, please click here at Attorney at Law.


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