The legal profession is constantly evolving as attorneys adapt to the changing needs of the clients and entities they represent. Spurred on by technology, innovation and ever-changing laws and regulations, many lawyers are now specializing in novel fields unheard of when they first graduated from law school. And, for new attorneys entering the workforce, these up-and-coming legal specialties offer promising hiring opportunities, as many now face attorney shortages. Whether it’s in private practice, at a firm, or as a corporate in-house counselor, most of these sub-specialties are here to stay. For attorneys, here are 5 of the hottest ones to consider when planning a career.
1. Healthcare Law
This field has grown exponentially ever since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, with no signs of slowing down. Healthcare private practice attorneys, and those who work for the government or corporations, are highly in-demand. Healthcare attorneys are currently needed by:
- The Federal government for Medicare fraud and ACA compliance actions
- Corporations of all sizes to ensure ACA compliance
- Universities, pharmaceutical and biotech companies
- Individual practitioners
- Insurance companies
- Healthcare consortiums
2. Intellectual Property (IP) Law
Protecting the tangible and intangible creation rights of inventors, authors, entertainers, and businesses is the job of an intellectual property (IP) attorney. The explosive growth of the Internet, blockchain technology, and digital reproduction and transmission, just to site a few examples, has fueled a growing need for IP lawyers. Many IP legal specialists then sub-specialize in certain domains, like biotechnology, international trade law, or FDA regulatory issues. Trademark, patent and copywrite IP lawyers continue to be among the most sought-after in the profession.
3. Labor and Employment (L&E) Law
Helping maintain a peaceful relationship between employers and their employees is what labor and employment (L&E) attorneys do. Technology, new workplace models, evolving labor laws, and wages and compensation changes all influence a L&E lawyer’s responsibilities. Labor practice areas where L&E lawyers could be asked to represent unions, employers, employees, or individual clients include:
- Government regulatory issues
- Gender, disability or age discrimination disputes
- Harassment cases
- Collective bargaining negotiations
4. Trial Law
Okay, this is not a new specialty. But good trial lawyers don’t grow on trees, and this continues to be one of the hottest practice areas in the profession. Established trial attorneys are one of the highest paid of all specialties, and many begin their careers as public interest litigators or solo practitioners. Trial law is a highly marketable sub-specialty, as gifted trial lawyers can earn a very comfortable living working in-house at a corporation, for the government, at a large firm, or on their own in private practice.
5. Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Law
We live in the Internet Age, and that’s not about to change. If you even just casually follow the news, reports about data breaches, or the personal information of a company’s customers getting hacked, are common. Many companies now have privacy policies on their websites, and hackers are always searching for a window to access confidential records. For all these reasons, data privacy and cybersecurity lawyers are a hot commodity right now, notably in healthcare, government, banking and financial sectors. Although most cybersecurity attorneys are hired by corporations, they’re also much-needed as private practitioners representing average people who fall victim to these crimes.
Better Legal Recruiters Understand Change
If your firm or company currently finds itself in need of an experienced attorney to fill a position in any of these sub-specialties, it can be difficult to locate the right candidates. Or, as a talented lawyer with a track record excelling within one of these practice areas, you may be looking to move but need assistance searching for the job opportunity you want. In either scenario, an experienced legal recruiter might be just what you need. Better legal recruiters understand changes in the profession, including sub-specialties that are currently most in-demand. They use their nationwide legal connections, resources, and technology to place viable attorney candidates into employment settings that best fit both parties’ needs. To learn more about how a legal recruiter could assist you, or to find a good legal recruiter in your area, visit: The Legal Recruiter Directory now.