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Niche Legal Practices Areas That Have Taken Off in Recent Years

The bad news is some practice areas are gone. The good news is others are taking their place.

According to reports, scores of new practice areas have evolved in recent years. Fifteen years ago, they didn't even exit.

It's a trend that gives attorneys opportunities that they've never seen before. Most have evolved out of emerging technologies, new legislation, and social changes. Here are some of the new niches:

Technology

Artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, social media and other technologies have taken over our daily lives. With the Internet of Things, virtually everything is connected.

Each of innovation comes with legal issues. Invasion of privacy, fraud and defamation may be old wrongs, but new technologies have created new sub-specialties.

Lawyers now deal with hacking, identify theft, cyberbullying and other legal issues. It takes more than legal theory; it's about understanding how technology works.

Legislation

Cannabis use, gene therapy, and solar power took off because of legislation. Together, these laws have helped create multi-billion industries.

Attorneys are building dedicated law practices in such areas as legalized marijuana use, for example. One cannabis firm recently opened international offices to serve clients.

Social Change

Climate change, specialty beers, gender identity, and other social issues have likewise required legal representation.

LGBTQ issues, which never existed in the law before, are now headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorneys have long fought for civil rights, but these issues remind us there's still a lot of work to be done.

With great opportunity also comes great responsibility, or something like that. In any case, there are pros and cons of niche practices.

They offer an opportunity to specialize and monetize in interesting areas of law. But they also require attorneys to become competent in a new field, which is an ethical responsibility.

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