A growing number of legal firms are making law new a major focus of their strategic plans. It’s about creating a practice area that is distinct from other areas of a firm’s work and serves as a way to increase revenue while also helping clients with their most challenging issues. The practice is typically run by a group of staffers who are not on a partner track and has a different fee structure than traditional law firms.
New law is about the growth of the legal industry, embracing technology and finding ways to help clients in innovative ways. It is an exciting and important area that every lawyer should understand and embrace.
The future of law is about more than just technology. It’s about more closely aligning the legal industry with its corporate customers and society-at-large. That means a more holistically diverse workforce-cognitively, demographically and culturally. It’s about more creative, tech and data-proficient workers who are empathetic and collaborative. And it’s about providing accessible, affordable and on-demand legal products and services that are scalable and data-driven, delivered at the speed of business and society.
Some of the hottest law news of 2023 comes out of California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature enacted a number of bills, some of which could have a significant impact on the state’s residents. One bill would require companies with more than 15 employees to include salary ranges in job postings. It’s similar to a federal law passed in 2018 that was designed to provide more transparency about pay in the workplace. But intense business opposition blocked provisions that would have required the disclosure of salaries broken down by position, gender and race.
Another law that’s catching some attention is a bill that would require City agencies to provide information about student loan forgiveness programs to their employees and job applicants. New York already requires public employers to provide employees with that information, but the law would require City departments to do so as well.
And there’s a bill that would make it illegal for manufacturers and retailers to sell so-called “ghost guns.” The weapons are designed to bypass laws that restrict ownership of assault-style weapons and are often sold online or at gun shows. The law could potentially put up to $10,000 in bounties on the heads of those who buy or sell them, though the Supreme Court may throw out that and other state laws like it. The law, if passed, would be the first of its kind in the nation. But if it’s thrown out, other states could adopt the same approach.