At any given time, certain legal practice areas are growing faster than others. This growth often occurs in response to increased demand or to changing legal and regulatory pressures.
Here are five legal practice areas that took off in 2019 and are expected to continue growing throughout 2020.
1. Environmental and Climate Change Law
Climate change has become a global conversation, driving interest in sustainability and an increase in environmental regulation. Work in all areas of environmental law and laws related to climate change, including energy law, is likely to increase – along with the demand for legal professionals who understand these areas of law.
2. Blockchain Law
Blockchains were one of the hottest tech topics of 2017 and 2018. While it remains to be seen whether the technology can fulfill its early promises, early applications of blockchain technologies for legal ends such as the creation of contracts remain promising. Lawyers who understand blockchain and its implications are likely to find their abilities in increasing demand in the coming years.
3. Cannabis Law
Canada legalized recreational use of cannabis in 2018, but the use of cannabis is still subject to a legal and regulatory framework laid out in the Cannabis Act. Since many questions remain unanswered under this framework, the number of lawyers and legal support professionals who focus on this practice area continues to grow.
4. Elder Law
Demographic trends indicate that the percentage of the population aged 65 or older will increase dramatically in the next few years. As a result, lawyers and legal support professionals who understand elder law, including adult protection laws, healthcare, and estate law, will find their services in increasing demand.
5. Intellectual Property Law
The digital era has unlocked vast reserves of creativity that touch all three major areas of IP law: copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Issues related to IP protection internationally continue to proliferate as well, as the Internet breaks down national barriers. These changes have led to a corresponding increase in demand for legal professionals who know IP law.
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