Law is a fast-changing field. What worked for a firm one quarter may not work for it the next. This is especially true for areas of practice such as “law new.” New law refers to different ways to provide legal services that aren’t part of the traditional model. It can mean working with underserved communities or coming up with strategies that aren’t usually a part of standard practice. It also can mean embracing technology or focusing on process.
This week, several bills passed the legislature and went into effect in various states. Many of these laws address issues that are dominating national discussion, including gun control and homelessness. Missouri, for example, made it a misdemeanor to sleep or camp on state-owned land without permission.
In other news, New York City agencies will now be required to give their employees and job applicants notice of student loan forgiveness programs. The bill requires the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, in consultation with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), to prepare such a notification and make it available to those agencies, as well as to their employees or job applicants.
The DCWP is also making a number of changes to its data breach notification laws, in order to align them with the state’s SHIELD Act and make the law more consistent with existing City law. The law would add to the types of breaches that must be disclosed, and expand the requirements for the disclosure of affected individuals’ private information.
New law is a concept that all lawyers should be aware of, and it’s one that can provide them with an opportunity to help more clients while adding a new way to generate revenue. It’s important for firms to be open to the opportunities that come with this practice area and to recognize that a well thought out plan can allow for this type of service to supplement a company’s primary focus without impacting profitability. Ultimately, this is about creating value and that means a better, more successful business for all.