New Trends in Law Practice

Law is a fast-moving field, and it’s not always easy to keep up with the new trends. That’s the case whether you’re a law firm trying to innovate to find ways to better serve clients, a startup trying to develop new legal services technology or a company that is helping to improve access to justice for underserved communities.

A new term is gaining momentum — New Law — to describe the various ways that companies and startups are changing how law is practiced. It’s a difficult concept to define, but it encompasses everything from leveraging technology to providing legal assistance for free to new methods of practicing law that don’t necessarily follow the traditional model of hiring partners and associates to work in a law firm setting.

The term has a positive connotation, reflecting the fact that the new practices are based on innovation and fresh ideas. And the companies are thriving, creating jobs and delivering legal help in a way that’s often more efficient and less expensive than the traditional approach.

In New York, new laws include a measure to improve college students’ safety by increasing their ability to report bias-related and hate crimes and a law that allows local pharmacies to give out fentanyl and other drug adulterant testing supplies. The legislature also passed a law that protects lifeguards who intervene in the event of a sexual assault or other dangerous situation.

Other state laws include one that makes it a crime to knowingly take a photograph of an unauthorized victim, a law requiring schools to post campus crime statistics, and a law to allow middle and high school students to receive free menstrual products. The legislature also passed legislation to increase penalties for arson, large thefts at stores and more.

At the city level, New York law includes the city’s constitution, laws passed by the mayor and council and periodically codified in the New York City Consolidated Laws and laws enacted and enforced by other City agencies. New law and rule changes are listed below in order of effective date.

Several Am Law 50 firms are expanding their California operations this year. Nelson Mullins added an office in Los Angeles and hired laterals from LondonFischer to help staff the new location, and Mayer Brown expanded its presence in Silicon Valley. A few Am Law 50 firms are stretching their equity partner compensation spreads to lure talent in the wake of the Brexit vote and a tighter candidate market.