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Bar News - March 7, 2008

Want Headlines? Top 10 Practice Areas Named

A legal marketing expert predicts that in 2008, the top 10 law firm practice areas of interest to the media will be: real estate, government, intellectual property, international, privacy, immigration, trusts & estates, environment, employment and health care.

Margaret Grisdela, president of Legal Expert Connections ( and author of the new legal marketing book, Courting Your Clients, advises that attorneys in hot practice areas should take advantage of current media news coverage and emerging trends to capture a leadership position and competitive advantage in their areas of expertise.  "Journalists and radio and TV producers are always seeking experts on timely news topics.

1.     Real estate. As home sales continue to decline, attorneys with a real estate practice serving consumers or developers will find many opportunities to educate the market in areas of foreclosure, bankruptcy, mortgage fraud, and short sales.

2.     Government. The 2008 presidential election will dominate the news, giving attorneys with an angle on leading voter concerns like the Iraq war, civil rights, the U.S. economy and education a big potential stage.

3.     Intellectual Property. The U.S. Congress is evaluating major patent legislation, while Europe is actively implementing sweeping "EPC 2000" patent changes in 2008. IP attorneys have an unprecedented opportunity to explain digital rights, licensing, infringement and the need for trade secret protection.

4.     International. In 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission paved the way for likely adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards.  As business goes global, corporate and securities attorneys can find opportunities to educate audiences on business law worldwide.
5.     Privacy. Privacy policies, identify theft, data security, e-discovery, background checks, medical record protection, credit reports and more are of increasing interest to all audiences.

6.     Immigration. No agreement was reached on immigration reform in 2007, leaving this is a hot button for 2008 politics.

7.     Trusts & Estates. Aging Baby Boomers will start qualifying for Social Security retirement benefits.

8.     Environment. Green topics such as alternative energy, recycling, energy efficiency, toxic tort litigation and more are in the news.

9.     Employment. Wage and hour litigation brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) tripled in the past few years, according to court records.  

10. Health Care. Universal coverage is a hote campaign issue, providing health care attorneys a natural platform to address insurance haves and have-nots, HIPAA, health care fraud, billing practices, medical reimbursements, etc.

In addition to direct media outreach, other public relations opportunities for attorneys include speeches, articles and editorials, blogs, letters to the editor, newspaper columns, Web site postings, white papers, client alerts, and educational seminars. 

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