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Bar News - September 18, 2009

Rising Practice Areas in a Down Economy


Lawyers Recommend These Practice Areas in Recessionary Times

On, readers were asked to name some of the lesser-mentioned practices where an attorney might find refuge from this recessionary storm:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution – Cash-strapped corporations, private individuals and others are seeking to avoid litigation costs and procure the services of neutral parties to resolve business-to-business, consumer and family conflicts.
  • Prepaid Legal Services – Employers sign up for prepaid legal service plans and let employees participate for a small monthly fee. Participating employees then have a lawyer available, either free or for a discounted fee, for a variety of specific problems, while other matters are not covered. A rise in foreclosures has caused work in this field to increase.
  • Environmental and Energy Law – The commitment of the Obama administration to the development of renewable, efficient sources of energy has brought a wave of opportunity to lawyers practicing energy and environmental law.
  • Consumer Protection – When the economy tanks, it’s a surefire bet that consumer protection will prosper. Lawyers report a brisk business representing consumers being ripped off.
  • Debt Collection – Debt collection attorneys represent banks, credit companies and colleges that go after people for nonpayment. Or they represent "debt buyers," middlemen who buy up debt from the original lender after people don’t pay for six months.
  • Elder Law – With baby boomers aging, elder law is thriving. Along with asset preservation, estate planning, Medicaid planning and simple wills, the practice can include aspects of real estate and litigation.
  • Labor Law – Firms specializing in labor and employment law say they’re growing busier as job losses result in cases related to wrongful termination, severance, unemployment disputes and discrimination, as well as how to deal with labor unions.
Read the the full article.

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