The Importance of Law Specializations

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At one time, the practice of law was defined as generalized with some nuanced sectors, such as criminal or malpractice. Today, it has become common for firms to develop a reputation for expertise in areas that are specific to practice areas, which are divisions of legal work by types of law, and sectors that cater to divisions of legal work by types of client or industry.

Thus, specialization of a practice has grown particularly as the legal market has become more competitive, driving firms to tailor their offerings more closely to their client base. While becoming specialized may be challenging, requiring commitment and strong leadership, it can be valuable for both a firm and its clients. 

William Stroever, chair of the Intellectual Property Department of Cole Schotz in Hackensack, also sees similarities in the demand for law practices such as bankruptcy, real estate, and environment, but notes there is also a growing demand for other specializations on the horizon.

“While these standard practices will likely never go away, niche specialties are materializing rapidly due to changes in the laws and the effect technology has on business,” Stroever notes. “Intellectual property cases are growing at an almost alarming pace as the legal profession seeks to determine how old laws now fit into this new paradigm of who actually owns the property rights of an invention or creation. Additionally, as the ability for duplication becomes more accessible … it can become even more complex.”

Stroever notes there are other industries that are emerging and will require specialization including artificial intelligence (AI), which also falls under copyright protection – and the cannabis industry, where new laws will determine who is eligible to open a business and sell cannabis, which requires specialized licensing. 

“These legal situations illustrate why specialization is of importance. A law firm that has experience in certain areas will not only know the law, but will have the expertise to resolve cases more quickly based on experience, which may mitigate time and expense to the client. It’s not dissimilar to having a leaking pipe in the wall – we know the leak exists, but only the plumber really knows what is behind the wall causing the problem – and how to solve it.” 

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As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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