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5 Unconventional Practice Areas in the Law

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. | Last updated on

Before launching their careers, many legal professionals nurtured secret ambitions to practice law in new, avant garde ways. Then they got smacked with the monotony of motion practice.

One sure fire way to break the mundane routine of the practice of law is to break into an area that is anything but routine. Obscenity law anyone?

Unconventional Practice Areas

The practice of law is as diverse as society itself. A comprehensive list of unconventional practice areas would be impossible to compile. But here are five practice areas that stand out:

1) Fashion Law: Fashion law is coming into its own as a recognized area of practice. About two years ago, Above the Law hosted its first Fashion Law Forum in Los Angeles. It's becoming clear that simply being interested in being fashionable won't make you successful in this very cutthroat but unique practice area. You will most likely already have to be successful in your current practice before you can easily move into fashion law. This is because so much of the industry requires proficiency in real estate, contract, international business and IP law.

2) Equine Law: Another interesting area of practice that's rather niche is equine law. John Fabiani at Fabiani Cohen & Hall devotes a small portion of his practice to horses. Fabiani's position is almost enviable because expertise in that particular area required him to delve deep into an area of law that most people would consider a "rich man's " hobby. Of course, that's a highly abridged dismissal of things equine. Horses are valuable commodities that are bought and sold in private sales based on breeding, pedigree and vigor. What a way to break up the monotony of practice.

3) Aviation law: Perhaps the least odd of the group, aviation law has been in the spotlight in recent years. Examples include Asiana Flight 214 and more famously, overseas flights MH17 and MH370. The most obvious connection lawyer will make is "crashes = class action = money", but the reality is probably more complicated than that. Discovery for such cases can be very technical and may even involve international law.

4) LGBT law: Congratulations. SCOTUS has ruled that gay couples and that such marriages must be recognized in all states. But LGBT law is continuing to develop and new cases of first impression are being made. Running parallel with LGBT law is family law. Society's continuing acceptance of LGBT lifestyles and family structures assures that this area will see some growth for years to come.

5) Gaming Law: We all know someone who gambles -- too much. In the United States only a few states allow gambling and illegal gambling as a business is a serious federal crime. Although American is no longer the gaming capital of world tourists, a fair number of states still allow the practice. New Jersey has pushed hard in recent years to expand its gaming operations including licensed online gaming which reached about $12 million this year. A recent New York case is famous for the rule that poker is not gambling because skill is involved.

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