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Health Care, Energy Among 'Hot' Legal Practices

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

What legal profession practice areas are "hot" this year?

With the twists and turns of the economy, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what practice areas your firm should be expanding into.

That's where Robert Denney Associates' comes in, with their "What's Hot and What's Not in the Legal Profession" document, published in 2010. And now, they have an update on the document. Will this be helpful for your firm?

It depends. Some of the practices listed are difficult to get into unless you already have a good footing in the field. Health care seems to be on the top of the "red hot" list, and so does energy and financial services.

Other "hot" practice areas include regulatory, white collar crime, labor and employment and intellectual property.

But, what's "cold" in this economy? According to the report, the coldest practice areas are bankruptcy and mergers and acquisitions.

Which makes sense. As the economy recovers, bankruptcy cases are probably just not as hot as they were in say, 2008.

Though a bit counterintuitive, mergers and acquisitions also seems to be "cold." Perhaps because of the uncertainty in the market? It seems that many deals are still iffy.

So, how does this report help your firm or practice? At the very least, it can provide an explanation of why some of your business areas aren't doing as well as you would hope. And, if you are feeling aggressive and want to pursue new business tailored to the economy, you could always take this information into consideration and try to develop your practice toward these "hotter" legal practice areas.

It's only practical however to remember that the economy is cyclical, and legal profession practice areas that are "hot" now may very well become "cold" in the next few years or even months. So, while tailoring your firm to this market's legal needs could produce gains in the short term, in the long run it may not pay off as well as you would have hoped.

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