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Have you been waiting for an exciting niche area of law to take your practice to new heights? If so, and you are in any way, shape, or form technically capable, you may want to consider studying up on the laws surrounding drones.
The mass production of unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly known as drones, that exploded onto the market over the past few years, has heralded a whole new set of legal concerns for businesses, individuals, the general public, and government entities. Unfortunately, there currently are not enough lawyers to help navigate these emerging legal concerns. Even major firms are trying to enter the field, as it is just that hot.
From claims involving a business's compliance with state and federal laws, to individual injuries, privacy matters, and even claims filed on behalf of drone operators against their employers, there is an emerging niche surrounding the new regulations and new-ish technology.
Firms that handle aviation related matters on behalf of airlines, and businesses that operate aircrafts, will be exceptionally well suited to take on drone cases due to their experience handling FAA issues. For attorneys focused solely on business clients, particularly those well versed in government compliance, expanding into drone law can be done with a little bit of self-education (including the 600+ pages released by the FAA on operating and certification for drones).
For lawyers that like fancy toys and flashy tech, drone law could breathe new life into their practices, or at least give them an excuse to play with some neat flying things. But the big questions many prospective drone lawyers will have involve how to find drone law clients. After all, not many businesses, nor people, are getting in trouble for skirting the drone rules. But just like breaking into any other legal market, the two keys to landing drone cases are networking and marketing.
Letting your colleagues and peers know you are breaking into the field of drone law could result in a few referrals. However, being actively involved in a local drone hobbyist club, or even going to drone school, is likely to make a larger impact than one might expect. Flying drones is not a cheap hobby, and many of the hobbyists are the same people seeking to fly drones commercially.
In addition to joining local groups, engaging in education-based marketing can be particularly helpful in emerging industries. For instance, drafting whitepapers, delivering lectures to consumers and businesses about drone laws, and even making YouTube videos about drone safety, are all ways to market your services through public education.
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