What Is Law New?
A new law is any change to an existing piece of legislation. These changes can be enacted to address a particular issue or simply to improve the language of an existing law. Some examples of this are a new law that adds a definition or clarifies the meaning of an existing one, or a law that removes a word or phrase that was previously deemed offensive. The laws themselves can be very broad in scope, covering everything from social issues to criminal justice.
While the concept of new law may seem a little overwhelming to many lawyers, it’s actually one of the most exciting and fastest growing areas for the practice. Lawyers who embrace it can discover a lucrative new source of income and business, as well as a whole new way to interact with clients.
In the legal industry, “law new” has become a catchall term for any company or startup that augments traditional legal services with technology. However, the reality is that the vast majority of these firms are still primarily providers of “old law.” The next wave of new law will be focused on improving client experience and outcomes by leveraging fit-for-purpose technology in customer-centric delivery plans reverse-engineered from the end-user perspective. This will require a paradigm shift from provider to customer-centricity and human adaptation, not just a technological leap forward.
For example, many of the companies that fall under the category of new law are working to make legal processes more accessible and affordable to the average person by allowing them to access legal advice over the internet or via videoconferencing. Other firms are focusing on reducing the costs of litigation by implementing alternative dispute resolution methods. And some are even experimenting with blockchain technology to create new ways to resolve legal disputes without the need for attorneys.
Other examples of new law can be seen in the legislation passed by the City Council and State Legislature. Some of these laws are designed to increase protections for victims of domestic violence, while others make it easier for a person to obtain a gun permit or enforce a child custody order. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs also has a wide range of new laws, including those relating to the health and safety of consumers, small businesses, and public schools.
There is no single definition of new law, and it can be difficult to determine whether a given proposal truly represents a law new or not. However, the speed of business and the breadth of social change are making new law an increasingly important area for lawyers to focus on. It will be important for each individual attorney to determine how he or she can best utilize the concept of new law in his or her own practice. The more that lawyers can adapt to the needs of new law, the more successful and profitable their practices will be. This article originally appeared on Law360, and is republished here with permission.