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The dawn of legal hyper-specialisms

Posted by: Laurence Simons 22/05/15

A common misconception of the legal sector is that it usually remains static, moving on only as legislation evolves. However, this is almost totally wrong, and with the recent introduction of specialist new law firms, it is apparent just how much influence lawyers have over amending legal regulations and bills, as well as implementing them.

For example, the UK is now home to its first fertility law firm, an organisation dedicated to tackling tough cases and campaigning for the improvement of assisted reproduction and fertility law. Natalie Gamble, owner of the firm, has been involved in movements which have successfully amended legislation such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Looking to participate in complex legal battles to secure ethical treatment of embryos and children, this is one law firm which has shaken off all “traditional” views of reproduction.

Across the Atlantic, Vicente Sederberg, a Colorado law firm, is funding what is believed to be the first chair in marijuana law at the University of Denver. Brain Vicente, a partner at the organisation, was one of the authors of the constitutional amendment which saw Colorado become the first state in the US where the possession, use and regulated distribution of the substance is now legal. Specialising in all aspects of the new legislation, the organisation even calls itself “the marijuana law firm”.

So with new legal hyper-specialisms cropping up all the time, what are the implications for our future talent? It is definitely true that possessing knowledge of these more elusive channels of law will stand you in good stead for reaching the top positions in these bespoke practices. But as many of these divisions are not yet international due to differences in various jurisdictions, it casts a shadow of doubt over whether these practices will be able to champion diversity in much the same way as more traditional and broader-reaching organisations, especially if they are in their fledgling phases.  Perhaps this would be an incentive for some to get more involved in hyper-specialisms from further afield. But even if it’s not, it’s a good lesson in how modern law and in turn legal recruitment agencies are evolving is evolving all the time.