The good news is that the legal industry has hit a post-recession high, adding approximately 1,600 jobs in March. The year 2018 was reportedly the U.S. legal industry’s best for financial growth in the last 10 years. So what are the hot areas for legal job growth for 2019? Energy, cannabis, cybersecurity, and complex litigation, according to the RMN Agency’s January 2019 blog and Aebra Coe’s blog “The 3 Hottest Practice Areas for 2019.”
Cybersecurity: This area continues to grow because it impacts just about every other industry and company. As the number of data breaches increases, so, too, will the need for legal professionals with data privacy experience. Positions such as Privacy Compliance Officer and Privacy and Data Protection Counsel are popping up across the country. A recent job posting from VMware was for the position of Senior Associate Cybersecurity Counsel.
Cannabis: With the legalization of marijuana in several states, it’s no wonder this area of law is on the rise. While cannabis jobs are plentiful in California and Colorado, other jurisdictions, including Illinois and Michigan, are seeing big growth. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Marijuana Law Section is the fastest growing section of the State Bar. We have already seen large firms such as Dykema, Clark Hill, and Honigman embrace the trend, and others, including Butzel Long, Plunkett Cooney, Howard & Howard, and Kitch Drutchas to name a few, are following suit.
Energy: Michigan passed new legislation last year to ensure a reliable energy future. According to the Hill Group Report, Michigan’s energy future is bright. Renewable energy companies in Michigan are growing and are poised to take advantage of the increasing demand for clean energy. In addition, as going green becomes a global priority, says Sally Kane in “Hot Law Practice Areas During the Recession,” lawyers who can advise clients on green initiatives and sustainability will be in demand.
Complex litigation: According to Robert Half Legal, litigation is one of the areas that may see growth, especially if there is another recession. When the economy takes a downturn, individuals and companies litigate to recoup losses. See “Practice Areas to Watch Out for in 2019.”
Whether you are just opening your firm or are possibly looking to shift your focus, these four practice areas may offer growth avenues and, ideally, a steady stream of income.