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Finding Future Career Opportunities

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While practice areas such as property and tax are long-established areas of practice for lawyers, the areas of law that lawyers can work in are far from settled. Environmental law was once a very niche practice area that employed few lawyers, now it’s an area with significant amounts of regulation and thousands of lawyers advising a range of industries have expertise in this area. It’s a difficult job market for law graduates, but new practice areas and new opportunities within existing practice areas are arising all the time.

It can be tricky to anticipate where your career may end up, let alone start, but here are just a few of the trends (and potential future areas of specialisation) to keep an eye on…

Innovation creating new legal questions

The recent legal disputes between Apple and Samsung revealed that IP lawyers are increasingly in demand, and today these disputes represent some of the largest and most complex litigation matters around. But innovation doesn’t only mean intellectual property law work; there’s also the task of advising on how current laws apply to new technologies. For example, a number of law firms overseas have now launched drone practice groups to focus on the legal questions raised by the use of drones.

The Aging Population

It is no secret that the aging population is causing an increase in the need for healthcare, retirement living options and other services. As a result, a growing number of lawyers are advising on superannuation, agreements with nursing homes and estate planning issues.

ASIC has also noted that people over 65 are also likely to face legal issues pertaining to fraud, financial abuse, power of attorney provisions, family agreements, superannuation and discrimination.

Increasing globalisation

Many of today’s legal problems are not limited to one jurisdiction, and as the number of international treaties continues to grow, it’s likely that there will be even more opportunities for lawyers with international law expertise. The increase in the number of cross-boarder transactions would also mean increased work for lawyers could result. International lawyers can work in diverse practice areas, including world trade law, international commercial dispute resolution, international human rights law and human trafficking.

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