With the New Year comes a new set of laws that will affect residents across the state. The new laws cover everything from worker rights to school resources and health care.
One area of law that is getting a lot of attention is what’s known as “law new.” That term can be hard to pin down but it typically refers to using legal services in innovative ways. It may involve working with underserved communities or creating strategies that haven’t been used in traditional law practice. It’s a growing part of the legal industry and it requires lawyers to be open to innovation.
At the federal level, ideas for new laws come in the form of bills, or legislative proposals. They are assigned a number that indicates the order in which they were introduced in Congress, for example H.R. 10 or S. 42, and a letter that spells out the bill’s purpose. The bill then goes through a process of being researched, discussed and made changes to before it is put up for a vote. If the bill passes, it becomes a public law and is known as an Act.
The City of New York is also introducing new legislation this year, including an expansion of data breach reporting laws and a plan to license third-party food delivery services. A law named after Matthew Horan, who died from an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2020, will make life-saving drug testing supplies more readily available to the general public.
Another law would require City agencies to provide employees and job applicants with notice of the availability of student loan forgiveness programs. This City law would be complemented by a State law that makes it easier for families of people who die from opioid overdoses to apply for death benefits.
The idea of law new is evolving all the time, and it’s one that all legal firms should consider incorporating into their strategy. It’s about being open to new opportunities and offering the kind of help that many clients need. And it’s about bringing in revenue and building up a client base that might not have otherwise been reached with more traditional approaches to the legal field.