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5 New aspects of legal practice for the 21st-century lawyer

5 new aspects of legal practice for the 21st century lawyer

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The law or legal practice has always boasted of being the most diverse profession which moves with time, changes with growth and reforms in every single way necessary in tune with the generation. The law survives with the man. The demand for reformation of existing laws and the introduction of new ones is as essential as advancement and development because advertently, they go hand in hand.

Every day, the world discovers something new, every day, a new point of dispute or contractual discipline emerges, so every day, there is a need for binding rules to regulate such dealings within the ambit of the law.

Furthermore, the law has no choice really than to progress along with the world because not only will there be a bundle of new era legal hullabaloo, clients are also bound to come with new generational cases, the solution of which lies solely on making provisions to tackle those issues as against the discretion of very many judges as they deem fit.

Technological advancement has born many areas which the law has to put into consideration and move from archaic to up-to-date in the tick of a clock. Cybercrime, cyberbullying, copyright and patent, telecommunication disputes, email contracts, hate speech, online transactions and disputes all need as many laws guiding them as physical contract or dispute does.

So here are some new generation premium practices lawyers can branch into. Might I add lucrative too? 

Oil and Gas: We all know oil and gas is the real big deal. People from all works of life strive to find themselves in this field, and as hard as it may, lawyers have the advantage of accessing the oil and gas gold mine rather easily. Getting into the system itself can be a little daunting as it has been dominated by the rich and successful lawyers who know all the threads to pull and all the laws to cite but it is to the advantage of the wise because internships and pupilage have never come in handier. By attaching oneself to law firms which that are oil and gas based in practice for pupilage, one stands a great chance in gaining knowledge on that field that cannot be learnt in any classroom.

Business Law: Business has never been more widespread, or more lucrative. The section of the business law is one that has been neglected for too long for the likes of the ‘fancier’ corporate, the more glamorous property law and the safest one, litigation. Business law section is one that is gaining more popularity and acceptance by the day especially in third world countries where it seems the industrial revolution has taken another meaning and entrepreneurship is on a geometric rise meaning there is a legal ‘market’ open to lawyers interested in business law. Might I add that it also happens to be one of the most lucrative section of law?

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Copyright and Patent: 

Not very new, but not very much explored. With the exponential rise in fresh ground-breaking ideas, latest technology, new books and exploration of otherwise dormant areas of science, art and the brain, the possibilities surrounding the lawyer in these fields are endless as the fields themselves.

Every day, something new is created, thought up, experimented on, drawn and written down. And every day, disputes arise from these areas- whether sprouting from stealing of another person’s ideas or claiming a piece of technology as your own or even adopting another person’s writing without giving credit. All are crimes sanctioned by law.


There is a famous Nigerian Lawyer who from the introduction of telecommunication companies to the country in the early 2000 embarked on a course in South Africa where he learnt all the basic legal principles guiding telecommunication, disputes that may arise and how to resolve them – in summary -, his colleagues and friends found it quite ridiculous that he deemed it fit ‘waste’ much of his time learning in essence, how to make phone calls, but he was a man with foresight.

Of course, his friends and colleagues did not know that phone calls and text messages were just one thing, that the most significant chunk of telecommunication was yet to come, and that their friend was about to become stinking rich. Today, Paul Usoro SAN (Senior Advocate of Nigeria) is one of the most successful Lawyers in Nigeria not just finance-wise. He is internationally sort after, and he is a great mentor to young lawyers. He is a lawyer who decided to explore and specialise in a section of the law that wasn’t even a ‘thing’ yet. 

So it is positively encouraged to wade through new banks exposed by generational changes because once one becomes an expert in it, a specialist, a professional and an authority.

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Cyber Law: 

Definitely a field that can never be over-ploughed. The internet, social media, all the width of the world’s web, cybercrime, hate speech, cyber disputes, contracts on the web, social media transactions, online transactions and on and on and on I go. The lists are inexhaustible. A lawyer specialised in cyber law is an oracle – no -, he is King Midas.

Anyone from any part of the world can choose to become a cybercrime expert (I have a feeling those are about to be more rampant that the physical crime) and that a person will no sooner be internationally recognized because the world is indeed a global village and same international laws (in addition to domestic ones) regulate such crimes.

Therefore, like many other evolving fields, present lawyers and legal professionals must live up to the challenges of the 21st century to explore new areas where regulations and application of legal practices are required.

Hafsah Dauda

Hafsah Dauda

A lawyer by profession. She is a freelance writer and Editor of Arewa Lifestyle Magazine.View Author posts

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