With a new year comes a host of laws that take effect. Some, like a new law to stop gender bias in prices for certain products, have the potential to affect many people’s daily lives. Others may be more niche or industry-specific.
In the legal field, lawyers often need to keep up with what’s “new” to be able to offer clients an innovative and cutting-edge service. This is particularly true for firms that focus on the practice of new law. While the term can be difficult to define, it generally refers to an area of practice that offers a fresh approach to the traditional business of law, such as utilizing alternative forms of service, employing technology and focusing on process.
While this area of the practice of law is a relatively new development, it’s one that’s quickly gaining traction and demonstrating its value. For example, a few years ago, it was common for firms to have multiple attorneys on staff working on a variety of different legal matters. While that is still important, many firms have now taken the concept to a whole new level. Now, they have dedicated teams focused on managing and supporting these new law practices — which are now an integral part of the firm’s overall service offerings.
Using the latest technologies to provide legal services in an increasingly global and digital world. This can include utilizing a virtual assistant or communicating with clients by video conference, among other innovations. In addition, a new law can be anything that a lawyer considers to be an innovative approach to the practice of law that helps him or her provide more efficient and effective legal service.
For example, some new laws include a law that will allow people who drive stolen cars to not be responsible for red light and speed camera tickets. Another law will ensure that workers covered by union contracts will be able to use collective bargaining to secure better pay and working conditions. In addition, new laws will allow people to get a replacement vehicle if their car is destroyed by an earthquake.
The lawmaking branch of the federal government, Congress, creates new laws through a legislative process called “public bills.” Bills are formally introduced as legislative proposals and are assigned a number, such as H.R. (House of Representatives) or S. (Senate). They are then debated, researched, and negotiated by members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate before being passed and becoming Public Laws, or Acts.
Lastly, local laws, which include rules adopted by City agencies and laws passed by the New York City Council and codified in NYC’s Administrative Code, can also become public laws. In 2023, more than 180 new City laws will go into effect. Some of these are highlighted below.