The legal field is one that is constantly changing. This is true of the ways that firms deliver legal services and how they approach their clients. It is also true of the ways in which firms look for new methods to expand their operations and provide legal help in new and different manners. One way that legal firms are doing this is by adopting the concept known as law new. Law new is a concept that is not always easy to pin down but it does involve offering legal help in a non traditional manner and embracing technology to do so.
Several major bills went into effect as the 2024 new year began, including a raise in the minimum wage for workers in New York City and Westchester. The bill, called “Matthew’s Law,” is named after a man who died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2020. It will make lifesaving fentanyl test kits available in pharmacies and health care providers so people can avoid overdoses.
Other bills taking effect include an increase in the speed at which public records can be requested by journalists, a requirement for all City agencies to disclose data breaches that affect private information and new laws to protect college students from bias-related violence. In addition, a new law will allow NYCHA residents to request inspections of their apartment building’s water quality.
New York’s local laws are made by the City Council and the mayor. Many of these are codified in the City’s administrative code. Others are passed by the City legislature and periodically codified in the New York City Consolidated Laws. The City Council is also authorized to create additional rules that implement City laws.
The federal government’s lawmaking branch is Congress, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Most ideas for new laws are called bills. They are introduced in either chamber by a member of Congress who sponsors them. Once a bill is introduced, it is assigned to a committee where members will research and discuss it. If a bill passes the committee process in one chamber, it is sent to the other to be voted on. If both chambers approve the bill, it becomes a public law, or an Act. To learn more about this process, click here.