Obamacare and its more than 2,000 pages of legalese may be just what litigation firms need to jumpstart their business in the upcoming year. Although parts of Obamacare have already begun unfolding, January 2014 is the date when litigation lawyers (and the legal professionals who assist them) can expect to hit pay dirt, thanks to litigation resulting from impending government regulations.
Preparing for the Influx of New Clients
Legal firms and companies are already hiring more legal professionals, such as paralegals, in anticipation of this increase in business. In 2012, American corporations shelled out more than $5.7 billion to cover the cost of legal advice related to regulatory issues, and this number is expected to hit $6 billion by the end of 2013.
Many law firms are starting call centers, as well, which are designed to help individuals understand the Obamacare regulations about to take shape. It is expected that an additional 9,000 call center jobs will be created in the upcoming year to meet the demand.
Legal professionals can expect Obamcare to be the most heavily regulated law in the upcoming year. For example, one law firm alone reported more than 15 lawsuits related to the administration’s contraceptive mandate, which requires employers to provide insurance to employees that provide free contraception. Because Obamacare is relying heavily on regulators to delegate actions (i.e., legislation by regulation), the number of lawsuits is expected to begin exploding.
Additional Factors Likely to Increase Demand for Legal Services
There are a number of other areas where the expertise of legal professionals is anticipated to be in demand:
- Regulation and environmental restrictions in industries related to logging and coal
- Consumer class action suits against manufacturers and retailers
- Financial suits against banks and other financial institutions over lending practices
- Social media suits over privacy and slander
Still, beefing up staffs in call centers and law offices isn’t likely to placate critics of the law, given that it’s still unclear how Obamacare will affect Americans’ pocketbooks.