Food law in the United States is a vast and fascinating area that has grown tremendously in the last decade. Just in the past ten years, the number of class actions filed involving food has increased almost 100 percent; rules and regulations have multiplied at both the state and the federal levels; and entire departments of scholarship dedicated to the subject have opened at leading academic institutions such as Harvard University and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Not surprisingly, many legal practitioners—be they attorneys working at large, multinational firms or solo or small boutique shops—have come across food-related work. The purpose of this article is to offer some guidance on starting a niche practice in food law and to provide some tools for those looking to build a food law practice. This article also will provide some tips on how to avoid a common pitfall when starting a food law practice. As Shakespeare warned in Troilus and Cressida, appetite, while a universal wolf, will often eat itself. This article will hopefully help you avoid such a situation.