Perhaps it's a measure that a scientific field is gaining traction when lawyers join the fray. Earlier this year, the law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham (KLNG) launched an internal stem cell task force to help the firm prepare for what it sees as an imminent boom in stem cell-related work.

Tom Turano, who is leading the effort at KLNG from Boston, says that the firm has created a team that includes attorneys with expertise in patent prosecution, litigation, regulatory issues, licensing, insurance, and funding deals. At least three other law firms have started up similar task forces in the past two years: Sterne Kessler Goldstein and Fox in Washington, DC, Fenwick & West in Mountain View, Calif., and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in San Diego. The stem cell task force leaders of the four firms agree that although there isn't a lot of work in this space right...

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