The Perfect Marriage: Solo Practice Support that Improves Access to Justice

There are many different ways to ensure access to justice for the poor. Every so often we highlight an interesting model in hopes that similar initiatives will spread throughout the country. This happened recently when I read about two law schools creating “Incubator” law programs to improve access to justice. California Western School of Law offers recent graduates who are interested in solo practice a mechanism to establish their practice and provide much needed services to communities and individuals who may not qualify for legal aid assistance.

Community Legal Resource Networks (CLRN), around since the late 1990’s, is a network of entities that provide support to solo and small firm attorneys to assist low to moderate income individuals. The entities also advance the viability of solo and small firm practice by providing a support network for the practitioners. California Western recently undertook their own CLRN program by launching the Access to Law Initiative. This initiative, modeled after CUNY Law’s CLRN project, houses its incubator law program in downtown San Diego’s SymphonyTowers. Eight attorneys operate their own practice and pledge to provide 100 hours of pro bono, public service and “sliding scale” fee legal service. In return for this service the attorneys benefit from mentoring and networking opportunities that will assist them in growing their practice.

This program is interesting not only because it provides a means for more low and moderate income individuals to obtain services but also plants a “pro bono seed” in a group of lawyers who will, hopefully, carry on a tradition of service for the remainder of their legal careers.

How would a similar program be useful in your area? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

~ Adrienne Packard

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Perfect Marriage: Solo Practice Support that Improves Access to Justice

  1. Jocy says:

    We have a similar program in Columbus, OH. It is administered by the Columbus Bar Association. We help new attorneys launch their solo practices by providing mentors and educational opportunities. With just over one year in existence, we have experienced measurable success and a positive impact on our community.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s