Monday, January 5, 2015

Incubator Participants Prepare to Hang Their Own Shingles

By Sumana Wolf, Career Development Center

Recently, a group of new attorneys sat around a room in downtown Los Angeles negotiating a settlement agreement while a senior attorney looked on. They drilled down on the details: Would there be options for paying in installments? Would the formalized agreement define penalties for failure to pay? This scene plays out daily in many of the law firms occupying the neighboring high rises. What made this particular scene so special? The new attorneys participating in this exercise are part of our recently launched incubator at Loyola Law School, the Justice Entrepreneur Initiative (JEI), and they were completing their fifth day of instruction during a required “bootcamp” training before they open their own solo law practices on Jan. 12, 2015.

JEI will aid newly minted lawyers as they start their own law firms, equipping them with some of the basics they need to provide legal services to low- to middle-income communities in the Los Angeles area. JEI will provide shared office space (including furniture and Internet), access to legal case management software and legal research resources, free CLE courses, practical training, and mentorship and guidance throughout the duration of the 18-month program.

The JEI training drew on the expertise of several Loyola Law School alumni, including Michael Chasin ’13, Julie Goren ’87, John Horn ’96, John Maxwell ’89 and Cathy Sargent ’83, who generously donated their time to conducting the essential training sessions. Professors Jean Boylan ’86 and Sande Buhai ’82, both alumnae, taught critical classes in law practice management. JEI will further partner with alumni and local practicing attorneys for mentorship as the initiative moves forward. If you would like to assist as a mentor in the program, or if you would like to provide case referral or conduct a CLE during the coming year, please contact us. We look forward to opening the doors of JEI with the start of the new year!

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