A new program at Seattle University School of Law will help new lawyers who want to start their own practices and help clients of moderate means. The initiative is a collaboration between the law school's Access to Justice Institute and Center for Professional Development.
The Low Bono and Solo Initiative will provide training, mentoring and resources. While some parts of the program are exclusively for alumni of the SU law school, two full-day programs are open to all lawyers who want to start their own firms.
Starting a firm as a recent graduate can be daunting, so the initiative offers a step-by-step plan. Special focus is given to graduates who want to open "low bono" firms. A low bono practice is built around serving clients of moderate means by offering reduced-fee legal services.
"I'm excited about the opportunities the Solo and Low Bono Initiative provides, both for our students and graduates who will have mentors and assistance in starting their own firms, and for the community," Dean Annette Clark said. "Our hope is that many of our graduates will play a part in meeting the legal needs of the increasing moderate-income population."
The first phase of the initiative is a series of trainings throughout the fall that will cover topics ranging from the logistics of finding office space and developing a business plan to communicating with clients and getting paid. Presenters will include successful sole practitioners, including low bono attorneys and bar leaders.
ATJI is developing other phases for the future, which will involve a mentoring program and eventually an incubator program, which will help train a limited number of recent alumni who want to start their own low bono firms.
For more information and registration information, visit www.law.seattleu.edu/x14283.xml.
The fall training schedule:
Alumni Workshop: Law Practice as a Business: Building Your Online Presence
Alumni Workshop: Marketing Your Practice 101
Alumni Workshop: Show Me the Money
Alumni Workshop: Tech, Set, Go: Office Management and Technology
CLE: Your First Potential Client and Communications 101