Joining the legal incubator movement this winter, welcome Lawyer’s for Affordable Justice (“LAJ”), one of the nation’s first collaborative access to justice legal incubators. LAJ is a Boston-based joint effort between Northeastern University School of Law (“NUSL”), Boston College Law School (“BCLS”) and Boston University School of Law (“BUSL”). A total of twelve licensed graduates from each of the three law schools, focusing in four primary practice areas (business, employment, landlord-tenant and immigration) will participate in this competitive two year post graduate experience, developing innovative legal practices to deliver legal services more efficiently to underrepresented clients. Distinguished faculty from each of the three law schools Professor Jim Rowan (NUSL), Professor Paul Tremblay (BCLS) and Professor Robert Burdick (BUSL) founded and are spearheading the program as joint directors of LAJ, assisted by Attorneys Sofia Lingos, Sarah Schendel and Natacha Thomas as mentors and practice-specific advisors.
The LAJ project was awarded one of only three American Bar Association 2015 Catalyst Grants, which support projects “designed to improve access to underserved populations as they expand opportunities to newly-admitted lawyers.” In fulfilling that mission, focus will be placed on: market research identifying and accessing underrepresented clients in each of the primary practice areas; extensive practice management and subject matter specific training ensuring practitioners are equipped to provide the much needed legal services; and building networks of support to expand the mission outside of the office walls.
LAJ has worked tirelessly to secure sponsorships and partnerships with leading legal technology companies, bar associations and other service providers to offer our Participants a unique opportunity to gain this outside exposure and employ existing tools to improve efficiency in the delivery of legal services. Additionally, all three schools have access to their extensive resources for interdisciplinary collaboration. LAJ will be working with faculty, staff, alumni and the broader legal and affiliate communities in order to make this project and our mission a success. The mission of LAJ is to support, nurture, and train entrepreneurial new lawyers in innovative practice methods in order to encourage them to serve low- and moderate-income clients who cannot afford conventional legal services in Massachusetts and elsewhere in New England, creating sustainable and profitable practices.