November 29, 2012 Practice Points

Law School Launches Program to House Solo Lawyers

By Cindy Albracht-Crogan

In late October 2012, Chicago-Kent College of Law established a "Solo and Small Firm Incubator" program. Pursuant to the program, five would-be solos and one two-person law firm opened offices on the sixth floor of the law school, their alma mater. 

The "Solo and Small Firm Incubator" program is a one-year program designed to provide real client experience under the guidance of clinical faculty and alumni. The seven participants, all of whom are 2011 and 2012 Chicago-Kent graduates, were selected through an application process that included submitting detailed business plans for their practices. The law school provides office space, technology, and access to legal research tools in its for-fee law firm. "The Law Offices of Chicago-Kent," also provides periodic workshops on business management and practice-related topics, as well as a network of committed faculty advisors and mentors that provide guidance and, hopefully, referrals.  The participants are required to contribute 10 hours each week assisting on cases in the clinic.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is the latest law school to implement this type of program.  City University of New York, University of Missouri-Kanas City, the University of Maryland, and Pace University have established similar programs.

Keywords: litigation, solo practitioners, small firms, Chicago-Kent College of Law, incubator program, business management

Cindy Albracht-Crogan is with Cohen, Kennedy, Dowd & Quigley in Phoenix, Arizona.

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