Two Problems. One Solution.
Problem: Newer lawyers who choose to start their own law practice often lack the resources and training needed to practice law on a daily basis and to run a successful business.
Problem: Georgians face real legal issues: domestic violence, eviction, losing custody of a child, or fighting predatory lenders to name a few. While our non-profit legal services do their best to help those in need, there are over 1.69 million Georgian households in the low to moderate income brackets who do not qualify for free legal services and cannot afford legal help. It is estimated that 90% of those Georgians do not obtain legal help for issues where legal representation could significantly change the outcome and improve their lives significantly.
L4EJ Offers an Innovative Solution: L4EJ’s entrepreneurship incubator provides advanced training and resources allowing new lawyers to start a practice that offers affordable representation to Georgians with modest incomes. By leveraging technology, offering alternative fees and a la carte services, and maximizing collaboration with their clients, L4EJ’s participants are able to represent Georgians at significantly reduced fees.
How does it work?
Participants start and operate their own law firm. As a participant in L4EJ, you receive the following during the 18-month program:
- Top-notch training in substantive legal areas and a structured pro bono program to provide practical, hands-on experience
- Practice management & business skills training -what you need to know to start and grow a sustainable law practice including client development skills
- Referrals to fee-paying clients
- Experienced practitioner mentors & expert business coaching
- A collaborative office environment
- Practical resources, including office space, equipment & practice management technology
- Access to a variety of helpful networks through the State Bar, legal aid providers, & other partners
- CLE through scholarships to ICLE programs and PLI
Expectations of L4EJ Participants
L4EJ is an 18-month program. Each participant pays a participation fee of $7,500. There are several payment plan options available that consider the fact that you are launching a new business.
L4EJ offers over 150 hours of training each year. During the 18-month program, participants agree to attend:
2 Week Boot Camp
1 Trial Day
A 6-month structured pro-bono track (approximately 40hours/month, which includes trainings)
45 hours of weekly trainings (approximately 2 trainings/month)
1 Mentoring Circle each month
1 Case Review lunch each month
Quarterly Coaching Sessions with L4EJ Director
Access to Justice - Each L4EJ participant agrees to develop a socially conscious practice that incorporates pro bono and low bono legal representation. By month 6, each participant will create a business plan with L4EJ's help that incorporates pro bono and low bono work of at least 30 hours a month.
Professional Lawyer - Each L4EJ participant agrees to conduct their legal practice in a thorough and professional manner and in accordance with the highest ethical, professional, and service standards. Participants agree to contribute to bar and civic engagement.
The numerous benefits -both tangible and intangible- significantly outweigh the cost and make starting your own firm financially feasible.
Cost Component Cost in L4EJ for 18 months* Typical Cost** Savings
Office Rent (L4EJ Fee) $7,500*** $975/month $10,050
Office furniture/supplies Included in L4EJ Fee $2,800 $2,800
Utilities Included in L4EJ Fee $110/month $1,980
Internet Access Included in L4EJ Fee $50/month $900
Printer/copier/fax Included in L4EJ Fee $230 $230
Legal Research Software Included in L4EJ Fee $175/month $3,150
Case Mgmt Software Included in L4EJ Fee $105/month $1,890
Continuing Legal Ed Included in L4EJ Fee $320/year $480
Business Coaching Included in L4EJ Fee $5,000/year $7,500
Total for 18 Months $7,500 $36,480 $28,980
What are people saying?
"I applied to L4EJ because quality representation in family law cases is a necessity, not a luxury. But many people cannot afford the legal representation they sorely need.
Young attorneys can be a huge part of the solution. Through L4EJ, I will gain the skills and know-how to build my own family law practice, but in a way that will also bridge that affordability gap."
JoAnna Smith, Emory University School of Law 2014
"Comradery amongst L4EJ participants is a hidden benefit, that helps you grow professionally and personally."
Alicia Mack, Georgia State University College of Law 2013
Ready to fulfill your vision of having your own practice?
Now accepting talented, public interest minded and entrepreneurial lawyers who want to "break the mold" with an innovative socially conscious law practice.
Applicants for Spring 2017 class due at 5:00 pm on May 8, 2017
The Spring 2017 class will start Monday, June 5, 2017.
Contact Stephanie Everett at Stephanie@L4EJ.org for more information.