The excitement and enthusiasm were contagious at the open house to celebrate TJSL’s new Center for Solo Practitioners on Thursday, January 17. There was a great turnout of TJSL professors, alumni, staff and people in the San Diego legal community for the early evening occasion.
“The center is devoted to two principles,” said TJSL Adjunct Professor Lilys McCoy, the clinic’s director as she welcomed the many guests. “The first is that everyone should have access to justice. You shouldn’t be denied legal representation because you have too little, or for that matter, because you have too much. The second principle is that lawyers provide a tremendous service to society, but for lawyers to meet this noble obligation they themselves need support, mentoring, continuing education and they need each other. “
“Lilys is an inspiration,” said Hannah Bingham, ‘10 one of nine TJSL alumni who have set up private practices at the center. “She is fantastic and she will do anything to help us because our success is her success.”
The Center is an incubator for lawyers to help them get well-established as solo practitioners and to serve people who can’t afford legal representation. The lawyers work together in a collaborative setting in the offices of the San Diego Family Justice Center Alliance downtown.
“This is exactly what I was looking for,” said Jeffrey Abate ’06, one of the solo practitioners. “It’s a wonderful group of people. I love the collaboration and the way we all support each other is wonderful.”
“It’s going fantastically well,” said Patrick Long ‘10, another one of the solo practitioners. “Having the resources of the clinic is fantastic. This is one of the best things the law school can do to assist their own alumni in starting a solo practice.”
“I’m learning to run a solo practice as a business,” said Ashley Clark ’09, another of the solos. “That’s the most important aspect of it. But it’s also a community of people doing the same thing and we can bounce ideas off each other.”
Superior Court Commissioner Cindy Davis, one of the guests at the open house, feels the Center for Solo Practitioners “is a fantastic program. It’s an innovative way to launch solo careers, provide access to justice and the center provides a wide range of services to help the lawyers succeed.”
In the words of Lilys McCoy, the center will “design law firms that help bridge the justice gap, while meeting the highest ethical professional standards.”