January 13, 2014 marked the first day of the second session of the TJSL Center for Solo Practitioners Incubator Program.
This program is designed specifically and exclusively for Thomas Jefferson School of Law alumni, the TJSL Center for Solo Practitioners supports new solo practitioners as they establish their own law offices. The program encourages new solos to become leaders in their community by developing ways to reach traditionally underserved populations with much-needed legal services.
“I am really excited to be a part of the solo program,” said Michelle Bos ‘12. “I feel so fortunate to be selected to participate in the second year of the program. I am looking forward to utilizing all of the tools Professor McCoy and the speakers provided over the past few days of the boot camp to grow my business this year and become a successful solo practitioner.”
“When I first heard about the Solo Incubator Program, I was excited that TJSL was doing something so innovative,” said Esther Hyun ‘13. “Professor Lilys McCoy put together a great boot camp session for us. We had a lot of amazing attorneys and speakers come in. I was especially excited that Matt Spiegel ‘05, MyCase founder and fellow Thomas Jefferson graduate, came and spoke to us. My firm will be a virtual law office, so finding an online law practice management software has been a critical component of starting my firm. I look forward to seeing where everyone takes their practice by the end of the year.”
The TJSL Center for Solo Practitioners provides a business incubator setting to the new Solos with the goal of producing successful, public-service-oriented practitioners.
“The new members of the center for solo practitioners are an impressive group,” said the program’s director, TJSL Professor Lilys McCoy. “Their enthusiasm and dedication are already evident in our very first month together. I am looking forward to continuing to build an even stronger program over the next twelve months.”
This year the program welcomed eight lawyers who have a desire to establish their own law practices. Each New Solo will develop their practice in a cooperative, shared-space environment that is easily accessible to public transportation, courts and other public services.
Ben Aguilar ’11 was a member of the very first Solo Practice Incubator Program that began in November 2013. “This environment was a great support network,” said Aguilar. “It was really helpful to come to work and have other attorneys to discuss our cases with and get second opinions. As a result of joining the program, I have made some new wonderful friends and we have shared important milestones in our personal and professional lives. I am looking forward to continue working with this group of incredibly talented attorneys.”
While the Solo Practitioners are building their practices, they are encouraged to provide pro-bono and low-bono services to increase the access to civil legal services for those in need. While providing those legal services, the incubator lawyers gain valuable legal experience and are exposed to professional networking opportunities.
“Professor McCoy is an outstanding mentor,” said Aguilar. “Her dedication to the program is what makes this project a success. I also want to thank incubator program faculty advisor Professor Luz Herrera for her vision which motivates me to continue working to serve underserved litigants and really make a difference.”
The program facilitates access to affordable office space, guidance in managing a legal practice, quality continuing legal education, seasoned mentors and Thomas Jefferson’s network of alumni attorneys.