Law school launches Low Bono and Solo Initiative

(Sept. 9, 2013) Are you a recent law school graduate who dreams of owning your own practice? Do you yearn to help clients who can't afford legal services?

The Low Bono and Solo Initiative at Seattle University School of Law will help you. The program, which kicks off this fall, provides training, guidance, and resources to help new lawyers launch and maintain a solo practice. While some parts of the program are exclusively for alumni of Seattle University School of Law, two full-day programs are open to all attorneys.

Diana SingletonThe initiative is a collaboration between the law school's Access to Justice Institute, directed by Diana Singleton '98, and the Center for Professional Development, led by Assistant Dean Shawn Lipton. Starting a firm as a recent graduate can be daunting, so the initiative offers a step-by-step plan. Special focus is given to graduates who want to open "low bono" firms. A low bono practice is built around serving clients of moderate means by offering reduced-fee legal services.

"I'm excited about the opportunities the Solo and Low Bono Initiative provides, both for our students and graduates who will have mentors and assistance in starting their own firms, and for the community," Dean Annette Clark said. "Our hope is that many of our graduates will play a part in meeting the legal needs of the increasing moderate income population."

The first phase of the initiative is a series of trainings throughout the fall that will cover topics ranging from the logistics of finding office space and developing a business plan to communicating with clients and getting paid. Presenters will include successful sole practitioners, including low bono attorneys and bar leaders.

ATJI is developing other phases for the future, which will involve a mentoring program and eventually an incubator program, which will help train a limited number of recent alumni who want to start their own low bono firms.

Read more about the program.

The fall training schedule:

Sept. 20
CLE: Hang Your Own Shingle

Oct. 9
Alumni Workshop: Law Practice as a Business: Building Your Online Presence

Oct. 23
Alumni Workshop: Marketing Your Practice 101

Nov. 6
Alumni Workshop: Money Matters

Nov. 13
Alumni Workshop: Tech, Set, Go: Office Management and Technology

Nov. 22
CLE: Your First Potential Client and Communications 101

Details from "Triumvirate," by William Morris Robinson