Elon University School of Law established the Elon Law Legal Incubator in January 2016 to support Elon Law graduates who wish to develop solo law practices and to create opportunities for lawyers to provide reduced-cost legal services for low-income residents of Guilford County.
“Elon Law graduates are excited to practice law and help their clients,” said Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman. “Our Legal Incubator accelerates our graduates’ professional maturation to ensure that they provide excellent services that are consistent with Elon Law’s commitment as a hub of learning, lawyering and leadership.”
Located at 208 Commerce Place in downtown Greensboro, the Elon Law Legal Incubator is on the same city block as Elon Law and two blocks from federal and state courts that form the legal hub of central North Carolina.
Elon Law Legal Incubator participants are selected through a competitive application process. Participants develop law practices of their own, but work in a cooperative shared-space environment that is provided by Elon Law and functions as a complete law office. Legal services at the Elon Law Legal Incubator are by appointment only. Elon Law Legal Incubator participants provide services to fee-paying clients, while also providing 300 hours of pro bono or “low bono” services (discounted legal services to low-income clients) over the 18-month duration of their time with program. Pro bono opportunities are by referral through Elon Law’s five law clinics, Legal Aid of North Carolina and other similar non-profit community organizations.
Through programs provided or coordinated by Elon Law, incubator participants will receive training in the business of running a law practice and training in substantive areas of the law. Elon Law Legal Incubator participants operate as independent law offices, but receive many benefits from Elon Law or partnering entities, including:
• Low-cost office space and access to the Elon Law library and the Elon Law Legal Incubator’s practice library
• Free use of legal research computer programs provided by the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) and the American Bar Association
• Training in the business of running a solo practice
• Training in procedural areas of law
• Opportunities for case referrals and for pro bono and low bono work
• Mentoring by Elon Law faculty and members of the Greensboro Bar Association
• One-year free membership in the NCBA
• Opportunities to network with other new attorneys
• Office equipment and services including: Internet access, printer, copier, scanner, fax and standard office tools.
The support provided to Elon Law Legal Incubator participants enables a significant reduction of costs associated with setting up and operating a solo law practice.