The Daily Record highlighted the work of Maryland’s new legal incubator in a May 19 article, “New incubator program assists fledgling solo practitioners.”
The incubator was launched in January as a project of the UB School of Law, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Civil Justice Inc. and the Maryland State Bar Association.
According to the story, the “LEAP” incubator — Law Entrepreneurs for Access Program — is among 50 legal incubators in the United States that are registered with the American Bar Association. About 19 percent of U.S. law schools have an associated incubator, Lynette Whitfield, a Rockville solo practitioner who serves as LEAP’s program director, told the newspaper.
Four new attorneys are taking part in the yearlong project. All have agreed to spend half of their billable hours on pro-bono and reduced-fee work for the first six months of the program. After that, they will contribute 25 percent of their billable hours to such work.
Each lawyer receives office space at UB or at Maryland Law, as well as legal training, free web-based practice management software, a reimbursement of up to $500 for malpractice insurance, access to Lexis Advance and a one-year MSBA membership, as well as mentoring from Whitfield and other attorneys.
Maya Zegarra, J.D. ’15, one of the incubator participants, is specializing in immigration law.
She said the incubator concept had intrigued her.
“I started to think, ‘Why not? What better way to open up my own firm than with the support of the bar foundation, the law schools and Civil Justice?”
Continued Zegarra: “This is a way for me to give back to the community, as well [as] doing what I enjoy.”