Operated jointly by Boston College Law School, Boston University School of Law and Northeastern University School of Law, LAJ’s goal is to support, nurture and train entrepreneurial new lawyers in innovative practice methods in order to encourage them to serve low- and moderate-income clients who cannot afford conventional legal services in Massachusetts and elsewhere in New England. Participants must demonstrate a strong interest in solo practice and will be carefully selected through a competitive application process.
LAJ will help its participants turn unmet need into profitable practices. Policymakers and other observers have for years noted the growing crisis of clients with important legal needs who cannot afford a traditional lawyer to assist them. Employees with wage claims and other work-related injustices forego remedies because of the lack of lawyers. Beginning businesses struggle with confusing regulatory hurdles. Tenants don’t know where to turn for help getting their landlords to provide the most basic services. Immigrants seeking to reunite with family or secure legal status in the United States are faced with complex and confusing immigration laws. LAJ will support practices that focus on these four areas of need: immigrants’ rights, employment matters, small business/transactional issues and landlord/tenant disputes.
LAJ addresses the challenges facing underserved populations by helping new lawyers sustain practices that will serve primarily low- and moderate-income clients, relying on efficient and technologically savvy means of delivering legal services at low cost. LAJ assists these new lawyers in developing successful businesses, while at the same time mentoring them about many aspects of solo or small-firm life.
For those lawyers accepted into LAJ, the residency program provides office space for client meetings, collaboration and training sessions, with access to necessary technology for the lawyers’ practices. LAJ will also provide mentoring to the new lawyers on substantive law topics, technology systems and law office management.