As former BBA President J.D. Smeallie's recent press release expressed this
summer, "much has been written lately about the glut of unemployed lawyers and
what can be done about it. With only 56.2% of 2012 graduates from
ABA-accredited schools able to find full-time legal work within 9 months of
graduation, several law schools have set up incubators to ready recent graduates
for solo practice careers."
One such local incubator is Northeastern University's Justice Bridge Legal
Center, which describes itself as 'designed to address two core challenges
confronting the American justice system: shrinking employment
opportunities for recent graduates under existing law firm structures, and the
legal system's growing inability to serve consumers of modest means who cannot
afford high hourly rates but fail to qualify for pro-bono assistance'. As
its name suggests, Justice Bridge seeks to address the so-called 'justice gap' -
the unmet need for civil legal services."
The Director of Justice Bridge, Len
Zandrow, and the Faculty Advisor for Northeastern University
School of Law, Deborah Ramirez
, will be joining the
BBA's DLS Section for its first brown bag lunch of the 2013-2014 program year to
talk about the Justice Bridge - an innovative program that seeks to "empower law
graduates with resources and education and connect them with experienced mentors
to give new lawyers working as solo practitioners and in small practices the
same advantages shared by junior associates in large, established firms."
Mr. Zadrow and Ms. Ramirez will talk about how Justice Bridge is "building
relationships with top law firms, retired justices and former senior partners,
legal service organizations, and various affinity and membership-based community
groups to help provide compassionate and professional representation to those
with previously unmet legal needs." This program should prove to be
informative and interesting to any one seeking solutions to the disparity
between unmet need for civil legal services and the lack of opportunities to
practice law that new lawyers currently face in our community.