By: John Christian Waites* & Fred Rooney**


A law school incubator is a training program to help young lawyers interested in running a solo or small practice.1 It is a law firm in all of the traditional aspects, except that most are nonprofit, and have an additional goal of teaching the practical skills necessary for creating and maintaining a private practice.2 After completing law school and the bar exam, young professionals apply for a position with the incubator and, if chosen, usually pay a small participating fee to cover administrative costs. The incubator normally provides a small office space (usually in an urban location in close proximity to clients), access to a legal library, and technology such as a computer, fax machine, telephone, and office supplies necessary to practice law.3 A salaried lawyer usually oversees the group of incubator participants and oftentimes acts as a mentor to whom participants can go for advice.4 The participants spend one to two years in the program, developing their own client base and working different practice areas such as bankruptcy, family law, landlord/tenant law, and employment law.