Touro Law: Doing Well by Doing Good

Thanks to TLC’s new law incubator, graduates are building their own firms while providing low-cost legal services to the underserved.

April 14, 2015

Incubator programs are gaining popularity both nationally and internationally as a practical resource for new lawyers and a means to bridge the justice gap in underserved communities. At the head of this new trend is Touro Law Center (TLC)’s new incubator, the Community Justice Center of Long Island, which helps Touro graduates build their own law firms while serving the community in Suffolk County.  

“When students graduate from law school, they need a helping hand,” says Professor Fred Rooney, a longtime advocate of incubator programs and Director of Touro’s International Justice Center for Post-Graduate Development. “Incubator programs provide very concrete and practical ways for lawyers to develop their skills.”

Statistics show that 70% of lawyers in private practice operate in small or solo firms. “More than just the substance of the law, our graduates need to understand how to operate, manage, and build a law practice,” says Professor Meredith Miller, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Solo and Small Practice Initiatives at Touro Law.

And the incubator allows them to do both. While developing their business and legal skills as newly minted lawyers, TLC graduates take on pro-bono or low-bono cases for underserved individuals—without worrying about high overhead costs. The incubator offers affordable office space, mentorship, training—and a sense of camaraderie.

“Without the incubator, I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to start my own practice right off the bat, even though that’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” says Keri Mahoney, Esq. ’14.

Tiffany Moseley, Esq. ’12, agrees. Having the basics taken care of is a huge bonus, she says. “When you become part of the incubator, you hit the ground running.”