Apply To The Justice Entrepreneurs Project
About The JEP Program
Participants in the JEP develop independent practices (including providing their own malpractice insurance) while receiving training, mentoring, and other support on business and legal issues as well as space and other infrastructure as they get started. During the first six months of the program, participants attend a two-week boot camp and weekly trainings thereafter on how to launch a law firm. They will also begin handling cases and start their structured pro bono or paid program with a partner legal aid organization or law firm. This component of the program provides hands-on legal experience and a better understanding of the legal aid community and the legal service delivery system in Chicago. The time commitment and program structure varies and will range between 180 and 416 total hours depending on the participant’s practice experience and situation at the start of the program. During the last twelve months of the program, participants develop fuller caseloads, continue to receive training, mentoring, and coaching as they prepare to move their practices out of the JEP upon graduation, and pay a participation fee of $300 per month.
Information sessions to learn more about the program are held monthly. The next info sessions are scheduled for 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Central Time on October 2, 2023 (virtual), 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central Time on October 13, 2023 (virtual), 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on October 18, 2023 (hybrid), and 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on October 24, 2023 (hybrid). You can register for the info sessions here.
We currently welcome new classes in January and June each year. We are now accepting applications for the January 2024 class and will continue to accept applications through November 3, 2023.
You can apply for the program using this google form. Applications consist of (1) a resume, (2) a law school transcript, (3) a statement of interest of no more than four pages describing (a) your vision for your life and how your business will help you achieve your life vision and goals, (b) your vision for your practice (including practice areas and target markets) and your participation in the JEP, and (c) a circumstance when you have demonstrated entrepreneurial initiative or another experience that demonstrates your ability to be a successful social entrepreneur, and (4) a lean business plan.
Selections will be made at least three weeks prior to the January 22, 2024 start date.