Borrowing principles from successful incubators in the business and technology fields and with the help of a strong network of partners, the JEP provides training, mentoring, and other resources and support in a collaborative office setting to help participating lawyers establish sustainable law practices that provide affordable services to low and middle-income people and small businesses.
Core tenets of the JEP’s robust 18-month program include setting predictable prices rather than using the traditional billable hour, offering unbundled and flexible services, and leveraging technology to create efficiencies.
In addition to the direct impact of that work, the CBF is identifying successful and replicable practice models and creating a number of toolkits and resources to help to spread these innovations to the broader legal market.
The CBF originally developed and launched the JEP—and continues to provide core funding and a variety of other support—by bringing Chicago’s legal community together to support and collaborate in the program. A diverse and talented Advisory Board provides strategic direction and oversight of the JEP, guided by an overarching JEP strategic plan.
The CBF connects participating lawyers to its vast network of expert and experienced partners and supporters in the Chicago legal community. Through these partnerships, the JEP is able to leverage significant pro bono and in-kind donations valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to provide much of the training and resources for participants. The CBF’s position as a trusted partner of law firms, corporations, legal aid organizations, the courts, the organized bar, and various institutions of government gives JEP lawyers a firm connection to, and sense of place within, the larger Chicago legal community.