Justice Entrepreneurs Project

We Empower Lawyers To Lead

The CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) is an incubator empowering lawyers to lead socially conscious law firms and innovative businesses that offer valuable, cost-effective legal services and products to consumers of all incomes. The JEP draws on principles of entrepreneurship and experimentation common in the tech startup community to develop disruptive, market-based models to improve access to legal services.

“We all support each other, whether it’s sharing templates, best practices, referrals, or moral support. At the end of the day, we as attorneys are best able to fulfill our mission of providing affordable and accessible legal services when we help each other succeed. It may take some time to shift the culture of the wider legal profession, but I’m proud to be a part of a network that actively works on effecting positive changes in our field.”Ericka McFee, Founder of McFee Law Office, P.C.

Program Overview

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. 

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.

Apply To The JEP

Are you a lawyer interested in obtaining the skills and resources necessary to build an innovative and successful law practice targeting the middle market? Are you interested in making a positive impact on your community as a social entrepreneur? Do you value autonomy and wellbeing? If yes, then the JEP might be a good fit for you. 

To learn more about the application process and if the program is a good fit for you, visit here

Program Partners

The JEP program would not be possible without the dedicated and diverse network of partners from throughout the legal, technology, business and philanthropic communities who are providing key pro bono and in-kind support. What sets JEP lawyers apart, what gives them an edge as they expand access to justice, are the resources available through the JEP and the CBF. Interested in partnering with the JEP? Contact Samoane Williams, Director of the JEP, at swilliams@chicagobarfoundation.org.

Advisory Board

Chair
Dan Cotter
Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC

IV Ashton
Legal Server

Chris Esbrook
Esbrook Law LLC

Daniel R. Hernandez
NextLevel Law, P.C.

 

Jenny R. Jeltes
Law Offices of J Jeltes Ltd.

Sean Kruskol
Cornerstone Research

Margot Klein
Ogletree, Deakins Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Matthew Passen
Passen & Powell

Trisha M. Rich
Holland & Knight

Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea
DePaul University College of Law

Questions? For more information on the JEP contact Samoane Williams, Director of the JEP, at swilliams@chicagobarfoundation.org