JEPY Award Voting Underway, Legal Service Delivery Innovation Award Hotly Contested

February 15, 2018

The JEPY Awards Ballot is live through Sunday, February 25. Votes are being cast for seven categories ahead of the February 26th Awards Ceremony.

Voting has begun for the Second Annual JEPY Awards, the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project’s public annual event recognizing achievement in bringing affordable legal services to the masses and celebrating innovative and community focused practices.

Formed in 2013, the JEP prepares talented and entrepreneurial lawyers in the Chicago area to manage innovative, socially conscious, and successful law practices. Through its robust curriculum, and by offering access to mentorship, continuing legal education, a network of like-minded individuals, and free or subsidized resources, the JEP empowers lawyers to build law firms that target the under served middle market for legal services. JEP lawyers build successful businesses by charging predictable prices, offering unbundled or a la carte service options, and leveraging technology to create efficiencies in their processes. In 2017 alone, JEP Network lawyers helped over 5,000 clients, 4,000 of whom likely made too much money to qualify for free help, but too little money to hire more traditional lawyers.

Once a year, JEP lawyers, community partners, friends, family, and supporters of all types gather to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of JEP Network firms at the JEPY Awards. This year’s award winners will be announced at the Lagunitas Brewery Tap Room in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood on February 26th at an event running from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. More information about the event, including the JEPY Award Ballot and event RSVP form, can be found on the JEP website. Voting will be open for the seven JEPY categories through Sunday, February 25.

The JEPY for Legal Service Delivery Innovation, perhaps the JEP’s most prestigious award, will go to one of four deserving nominees: Dembo Law, for its use of contingency fees and no up-front costs to secure disability benefits; Walczak Hernandez, P.C., for its a la carte fixed price divorce service menu; ChiCityLegal, for its small landlord subscription service, priced per tenant unit; and Chicago Advocate Legal, NFP, for its income based sliding scale fixed fees.

The “You Don’t Know Until You Try” JEPY will celebrate risk taking—specifically risks that didn’t pan out. In a profession notorious for its aversion to risk, experimenting and doing things differently is often as daunting for lawyers as it is necessary to innovate. Nominees all tried something new and, though none of the attempts panned out for their businesses, one will take home a JEPY for the effort.

The full list of JEPY nominees and winners, including other JEPY categories, will be posted after the event.

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