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New Center for Solo and Small Firm Practice will provide tools for success to legal entrepreneurs

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July 13, 2015

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will offer new programming this fall to meet the needs of its entrepreneurial-minded students and graduates interested in developing their own law practices. The School was awarded a $30,000 grant from the DeWitt C. Holbrook Memorial Fund to fund and expand its Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program to add workshops through a new Center for Solo and Small Firm Practice.

Beginning this fall, the Center will offer new workshops that focus on the key building blocks of successful solo and small firm practice. The workshops will give participants valuable legal and small business training and the necessary tools to build their own independent and sustainable practice. Each workshop will be a live presentation led by a professional with subject matter expertise, with simultaneous accessibility via web-based technology to reach those who cannot attend in person. Additionally, the workshops will be recorded and stored on the Center’s webpage, allowing for password protected on-demand access by future students and graduates.

The UDM Law Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program was established in October 2014 with one of only two catalyst grants awarded to law schools across the country from the American Bar Association. It was designed to provide a supportive environment for select new law graduates who are committed to beginning a solo or small firm practice serving low and moderate-income individuals.

The program was expanded in March 2015 as a result of a one-year grant from the Michigan State Bar Foundation to provide free legal services to senior citizens in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, including educating them on their legal rights, self-help assistance with legal matters, and appropriate referral sources. The State Bar also provided access to a practice management specialist and limited free bar-sponsored training for participants. In commenting on the new grant, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker stated, “The recent grant from the Holbrook Memorial Fund allows UDM Law to continue this tremendous program and expand its reach with the new Center to benefit all students and graduates.”

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