The Hawai‘i Emerging Legal Practitioners Access to Justice Project (“HELP”) 2017
• Have you wondered how you could provide legal representation to clients with limited financial resources?
• Have you considered starting your own solo or small-firm practice?
• Are you interested in practicing in the areas of estate planning, probate, family law, or guardianship?
If so, HELP may be the program for you!
What are they key benefits of participating in HELP?
• Training and mentoring to develop a successful practice that will provide access to legal representation to low and moderate income clients
• Business-planning assistance to help you set up your own practice
• Malpractice coverage reimbursement for one year
• Practical skills training in the high-demand areas of low-income client need, including estate planning, probate, family law, and guardianship,
• Referral network upon completion of the program
What exactly is HELP?
HELP is a legal “incubator” program to support lawyers who wish to develop solo or small-firm practices that will promote access to legal services for low and moderate-income residents throughout Hawai'i, including rural and urban O'ahu, as well as the counties of Kaua'i, Maui, and Hawai'i.
Legal “incubators” are based on business incubation programs, which are designed to accelerate the development of startup companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of resources and services. HELP uses this model to help public service-oriented practitioners create a financially viable practice that also serves the legal needs of residents of Hawai'i with limited financial resources.
Who is running HELP?
HELP is a program coordinated by the William S. Richardson School of Law, Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i, and Volunteer Legal Services Hawai'i.
How will HELP assist me?
A key component of creating a viable law practice that increases access to justice is understanding how to build a business that is successful and—at the same time—helps others. HELP participants will receive hands-on training in estate planning, probate, family law, and guardianship and use that training to provide supervised pro bono and low-cost legal services during the program. Through serving these clients, participants will gain valuable experience to develop their practices.
In addition, HELP will assist participants establish and learn to manage a practice, including learning business planning, how to properly set up client trust accounts, billing options, and other key concepts in running a business.
HELP participants will work with experienced attorney mentors. HELP participants will be eligible to receive stipends to help cover some start-up costs, such as malpractice insurance; travel from Neighbor Islands; and possible access to meeting room space for client meetings.
Who is eligible to participate in HELP?
You can apply if you:
• Are admitted to practice in Hawai'i
• Have a commitment to provide access to justice for those in need
• Are interested in estate planning, probate, family law, and guardianship
• Are available for weekend and weeknight training events from January through June 2017
How do I apply to participate in HELP?
Complete the HELP application and return it to the HELP Coordinator
(firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications will be considered until the program
is full or until the starting date in January 2017, whichever occurs first.