UMass Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek and Justice Bridge Executive Director Len Zandrow will join the SouthCoast legal community in celebration of the law school’s Justice Bridge incubator expansion from Boston to New Bedford this Monday, December 7, at 5 p.m. in New Bedford (257-259 Union Street). The University and the SouthCoast legal community will come together in recognition of the law incubator’s success made possible by a three-year $225,000 grant from the Bristol County Savings Bank
Since the launch of Justice Bridge New Bedford, the incubator has taken on 100 legal matters in New Bedford alone, ranging from housing and family court matters to bankruptcy and consumer cases. Approximately 1,700 matters have been handled by Justice Bridge attorneys from 170 communities since launching in Boston in August of last year.
Justice Bridge supports 14 attorneys (7 based in Boston, and 7 based in New Bedford), in addition to 42 legal mentors with more than 30 years of experience on average and more than a dozen of whom provide in-residence help in Justice Bridge offices on a regular basis. There is also a satellite operation in Taunton.
The goals of Justice Bridge, one of the first law practice incubators of its kind in the country, are to:
-- provide mentors, office space, technology, and support staff for newly minted attorneys to launch their own successful small and solo practices.
-- explore creative strategies to provide discounted, quality legal help to individuals and small businesses with previously unmet needs, especially in matters involving housing, child custody, debt consolidation and other civil cases.
-- test new methods for making legal representation more affordable and accessible.
-- refine UMass Law's curriculum in response to lessons learned.
The three largest southeastern Massachusetts communities in which Justice Bridge is currently processing cases are: New Bedford (100), Fall River (49) and Taunton (24).
UMass Law is the only public law school in Massachusetts and was established in 2010. It is conveniently located 30 miles from Providence, RI, and 60 miles from Boston, MA. UMass Law is committed to ensuring access to an affordable legal education for students who hope to pursue justice and serve others through the practice of law. UMass Law has been provisionally accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.