Traditionally, law schools have taught students how to practice law by training them in analysis, legal research and writing, public policy, statutes, legal remedies, and an array of other skills central to being an effective attorney.
With the teaching of so much theory, what many law students lack are the skills needed to put theory into practice. For example, absent from the curriculum in many law schools is practical training on how to start and run an economically viable law practice. Touro Law’s curriculum and practical approach to teaching have always been ahead of the curve since being a solo or a small firm practitioner is especially important to Touro Law graduates, as many choose to return to their hometowns and neighborhoods as solo practitioners providing affordable, critical legal services to underserved communities.
CJCLI borrows from the model of successful business incubators designed to assist micro entrepreneurs create economically viable businesses. Touro Law’s model has an additional goal of helping CJUCLI attorneys create law practices that address unmet legal needs of individuals of moderate to low incomes living and working on Long Island and in the greater metropolitan area.
CJCLI supports the start-up efforts of 12 TLC graduates over an 18-month period as they face the challenges of establishing small, community-based firms. For example, CJCLI offers training in basic law office management practices, including billing, record keeping, technology, bookkeeping, etc. Training in also offered in areas of law such as immigration, family, landlord-tenant law and in other topics that will arise as these attorneys build their practices. Lastly, CJCLI provides opportunities for its members to engage in community-based justice initiatives designed to increase access to justice.
With CJCLI in place, TLC is in a perfect position to prepare its graduates to use their privileged role as a community-based lawyer as a catalyst for social change and for ensuring greater equity in access to justice. TLC is proud to support to its cadre of energetic graduates committed to increasing access to justice on Long Island and to share the CJCLI experience with law schools at home and abroad as they are called to respond to emerging developments in the legal profession and to community needs.