The Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) is a network of independent lawyers who are committed to making quality legal services accessible and affordable for regular people. Lawyers in the JEP offer fixed fees and flexible representation options (like unbundled, a la carte services) to help accomplish this. Their practices seek to be client-centered and emphasize approachability and collaboration between the attorney and client.
There is a large gap in our legal service delivery system for low and moderate-income individuals and families who earn too much to qualify for legal aid but not enough to pay for traditional legal services at market rates. People with modest incomes have very little access to affordable, reliable legal services. More people than ever are going to court without lawyers, and we believe many of those people could afford to pay something, but not traditional market rates. Increasing affordable, reliable legal services for these individuals will improve access to justice in our community. At the same time, new lawyers are increasingly looking for nontraditional paths into the legal profession. These lawyers are more technologically savvy, they welcome innovation, and they understand the need to reinvent the traditional law practice.
The goal of the JEP is to expand legal services to low and moderate-income clients by developing new market-based models of legal service through which lawyers in solo or small practices can sustainably serve clients with moderate incomes. The JEP practice models rely in particular on maximizing the use of “unbundling,” technology and fixed fees. Newer lawyers with an entrepreneurial streak are provided with essential support and resources to help them develop their practices into self-sustaining businesses. While the economics are different than traditional technology and business incubators, the JEP aims to duplicate the innovation and collaborative advances that have come through those programs.
We focus on serving the legal needs of low and moderate-income clients who typically have too much income to qualify for free legal aid but do not have the means to afford legal assistance in the traditional legal market. Our target market is generally defined as people earning between 150% and 400% of the federal poverty level.