Incubate: (v) to develop, grow, take form.



               The Vermont Bar Association and Vermont Law School are partnering on an incubator project to help new lawyers transition into solo practice and provide legal services to underserved people and geographical areas in Vermont. We are now accepting applications for our fifth incoming class. 

               The Project will run 18 months in 2018-19 and will involve 3 new lawyers, on-staff lawyers at VLS and the VBA, attorneys who have graduated from previous classes of the Project, and volunteer seasoned lawyers.  This group will oversee the development of each new lawyer’s practice skills, and set up CLE trainings and mentorship opportunities.   Project lawyers will be linked via VBA on-line community and will meet frequently for peer review via phone and in person.  Lawyers will move through a series of tasks and trainings over the course of their 18-month involvement with the program, at the end of which they should have established a profitable solo or small firm practice in one of the underserved legal or geographic areas of Vermont. 

               A small grant will be provided to each new attorney to assist with law office set up expenses. 

               Three attorneys will be chosen to start in June, 2018, although start time may be adjusted pending results of the Vermont bar exam.


  • Each lawyer will be expected to set up his or her own law office in a geographic area of the state where that lawyer plans to settle.  Ideally, the new lawyers will have a clear presence in their chosen community. 
  • Each lawyer will develop a complete business plan/strategic plan.
  • Each lawyer will obtain his or her own professional liability insurance.
  • Each lawyer will obtain his or her own computer hardware, software and internet connections.  
  • Each lawyer will have been admitted to practice in Vermont prior to the beginning of the incubator term.  This includes passing the Vermont bar exam, and completing the character and fitness requirements.  Applicants may apply and be conditionally admitted prior to passage and completion of their admission requirements. 
  • Each lawyer will commit to take at least 4 pro bono and 4 low bono/reduced fee cases during the 18 months in the Project; total time devoted should comply with rule VRPR 6.1 standards.
  • Each lawyer will commit to settle in and practice law in Vermont as primary employment and will not actively seek other legal employment while in the Project.              


               Submit a letter of interest and CV to Mary Ashcroft  and Jeannette Eicks  no later than Friday, May 4, 2018.   In the letter, outline your preliminary business plan, state where in Vermont you plan to practice, what area of the law you may concentrate in, how you think the incubator project can help you in meeting your goals, and explaining your interest in developing a practice and serving underserved Vermont residents and/or geographical areas.   Include in the letter whether you have been admitted to practice in Vermont or where you are in the process.  Also include a CV with the letter.

               The Advisory Committee will make its decisions about members of the incoming incubator class on or about June 1, 2018. Only 3 new lawyers will be chosen.