Want to Start Your Own Law Practice?



               The Vermont Bar Association and Vermont Law School invite you to apply to join Class #6 for the New Lawyer Incubator Project.  The project helps new lawyers transition into solo practice so they can provide legal services to people in underserved geographical areas in Vermont.

            The Project will run for 18 months in 2019-20 and will involve 2-4 new lawyers, on-staff lawyers at VLS and the VBA, attorneys in 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 meet frequently for peer review via phone and in person.  At weekly phone “rounds” lawyers will discuss cases and strategies as they take on clients and develop their practices.  At the end of their 18 months with the Incubator Project, attorneys will have gained practical experience and will 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.  Other benefits include free one-year membership in the VBA, free admission to CLE programs offered by the VBA, the chance to audit one class per year at VLS, enrollment in the VBA’s lawyer referral service, and much more.

            Two to four attorneys will be chosen to start in summer or early fall of 2019; start time may be adjusted pending results of the Vermont bar exam.


  • Each lawyer will set up a 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 business plan/strategic plan.
  • Each lawyer will obtain professional liability insurance.
  • Each lawyer will obtain 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  The original deadline has been extended, and the 2-4 positions will be filled as qualified applicants are selected.  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 explain 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 interview candidates as they apply to make decisions about members of the incoming incubator class.  Apply soon, as only 2-4 new lawyers will be chosen.