Starting Your Own Law Practice?


            We are looking for 2-4 new and new-to-Vermont lawyers who want to start and grow their own solo law practices in the Vermont. 

About Us:

               The Vermont Bar Association and Vermont Law School teamed up 7 years ago to start a local, low budget incubator project for new lawyers.  So far, we have helped 14 attorneys develop their law practices and hone their legal and business skills to help Vermonters.  It’s time to welcome another group of 2-4 attorneys into the Project.  The Project is overseen by VBA staff lawyers Mary Ashcroft, Jennifer Emens-Butler and Teri Corsones, and by VLS professor Jeannette Eicks. 

Incubator Attorney Benefits:

a)  For 18 months, you receive individual and group mentoring and support.

b)  You receive a reimbursement stipend of $2,000 to pay for law office start-up costs.

c)   In weekly phone “rounds” with your peers—including incubator attorneys from the previous class--you review strategies, progress on your cases, the business of lawyering and ethical issues.

d)  You receive free one-year membership in the VBA, free admission to VBA’s CLE programs and our Lawyer Referral Service, and the opportunity to audit one VLS course.

e)  You meet in person or virtually with incubator colleagues to learn about law practice management, ethics and trust accounting, tech support and to review progress on your first-year admission goals and business plans. 

f)  You receive numerous case referrals through our low bono programs.

g)  Stumped by a legal question or situation?  We link you with an attorney who can advise and mentor.   

Incubator Lawyer Responsibilities:

a)  Set up a solo law office, preferably in an underserved part of Vermont. Become an active part of your community.

b)  Develop a business plan/strategic plan, and self-monitor your progress toward your goals.

c)   Obtain professional liability insurance, computer hardware, software and internet connections.  

d)  Be 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; the program will assist you to complete your first-year mentoring and CLE requirements.  NOTE:  Applicants may apply and be conditionally admitted prior to passage and completion of their admission requirements. 

e)  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.

f)  Commit to settle in and practice law in Vermont as your primary employment, and not actively seek other legal employment while in the Project.           

How to Apply:

a)  Send a letter of interest and resume/CV to Mary Ashcroft  and to Jeannette Eicks  no later than noon on Friday, February 19, 2021

b)  In the letter, outline your preliminary business plan and tell us where in Vermont you plan to practice, what type of law interests you, how you hope the incubator project will help you, and how you expect to serve underserved Vermont residents and/or geographical areas.  

c)  Include in the letter whether you have been admitted to practice in Vermont or where you are in the admission process. 

d)  Your resume/CV should include clinic, clerking and real-life experiences as well as law studies. 

e)  We will interview applicants for the Project in January and February, and announce the members of the incoming incubator class in late February, 2021.


Questions?  E-mails Mary Ashcroft or Jeannette Eicks at the addresses above.