ESQ.BUILD— Sole Practitioner Incubator for Memphis Law Grads
The University of Memphis School of Law Career Services Office, the Memphis Bar Association
(MBA), in partnership with the MBA Small Firm and Solo Practitioner Section, and the
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), is pleased to announce the launch of
an incubator for new solo practitioners, ESQ. BUILD. ESQ.BUILD is designed for new
attorneys (Memphis Law grads only) who are in their first three years of practice
to receive training regarding not only how to practice law, but how to manage a law
ESQ.BUILD was developed to offer recent law school graduates a program wherein they
are provided office space at a greatly reduced price, mentoring, CLE and other services
to assist them in learning how to start and run a solo or small law firm practice.
Participation in this program is limited to eight to ten attorneys who are selected during an application process. For one year, they will receive office
space at Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) at a greatly reduced cost (between $50
and $100 per month). Participants will have a private office and a conference room
to meet clients, but will need to provide their own phone, computer, printer, and
other office equipment. Participants will be required to handle pro bono cases for MALS, as well as donate a certain number of hours of service to the MBA.
The Incubator is designed to teach young attorneys how to obtain clients and market
their practice, so participants are encouraged and expected to generate fees from
their own clients. Seminars will be offered on obtaining court appointed cases and
cultivating referral sources. Participants will be assigned a lawyer mentor to shadow
and discuss the practical aspects of practicing law. They will also attend CLEs that
are geared specifically to teach them how to practice law, as well as learn how to
run a small business. Participants will also be paired with a non-attorney business
mentor affiliated with SCORE who will offer free advice concerning a business plan,
marketing strategy and general information regarding starting a business.
To be considered for this program, you must:
- Be a graduate of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law;
- Admitted to practice in Tennessee within the past three years;
- Have an active license to practice in Tennessee or have taken the Tennessee Bar Examination
at the time of applying for the program;
- Be a member of the Memphis Bar Association;
- Have professional liability insurance (if you do not have this, we can help you obtain
professional liability insurance once you are licensed. If you happen not to pass
the bar, you do not need to go forward with this program)
Except for reduced payment for office space, there is no charge to participate in
this program. Applications are available ONLINE (CLICK HERE); in the Career Services Office at the law school; or by contacting Anne Fritz at
the MBA (527.3575; firstname.lastname@example.org).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
What if I am awaiting bar results and don't have any professional liability insurance?
We can help you obtain professional liability insurance once you are licensed. If
you happen not to pass the bar, you do not need to go forward with this program.
I am not a member of the Memphis Bar Association.
You can become a member right now for a very low cost.
The service hours seem high.
We have lowered the MALS pro bono requirement to 10 hours a month and the MBA service
hours to 5 hours a month.
How much is the cost to have an office out of the MALS space?
It is only $100/month which is the best bargain you can find anywhere. You will be
building your practice while in the program so you can collect fees which should more
than cover the $100/month fee, especially since you will be given guidance on how
to develop clients from both your attorney mentor and non-attorney mentor.
What if I get a job offer while I am in the program?
You are not precluded from accepting a job offer if one arises during the program.
The application can be found by CLICKING HERE, and the deadline to submit applications to the Memphis Bar Association is Friday, August 15th. The graduate can hand deliver, fax or email application materials to Anne Fritz at
145 Court Avenue, #301, Memphis, TN 38103, email@example.com, fax: 527-3582.