Community Law Practice Incubator

The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) has launched a new collaborative initiative - The Community Law Practice Incubator (CLPI).

Slated to begin this summer, JDC is currently seeking seed funding to support CLPI and expand legal services to a growing number of the underserved public.

The formula for success:
Train new lawyers & fill the justice gap

Why access to representation matters:
"In well over two thirds of critical cases in America’s civil courts, people appear without a lawyer, even though the stakes are often just as high as in criminal proceedings. Many people suffer crushing losses in court not because they’ve done something wrong, but simply because they don’t have legal help."
- Washington Post, June 2, 2015

Why the incubator can help make critical connections between those in need and those who can help:

"The national unemployment rate for law graduates has grown for the sixth year in a row to a whopping 15.5 percent, according to a report by the National Association for Law Placement. This unemployment exists despite soaring law school tuition.
- Huffington Post, January, 2015

In order to increase pro bono and modest means legal services for the underserved public, The Bar Association of San Francisco seeks to undertake the development of a legal practice incubator for attorneys within their first two years of practice.

In partnership with its Lawyer Referral and Information Service, Justice and Diversity Center (JDC) pro bono services, Continuing Legal Education department, Barristers Club and the award winning Mind-the-Gap program for new lawyers, many programmatic pieces are already available to initiate an incubator, yet the need for coordination to create the structure, materials and oversight necessary for success, needs seed funding.

Justice & Diversity Center

The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) provides pro bono legal and related social services to low-income and homeless San Francisco residents and to nonprofit organizations that serve these communities. We provide these services primarily through the use of volunteer attorneys. JDC takes a holistic approach to legal services, seeking to address the full range of legal and social services issues that prevent our clients from retaining stability in their lives.

Read some of JDC's impact stories here:

Continuing Legal Education

The Bar Association of San Francicsco's CLE department provides over 200 in-person and online seminars offered for professional growth and approved for MCLE credit.

Check out the CLE calendar to see the upcoming offerings:

San Francisco-Marin Lawyer Referral and Information Service

The San Francisco-Marin Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) offers legal assistance from insured lawyers who are evaluated  for their experience in over 100 legal areas.

Every year, more than 50,000 individuals and businesses worldwide contact LRIS seeking qualified, experienced legal representation from San Francisco and Marin County attorneys.

Read some of LRIS's impact stories:

Mind The Gap

Mind the Gap (MTG),  a program established by 2013 BASF/ JDC President Chris Kearney, provides recent law school graduates who are unemployed or underemployed with training, work experience, mentorship and debt reduction information.

Learn more about MTG and its impact:


The mission of the CLPI is to develop a diverse set of skilled solo/small firm practitioners who will weave a social justice mission to serve the public into the fabric of their new law practice.

The primary goals of this incubator are to:

  • Provide reasonably–priced legal services to low income individuals
  • Increase the diversity of the legal professionals devoted to community service
  • Engender a career–long passion for serving underserved communities
  • Provide new lawyers with the skills necessary to run a successful law firm business

Your contribution today ensures that when CLPI opens its doors this summer, low-income individuals in need of legal services will have the access to representation they need.

Seed Funding Goal: $100,000



Benefits: Naming rights to CLPI's operations center, plus all benefits below.


Benefits: Name recognition on all training materials, plus all benefits below.


Benefits: Name recognition on all promotional materials, plus all benefits below.


Benefits: Acknowledgement in publications, website and social media.