The Low Bono Incubator Program celebrated its fifth year of operation by welcoming a new class of attorneys who combine their legal skills with entrepreneurial business savvy to help moderate-income clients.
Seven recent graduates of Seattle University School of Law will receive mentorship and financial assistance for one year as they build small and solo practices. As part of the program, they learn how to structure their practice in a way that accommodates clients who can't afford a full-price attorney but also don't qualify for indigent aid.
The 2018 participants offer a wide array of legal services, including family law, criminal defense, and business law. All are committed to serving low- to moderate-income clients.
"I want to remove the intimidation and doubt that accompanies any individual seeking to start and run their own business, especially lower-income communities that might not have had the business exposure that other, more affluent communities might have," said Jeffrey Habersetzer '17.
The Access to Justice Institute launched the incubator program in 2014 in order to build the next generation of lawyers working to expand access to legal services. The program also features regular CLEs, hosted at the law school, that are free and open to all solo and low-bono attorneys.
"I believe you are the future of the legal industry," Dean Annette Clark '89 told the group of current and past incubator attorneys at a reception this week.
Stan Perkins '85, a successful personal injury attorney, provides funding for the incubator positions and mentorship for the new attorneys.
The 2018 incubator attorneys are:
Paul Barrera '16runs North City Law, PC in Shoreline. His practice includes business law, tax law, and estate planning and administration.
Andre Dayani '13 founded Dayani Law Firm. He is a former public defender who will focus his bilingual practice on defending people charged with misdemeanors and felonies.
Fatima Dilek '14 started Dilek Law, PLLC after working as a defender, prosecutor, and commercial litigator. She will focus on criminal defense, traffic infractions, and personal injury.
Jeffrey Habersetzer '17, who received a joint JD/MBA degree, is interested in securities, corporate governance, private equity, start-ups, and tax law.
Samuel Olive '16 and Heather Pelton '16 founded HLP Legal, PLLC, a Lynnwood-based law office serving Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties. Their areas of practice are bankruptcy, wills and trusts, DUI defense, juvenile defense, and FOIA law.
Harkiran Sekhon '17 practices criminal law in Kent and plans to serve that South King County's large working class population.