Latest incubator attorneys get ready to launch

January 24, 2019

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A new cohort of attorneys is ready to help bridge the access to justice gap by serving moderate-income clients with everything from business start-ups to estate management.

Tyler Merrill, Morgan Lake, Stan Perkins, Kiona Gallup, Jeff Hamilton, and Aaron Knapp. Not pictured: Laurel Brown. (Photo by Matt Lipsen)

Seattle University School of Law announced the participants in the 2019 Low Bono Incubator Program this month. The program, which launched its first cohort in 2014, provides training, guidance, and resources to help alumni manage a solo or small firm practice that offers reduced-fee, high-quality legal services.

Recent alumni "incubate" their new law practices for 12 months, receiving guidance from Program Director Stan Perkins '85 and other mentors along the way.

The 2019 incubator participants are Laurel Brown '16, Kiona Gallup '16, Jeff Hamilton '17, Aaron Knapp '17, Morgan Lake '16, and Tyler Merrill '15.

Laurel Brown '16 is the founder of Laurel Brown, Attorney and Counselor at Law. Her practice focuses on estate planning, elder law, mediation, and some landlord/tenant. Law is a second career for Brown as she spent many years running a construction business with her late husband as well as creating and selling stained glass art.

Kiona Gallup '16 is the founder of Community Advocates Northwest which she incorporated in the last year but started taking clients for in December 2018. Gallup practices exclusively in the area of family law and spent the past two years working in family law firms before decided it was time for her to branch out on her own.

Jeff Hamilton '17 graduated from the dual degree program at Seattle U, earning both an MBA and JD. In 2018, he joined forces with 2018 incubator participant Jeff Habersetzer '17 and they formed Habersetzer Hamilton PLLC. Hamilton focuses on business and leans toward working with entrepreneurs and start-ups. He plans to pursue business, family law, and employment law.

Aaron Knapp '17 spent many years working in the crypto currency field before opening his own law firm with a focus on estate planning. Knapp has yet to incorporate, but it is his goal to get off the ground this year. The trusts and estates clinic at the law school motivated him to pursue this practice area. Knapp was a high-level baseball player in college and this competitive spirit drives him in the law.

Morgan Lake '16 has practiced as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. Most recently he has had a felony contract in Grays Harbor County and Renton Municipal Court. Lake incorporated as Lake Law PLLC in 2017 to practice both consumer law and trusts and estates.

Tyler Merrill '15 has worked exclusively in family law since graduation both as a contractor and associate attorney. Merrill has a young child at home and decided to open his own firm in hopes of having a better balance with home life. The Law Office of Tyler L. Merrill was incorporated in July 2018 with a focus on family law.

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