New program helps NSU graduates start law firms

The deadline to apply for the Shepherd Broad College of Law’s new Legal Incubator program, which will give post-graduate law students the opportunity to launch their own law firms, is Feb. 1.

Legal incubators give low-income and moderate-income individuals access to legal services that they can afford and that they’re entitled to, according to Jayme Cassidy, Veterans Law Clinic director and staff attorney.

Cassidy said the goals of the program are to provide an environment to new attorneys so that they can grow a sustaining practice, to introduce them into servicing low-income clients so that they have a long-term propensity to give back to the community and to help the veteran community.

Participants will have access to office space, law office management training, mentors, continuing legal education and marketing opportunities. They will be required to work 200 pro-bono hours in exchange for office space in the Shepard Broad Law Clinic.

The Shepard Broad Law Clinic functions as a professional law firm, housing the Veterans Law Clinic, the Children and Families Law Clinic and the Dispute Resolution Clinic. The Legal Incubator program will focus specifically on serving veterans.

Cassidy said that the program’s focus on veterans makes it unique among incubator programs across the country.

“The veteran population brings multiple legal issues to the table, so it would give our new attorneys who apply for the program an opportunity to practice in almost any area that they wish to,” she said.

Post-graduate student attorneys will be involved in the program for one year, leaving after they’ve built a successful practice that they’ll be able to run on their own.

Ashley Mitchell, third year law student, expressed interest in the program and said she wants to start her own firm.

“I want to be my own boss,” she said. “When I start a family, I want to be flexible. I want to give myself the option to create a schedule that’s beneficial to my career and my family.”

Mitchell said that the program would aid her future practice by helping her save money, get exposure and experience different kinds of cases. She plans to apply if the program is still available when she wants to start a firm.

Cassidy explained that law is applicable to almost any area of life, so undergraduate students who are passionate about varying disciplines like science or politics can be involved in the law as it relates to that discipline.

“If you pursue a legal career in an avenue that you like, then you will be a successful attorney,” she said. “Lawyering should be about your passion, and it’s great to start thinking about it while you’re in an undergraduate program because if you’re undecided about your undergraduate major, you can take a step back and ask whether you’re doing the right thing now to take your career forward later. You can take your passion and make it your career.”

NSU law graduates can apply online at For more information about the Legal Incubator program, contact Cassidy at 954-262-6184 or

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