Business of Law

Legal incubator dubbed 'Project Lemonade' gets $400K grant from MacArthur Foundation

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The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded a $400,000 grant to an Illinois legal incubator for recent law school graduates.

Administered by the Chicago Bar Foundation, the Justice Entrepreneurs Project has “great potential to develop replicable, market-based models,” a MacArthur foundation spokesman says in a written statement provided to Crain’s Chicago Business (sub. req.). The organizations hope to show how legal representation could be provided throughout the country to those who don’t qualify for free legal aid but can’t afford to pay standard legal fees,

The Chicago Bar Foundation announced the grant Thursday. The CBF provided $250,000 in funding and staffing services that helped get the project off the ground, and says pro bono and in-kind services by third parties are giving young attorneys the training they need to provide affordable legal representation, including a la carte legal services.

Partner Terri Mascherin of Jenner & Block chairs the steering committee for the project. It addresses three issues, she says: Unemployed lawyers who need to earn an income, “regular people” who need but may not be able to afford traditional legal representation and the limited funding of legal aid organizations.

“Our working name for the project for a long time was Project Lemonade,” she said.

Related coverage: “Legal incubator helps lawyers launch firms serving clients of modest means”

See also:

ABAJournal: “Jobs Corps task force promises to do more in coming year”

ABAJournal: “ABA looks to aid underserved clients and underemployed lawyers”

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