New Incubator Cohorts Start Every February/September, Senior Attorneys Join Year Round
The Bay Area Legal Incubator (BALI) is a social-mission business incubator for solo practitioners serving modest means clients. It is not a firm. It is a community and network.
The program includes a introductory, one-year incubator program to help newer solos and recent law school graduates accelerate the launch of solo practices serving low- and middle-income clients in an array of practice areas. We also provide opportunity for more experienced solo attorneys to join and benefit as graduate fellows and attorneys in residence. Local communities benefit from legal assistance; attorneys benefit from a shared community, office space and resources, training in emerging best practices and technology, as well as coaching in law, practice management, marketing and substantive law.
BALI is a collaboration between the Alameda County Bar Association, four local law schools (USF, Berkeley, Hastings, and Golden Gate), and the Alameda County Law Library. BALI launched in January 2016 with cohorts comprised of alumni from the collaborative partner schools. Beginning in 2018, BALI attorneys may also include “Free Agents” or attorneys not sponsored by one of the collaborative partner schools, as well as Graduate Fellows and Attorneys in Residence.
BALI onboards new attorneys to our initial one-year incubator program every February and September. Attorneys may apply to stay on beyond that initial year, at BALI's discretion. We also accept a limited number of attorneys in residence - more experienced, solo attorneys who benefit from access to a shared, resourced work environment and business coaching, and who also contribute coaching back to the community - on a rolling basis.
- Interested in creating a rewarding career on your own terms?
- Nervous about starting your own law practice without a community of peers and coaches?
- Someone who went to law school wanting to make a difference?
If so, consider applying to be a BALI Attorney to get the resources you need.
Participants receive benefits valued up to $35k+ per year
- In-house coaching in law practice management and business development
- Assistance developing coaching networks in substantive law and business development
- Dedicated desk with file storage, shared conference room, and free scanning and black and white prints/copies in BALI’s hub—a co-working space within the Alameda County Law Library in Oakland, three blocks from BART
- Modest means, fee-generating client referrals from the Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA) Lawyer Referral Service (applicants are advised to research the regular volume of referrals in their areas of practice)
- Free membership to the Alameda County Bar Association
- Numerous networking opportunities
- Free Lexis/Nexis, CEB/OnLaw, Fastcase, and other research tools for a year; free Westlaw access while inside BALI’s hub
- Free case management software
- Free continuing legal education units in-house and through PLI and ACBA to accelerate your practice’s growth
- Access to a community of entrepreneurs also building their practices
- and much more!
Law school sponsored participants pay no fees for 3 months, then $250/month. Free agents pay $600/month; limited private sponsorships allow fee reduction to law school sponsorship level.
Want to hear more about the benefits of joining BALI? Hear from a few of our attorneys.
All applicants for our incubator program must demonstrate:
- An entrepreneurial spirit;
- Commitment to building and maintaining a low-fee/modest means practice;
- Commitment to increasing access to justice;
- Commitment to supporting the growth, development and promotion of BALI’s network of solo and modest means attorneys; and
- A plan to support oneself while building a solo practice and participating in BALI.
Applicants also are evaluated on the likely success of their modest means practice, as evaluated by review of the applicants’ preparation, skill, and experience.
Applicants must be admitted to, and in good standing with, the State Bar of California at the date of entry into the program.
There are four tracks for applying.
must be a third year student or a graduate of a participating school to apply. Please contact your school representative for more information. Each participating law school sets its own additional selection criteria and will select graduates for the introductory, one-year incubator program, contingent on minimum, required participation. You will be asked to comply with application requirements and procedures of your participating alma mater.
Free Agent Attorneys
are not sponsored by an individual law school and must apply directly to BALI’s Director for entry into the introductory, one-year incubator program. Contact BALI Director Cynthia Chandler for more information at Cynthia@acbanet.org.
are attorneys who graduated from the introductory, one-year BALI incubator program and apply at the discretion of BALI itself to continue within the BALI program. Graduate fellows both continue to benefit from BALI programming, and contribute to coaching, when applicable. Participation is on a month-to-month basis. Contact BALI Director Cynthia Chandler for more information at Cynthia@acbanet.org.
Attorneys in Residence
are experienced solo attorneys who both benefit from BALI programming, and contribute coaching, when applicable. Participation is on a month-to-month basis. Contact BALI Director Cynthia Chandler for more information at Cynthia@acbanet.org.
Still Have Questions?
Frequently asked questions are addressed in our Participant Handbook or
watch a recent information session featuring a few of our BALI community attorneys.