Sign up! Join the BALI Community

Sign up! Join the BALI Community

Want to build a law practice? Have social impact? Be your own boss?

Next Cohort Starts February 2017

BALI will open selection for the February 2017 cohort in summer 2016.

Applications will be available in April 2016 and due in summer 2016. The 2017 cohort will enter the program in February 2017. 


Are you:


  • Interested in creating a rewarding career on your own terms?
  • Nervous about starting your own law practice without a community of peers and mentors?
  • 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:


  • A modest stipend for 6 months to help you pay bills while you set up your practice
  • Access to a community of entrepreneurs also building their practices
  • Modest means, fee-generating client referrals from the Alameda County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
  • Shared office space within a hub at the Alameda County Law Library in Oakland, California, within two blocks of BART and with regular client walk ins.
  • Hands-on experience and mentoring through part-time, pro bono placement
  • In-house training and mentoring in substantive law, law practice management, new technologies and innovations to accelerate your practice’s growth, and practical techniques for building a successful and sustainable practice
  • Numerous free resources, including: client referrals, web site development and support, Lexis/Nexis, Clio case management software, CEB and OnLaw resources, PLI continuing education, and much more


Pay no overhead costs for the first 6 months, and reduced overhead thereafter.

Want to hear more about the benefits of legal incubators? The American Bar Association's video "In Their Own Words" depicts the benefits of legal incubators nationally, as described by incubator attorneys themselves - highlighting opportunities for public service, the value of practice management training and mentor relations, and the advantages of camaraderie with one another.

Source: ABA Incubator / Residency Programs


BALI is a collaborative project of the Alameda County Bar Association, Volunteer Legal Services Corporation and five Bay Area law schools: Berkeley Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, Santa Clara Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law, and University of San Francisco School of Law.

You must be a 3rd year student or graduate of a participating school to apply. Each participating law school sets its own selection criteria and selects up to three recent graduates for the program annually, contingent on minimum, required participation. You will be asked to comply with application requirements and procedures of your participating law school alma mater.


You must demonstrate: an entrepreneurial spirit; commitment to opening and building a low-fee/modest means practice; and commitment to access to justice.

You must be admitted to, and in good standing with, the State Bar of California by the program start date.

Still have questions? Check out the San Francisco 8/6/15 webinar on our program, the slides are featured below. 


Current 3Ls and alumni from partner law schools are eligible to apply. For application information, please contact the appropriate representative from the list below from your school of graduation.

GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Andrea Loh, Director of Employer Outreach, Law Career Development,, (415) 369-5223

SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Deborah Moss-West, Executive Director, Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center,, (408) 554-2766

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, SCHOOL OF LAW, Melanie Rowan, Associate Director for Public Interest Programs, Career Development Office,, (510) 664-4862

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, HASTINGS COLLEGE OF THE LAW, Fairuz Abdullah, Associate Director of Public Interest Programs,, (415) 581-8867 or Sari Zimmerman, Assistant Dean, Office of Career & Professional Development,, (415) 565-4856

UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO SCHOOL OF LAW, Johanna Hartwig, Assistant Dean, Career Planning and Legal Community Engagement,, (415) 422-6757