UConn School of Law is launching a new Hartford-based incubator in February to provide affordable legal services to people who need it and help lawyers establish solo practices.
Dubbed the Connecticut Community Law Center, the incubator is an initiative of the law school and the Hartford County Bar Association that aims to help people traditionally underserved by the justice system. That typically includes low- and moderate-income clients who don't qualify for legal aid but can't afford standard legal fees.
The center and the Justice Legal Center at the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport, also scheduled to open early this year, will be the first in Connecticut.
Attorney Mark Schreier was appointed director of the center in October. The incubator is set to open in William F. Starr Hall on the UConn Law campus in Hartford.
In addition to the services of the director, the law school will provide office space and support – including training, guidance, and legal research resources – for up to six solo practitioners. The Hartford County Bar Association and the law school faculty will provide mentors, and Greater Hartford Legal Aid will help with training and referrals.
The subsidized working environment will allow participating lawyers to provide legal services at a modest cost that is lower than standard legal fees, with each lawyer setting the fee on a case-by-case basis.
Schreier said he expects cases to involve a wide range of legal problems, including family, consumer, probate, housing, bankruptcy, employment, immigration, and other general civil matters.
Schreier is a University of Michigan Law School graduate who relocated to Hartford after almost three decades as a civil litigator in Michigan, where he specialized in catastrophic injury claims and insurance law.