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BASF President Initiative Launches: Community Law Practice Incubator

November 15, 2016 -- San Francisco -- The Bar Association of San Francisco in conjunction with the Justice & Diversity Center is proud to announce the start of the Community Law Practice Incubator (CLPI) program.  After launching in September, the four inaugural participants are now receiving training in family law, bankruptcy and landlord/tenant issues.

The mission of the Community Law Practice Incubator is to develop a diverse set of skilled solo or small firm practitioners who will weave a social justice mission to serve the public into the fabric of their new law practice.  

The incubator participants receive training and supervision on pro bono cases referred to them through the JDC and mentoring on cases for modest means individuals referred through at BASF’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service.

Through association-wide resources available with BASF’s Continuing Legal Education department, section members, the Barristers Club and solo/small firm section members, the Incubator participants are provided education and networking opportunities and private practice mentors to assist their development both as small business owners and as attorneys in a changing legal market. The resources provided not only eliminate the need for costly overhead, but also provide participants with guidance, support, structure and clients to get through the first year and onto establishing a practice that is sustainable and serves our community.

An initiative of 2016 President Michael Tubach’s the Incubator takes the Mind the Gap program (an initiative of Chris Kearney’s presidency) to the next logical level in preparing new lawyers for the profession.  Thanks to 2013 President Chris Kearney, Keker & Van Nest, generous seed funding was provided for the Incubator.  In addition to Chris Kearney’s contribution, the remaining seed funding for the Incubator was provided by Michael Tubach, O’Melveny & Meyers and several partners from the O’Melveny firm.  

The Bar Association of San Francisco is proud to push forward an initiative which addresses the legal needs of our community while providing guidance and support to new attorneys. As our community and the practice of law evolves we hope that the Community Law Practice Incubator grows to be a resource and tool for empowerment, advocacy and justice. The program looks forward to a successful first year and will seek to expand the number of participants in 2017.

Please meet the four participants in the inaugural class the Community Law Practice Incubator:

Nick Goldman: "As a new solo attorney, I really appreciate the orientation to the field that the CLPI and its Boot Camp provide. Along with practical advice about how to start a firm, informative tutorials about various practice areas and the opportunity to meet seasoned professionals, I think that the incubator is a fantastic resource for an attorney who is looking to start their own practice. The pro-bono cases provide an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to help others in the community."

Jubilee Menzies: "The structure of the incubator provides a great opportunity to meet and learn from other solo/small firm attorneys as well as to reach out to the local community and provide legal services to those in need” 

Christine Sava: “The Incubator program is a great way to plug into San Francisco's legal community. I appreciate that we are being given the space to explore the type of practice that best fits our needs and interests. The attorneys that have been involved with the program represent a diverse cross-section of practice areas and office configurations—it's nice to know there's not just one way to be a successful solo practitioner”. 

Jason Yee: "I like that being in this incubator allows me to build my own practice while providing pro bono service to the community."


For more information on the CLPI or to refer a potential applicant, please contact the Incubator Coordinator, Hamid Yazdan-Panah at or 415-782-8912. If you are interested to make a donation to help sustain this program, please contact the Director of Development, Steve Love, at or 415-782-8917.