May 21, 2012
Columbus Bar inc Takes Home ABA Award
Last week Columbus Bar inc (short for "incubator") was honored with the 2012 Solo and Small Firm Project Award by the ABA General Practice and Solo Division, given for successful implementation of a project or program specifically targeted to solo and small firm lawyers. The Columbus Bar is the first in the country to develop an incubator program for new lawyers interested in establishing a solo law practice.
The award was presented during the ABA GP and Solo Division annual meeting in Charleston, SC. Daniel Tann, a member of the awards committee, said during his presentation that the committee found inc to be an impressive program. He commented that the solo practice group is growing nationwide due to the current economy. The inc program is helping to mold successful and responsible attorneys.
Jocelyn Armstrong, program administrator for inc, thanked the committee for recognizing the program and its contribution to the legal community. “The CBA is honored to receive this award. We owe our success to the Columbus Bar Foundation and the members of the local bar for their contributions and time.”
In April 2011, the Columbus Bar unveiled the program to accelerate the successful development of new lawyers in an environment providing an array of business support resources. In just under one year, six “inclings” have graduated. Three attorneys are preparing to leave the nest this summer, and there is a waiting list of candidates.
The inclings pay a modest monthly programming fee that covers an office, a specially designed CLE curriculum, mentors, networking events, and an office administrator. The CBF has provided a grant of $25,000 to help subsidize the program. In order to keep making this grant, the Foundation needs the financial support of our members. The need for inc continues to be great.
According to the National Association for Law Placement, the employment rate for new graduates is the lowest it has been in over 15 years. And, of those who are employed, only 68% have jobs that require passing the bar exam, and 27% are working temporary assignments. To complicate matters, 85% of law grads have an average debt load of $100,000.