LEJ Statement of Principles

Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice (LEJ) is a small business incubator for lawyers to establish socially conscious law practices.  These lawyers will develop market-based solutions to serve low and moderate-income Coloradans who cannot afford legal services at traditional firms.  Central to the project is developing innovative service models that maximize technology, leverage existing referral networks, and feature attorney-client collaboration and à la carte service offerings.

Lawyers participating in LEJ are committed to establishing successful law practices that:

-Focus on serving the legal needs of low and moderate-income clients who typically have too much income to qualify for free legal aid but do not have the means to afford legal assistance in the traditional legal market*.

-Concentrate on areas of law where the legal market does not provide sufficient access to legal assistance for low and moderate-income people.

-Seek to make legal assistance more approachable by placing deliberate emphasis on understanding clients’ perspectives and adapting to their needs, and by working with clients in a collaborative effort to address their legal issues and achieve their goals.

-Utilize innovative methods to make legal assistance more accessible and affordable for clients in the target market and to reach those clients, including:

-Exclusively using fixed fees and other alternatives to the billable hour in order to provide greater fairness, flexibility, transparency, and certainty to clients;

-Offering limited scope representation, when appropriate, to provide clients with additional options for representation; and

-Maximizing the use of technology to create efficiencies in practice that benefit the client and the law practice.

Lawyers participating in LEJ are also committed to:

-Collaborating with fellow LEJ participants and other LEJ partner entities.

-Actively participating in efforts to improve the profession, the practice of law and the larger justice system.

-Developing economically sustainable and replicable delivery models for meeting the legal needs of the LEJ target market.

*LEJ’s target market is generally defined as people earning between 150% and 400% of the federal poverty level or the HUD Poverty Guideline Adjusted Extremely Low-Income Limits. The federal poverty guidelines are available here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/01/18/2018-00814/annual-update-of-the-hhs-poverty-guidelines http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/tools-for-advocates/guides/federal-poverty-guidelines.htmlThe HUD guidelines are available here: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il2018/select_Geography.odn.