BY ISN STAFF | August 11, 2015
NEW ORLEANS, LA – A new $118,500 gift to the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law from Ed and Kathy Womac of the Womac Law Firm will support the recently launched Loyola Incubator Program—a social justice oriented intensive mentorship and skills program for recent College of Law graduates who are engaged in solo law practice.
“This major gift will support enterprising new lawyers who want to use their Loyola law degrees to pursue social justice work and make a difference in the world,” said outgoing College of Law Dean María Pabón López.
In January, five young lawyers joined the law school’s inaugural incubator class. Program attorneys receive access to mentorship, peer feedback, resources, instructions, case referrals and training in law office management. The Incubator Program provides free office space to program attorneys in the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at the College of Law, along with free skills and CLE courses on law practice management and more.
The attorneys give back to the community by providing a significant amount of pro bono legal service throughout the program. Through the pro bono requirement, program attorneys spend a quarter of their time providing critical legal services to low-income and modest-means individuals who cannot otherwise afford attorneys and access to justice.
Starting in January 2016, a new cohort of participating attorneys will begin the program. With the generous support of the Womacs’ gift, the Incubator Program will now run as a two-year experience for program attorneys. The Womacs’ gift extends the length of the program, provides the stipends to program attorneys for their pro bono work, and supports the two year Incubator Program for the next three years.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Loyola College of Law graduates and for the Greater New Orleans community,” said Davida Finger, clinic professor and Incubator Program director. “This program provides our graduates with a unique opportunity for support and mentorship as they begin their careers. The pro bono aspect of the program represents the best kind of service in our profession and is hugely beneficial for people who cannot afford legal services, and we are grateful for the very generous support.”
The Loyola Incubator Program is now accepting applications for the 2016 year.
Loyola University New Orleans is a 2014-2015 institutional member of the Ignatian Solidarity Network and engages regularly in ISN programs. Recently Loyola sent students to ISN’s University Leaders Summit and staff to the Immersion Experience Coordinator Summit. In 2006, ISN hosted a national summit on Hurricane Katrina and issues of race in New Orleans, convening over 400 Jesuit university and high school students.
[Sources for this story included Loyola University New Orleans]