Many average income Americans need, but cannot afford an attorney. Private law firm rates are too high for many people confronting family, probate, consumer, housing, discriminatory work and other employment issues, and government legal services are underfunded and restricted to the poor. This problem is often referred to as the “justice gap.” The Accelerator trains students to make a living representing moderate-income clients, building the groundwork for rewarding legal careers while expanding access to justice.
Professional and career development advisors work individually with Accelerator students to assist with internship placement, development of professional networks, and long-term career goal-setting and planning. Accelerator graduates continue to benefit from school-sponsored practice supports including consultative services and trainings.
The Accelerator Practice Program is a fee-generating law firm embedded within the law school. Under the supervision of a clinical law professor and post-graduate fellows, third-year students learn both the lawyering skills necessary for practice and a replicable model for the creation of sustainable community-based practices.
After the first year of study, each Accelerator student will complete an internship in a selected solo or small-firm to gain practical, real-world experience in the practice of law and the management of a small law practice.
Lawyers can use technology to create virtual practices, reduce costs to clients, create legal apps and more. Accelerator students will be trained to use the most current tech tools to practice most efficiently and expand access to justice. The curriculum is supported by Suffolk Law’s Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation and includes courses like Lawyering in the Age of Smart Machines and Legal Document Automation.
Sustainable Law Practices
The Accelerator-to-Practice Program trains students in a fee-for-services practice, replicating successful business models focused on alternate fee structures and cases providing for recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs. Case selection, practice decision modeling and basic business skills are the focus of the program. This affords students an opportunity to learn reflective techniques that assess both the value to clients and the organization’s bottom line. Through the Accelerator-to-Practice Program, students learn a replicable model for building a sustainable and profitable practice.