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Loyola University New Orleans Incubator Program Brings in Awards, Welcomes New Cohort

Loyola press release - January 20, 2016

The Loyola University New Orleans College of Law is pleased to announce that its recently launched Incubator Program welcomes a new cohort of attorneys starting January 2016. The program, launched in January 2015, has seen great success. The Pro Bono Project, a partnership of volunteers working to provide legal services to the underserved, in December honored two members of the inaugural cohort with awards for their service to the greater New Orleans community.

The College of Law’s year-old Incubator Program is an intensive mentorship and skills program for recent College of Law graduates who are engaged in solo law practice. The 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 including training on law practice management. Program attorneys also receive access to mentorship, peer feedback, and case referrals.

A recent major gift from Ed and Kathy Womac of the Womac Law Firm expanded the pilot program and supports the hiring of four new program attorneys. Joining the two-year program in January 2016 are Loyola law alumni Angela Davis ‘13, Nicole Oddo ‘15, Emily Posner ‘13, and Rachel Silvers ‘13. Three returning program attorneys, Jonah A. Freedman ‘13, Nadia G. Madary ‘13, and Lori Noto Alphonso ‘12 have already completed a year in the program.

The Incubator Program includes a pro bono requirement where program attorneys spend a quarter of their time on pro bono legal services to help low and moderate means residents of the greater New Orleans community access legal services. The pro bono requirement has been a tool for providing critical legal services to those who cannot otherwise afford attorneys.

“One year in, the Incubator Program has already had a significant impact in the New Orleans community, expanding access to legal services and helping young Loyola law alumni to launch solo practice careers in social justice,” said Davida Finger, Incubator Program director and clinic professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. “Program attorneys are able to address the ‘justice gap,’ by helping those who are at or below two hundred percent of the poverty line.”

The Pro Bono Project recently awarded Jonah Freedman the Distinguished Service award and honored Nadia Madary with a certificate of service. Freedman completed more than 550 hours of pro bono service to the greater New Orleans community in 2015.

“Jonah Freedman helped clients across a broad range of issues—custody, divorce, wills and powers of attorney, child support, a tort defense, and a complex fight over real estate involving a questionable transfer of title and usufructuary rights,” said Linton Carney, attorney with the Pro Bono Project.

“The Incubator Program is the sole reason I’m able to dedicate so much of my time to pro bono work,” Freedman said, upon receiving the honor. “The resources provided are invaluable time and costs savers to a solo practitioner, and I look forward to giving back by mentoring our new program attorneys in 2016.”

Freedman added: “As a new lawyer, I think my pro bono cases allow me to sharpen my legal skills, and get the much needed client appreciation to keep me going. I’m positive that no matter how successful I become, pro bono work will always be a part of my professional career.”

For more information about the Loyola Incubator Program including bios of all program attorneys, visit www.loyno.edu/lawclinic/incubator-program or contact Davida Finger, clinic professor and director, at 504-861-5596.