California and Arkansas Schools Join New York School Helping Students and Alumni Prepare for Practice
NEW HAVEN, CT (January 17, 2012) — Solo Practice University® (SPU), the leading online educational and professional networking community for lawyers and law students, is proud to announce strategic partnerships with two more law schools to help their students and alumni create and build sustainable solo practices.
SPU’s groundbreaking “Bridges” program recently welcomed law students and alumni from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) William H. Bowen School of Law and Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. Current and former students of these schools will join nearly one thousand other lawyers and law students who are taking advantage of SPU’s online classes, tools and other services to help launch or advance their independent legal careers.
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that by 2017, more than 40 percent of all working Americans will be self-employed,” said Susan Cartier Liebel, Founder and CEO of Solo Practice University. “Place that in the context of the legal profession, which already has a much higher rate of self-employment than other careers, and you see a clear trend that more law schools are starting to accept and act upon.”
“We are aware that more of our graduates are opting to hang their own shingles early in their careers,” Chapman University School of Law Dean Tom Campbell confirmed. “Many Chapman Law grads have already become very successful sole practitioners. But it is vital that graduates making the transition to solo practice in this difficult economy get the mentoring and training they need to make this career choice. Understanding how to manage a solo or small-firm practice is essential to new lawyers’ success.”
“Many Bowen Law graduates choose to start solo practices in small towns and rural areas, where the need for legal services is especially great,” UALR Bowen School of Law Dean John DiPippa pointed out. “By teaming up with Solo Practice University®, we can better prepare our grads for the challenges and opportunities of striking out on their own, thereby helping to improve access to justice for Americans.”
UALR Chapman Law and Bowen Law join inaugural SPU Bridges participant New York Law School, which helped launch the program at the 2011 Future Ed conference in New York City last April. “I commend our two new partner law schools for recognizing that their students and alumni need help in the legal job market today,” said Ms. Cartier Liebel. “Their progressive and innovative approach to legal education is the way of the future, and they agree that SPU is the next stage in the evolution of legal education.
“SPU’s mission is to bridge the gap between the knowledge law schools provide their students and the skills required by new lawyers,” said Ms. Cartier Liebel. “Our ‘Bridges’ initiative, which is open to law schools across the United States and Canada, expands that mission and gives law schools a way to supplement their students’ legal education with practical, skills-based learning opportunities.
“We are actively soliciting more law school partners that are equally committed to ensuring their graduates have access to practical, career-oriented training opportunities during and after law school,” added Ms. Cartier Liebel. “We will be announcing more partnerships soon.”
Founded in 2009, Solo Practice University® is the leading online educational and professional networking community for lawyers and law students. Currently comprised of more than 630 online individual classes presented by more than 52 faculty, Solo Practice University® provides access to expert advice, mentorship, tools, information, technology, and the professional network lawyers need to succeed in the current marketplace.
The essence of Solo Practice University® is collaboration. Experienced lawyers from a variety of practice areas teach the nuts and bolts of actual practice. Business experts in law office management, client attraction and retention, technology, social media, billing, accounting, marketing, and more, serve as instructors and mentors to those opening their own practice.
For more information about Solo Practice University and the Bridges program, please contact: