FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
LawBridge™ is a new program created by the Florida International University College of Law that combines approaches used in medical residency programs with those used in a business incubator settings. The program is tailored for the legal profession to better prepare LawBridge participants for the practice of law.
Recent graduates of FIU Law that have met all the requirements of The Florida Bar and have been admitted to practice law in the State of Florida. At the present time, LawBridge™ is limited to lawyers who have graduated within 12 months of being sworn into The Florida Bar.
Admissions to the LawBridge™ program are on a first come, first served basis. The application is available for download, and must be submitted to FIU Law for consideration. The processing fee is $50.00. A check or money order made payable to FIU can be mailed to the address below. Please email your application to Tony Santos, LawBridge™ Director, or mail it, along with your payment to:
FIU College of Law
Attn: Tony Santos
11200 SW 8th St., RDB 2015
Miami, FL 33199
Each LawBridge™ participant must sign a license agreement with the FIU College of Law which outlines the respective obligations of the participants. These include compliance with ethics and other professional responsibility obligations of the Bar, minimum insurance requirements, minimum attendance at key practice and professional development programs, pro bono service commitments, and other obligations specified in the license agreement.
A LawBridge™ participant will be expected to generate clients, perform legal services for such clients, bill for the services and collect fees owed. In effect, the participant will be establishing his or her own legal practice in a semi-controlled environment.
The LawBridge™ program provides each participant with an office area, desk, desktop telephone, copiers, fax machines, conference rooms and reception area. The general office space and office areas are designed so that each participant can meet the ethical requirements of The Florida Bar relative to lawyer signage, advertising, and client confidences.
Yes, LawBridge™ participants are expected to pay for services, including office space, at a significantly reduced rate. One of the key elements of the LawBridge™ program is to provide a cost structure to participants that enables a young practitioner to cover his or her expenses.
The License Agreement with FIU Law requires that the LawBridge™ participant secure his or her own professional liability insurance for errors and omissions with minimum levels of coverage. The coverage can be obtained from Florida Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Company or from any other carrier acceptable to FIU Law. Proof of coverage must be provided at all times.
Yes, participants in the LawBridge™ program will have access to a variety of online research and reference materials and tools. Research and reference materials and tools beyond those specifically in the License Agreement are the responsibility of the individual participants.
Each participant will provide his or her own telephone service, typically using cellular-based services, and a WiFi broadband wireless service. The participant is responsible for all long distance tolls and charges, and the purchase of any cellular or other wireless equipment and services, such as WiFi cards, Blackberry email services, etc.
Each participant’s term is limited to two years.
Each week the participants will have the opportunity to attend 1 to 3 hours basic skills training courses covering substantive legal topics, ethics, business skills and general law practice administration skills. Professors, seasoned practitioners, tax advisors, marketing professionals, judges, legal administration professionals and others will form part of the rotating faculty making the presentations. CLE credit will be obtained from The Florida Bar where appropriate.
The LawBridge™ program is supported by the legal and business communities and members of the judiciary. Networking with other lawyers and business professionals from our community is a key activity for participants. In addition to meeting possible business referral sources, these networking events will provide participants with valuable opportunities to put those skills and best practices learned during the weekly sessions to work. Weekly roundtables are conducted with participants to discuss skillset improvements and lessons learned from the previous week’s networking events.