Affordable Legal Services
Too often low- and moderate-income Miami-Dade County families who do not qualify for free legal services opt not to hire an attorney because of the prohibitive costs. As an institutional member of the local community, the Florida International University College of Law is committed to providing solutions bridging this access to justice gap. The launching of the FIU Law Practice low bonoinitiative manifests our dedication. [“Low Bono” is a term used for legal services offered to families of modest income.]
FIU LAW Practice will offer affordable, low cost legal services in the family law area to low- and moderate-income families who do not qualify for free legal services FIU LAW Practice will assist modest income families falling within the 125% and 200% poverty guidelines by providing affordable legal services in the family law area. FIU LAW Practice will charge its clients, using a sliding scale based on the client’s ability to pay and offering flexible, installment payment plans. Fees for services will range between $75 – $125 per hour. FIU LAW Practice will utilize the legal clinic’s current screening process to confirm eligibility based upon federal poverty guidelines and levels.
Increasing access to justice for the local community, relationship building, and community engagement are all central to FIU LAW Practice’s mission. FIU LAW Practice’s strategic plans include an active public awareness and outreach program. FIU LAW Practice will establish strong connections with local community organizations such as Miami-Dade County governmental agencies, non-profits, churches and other religious organizations; local schools, college and universities; and other pro bono groups.
Given changing economic and law firm structural realities, the legal profession expects that law students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and experiences that will allow them to successfully transition into the practice, thereby making them an immediate and contributing asset to a law firm as either an entry-level attorney or as a solo practitioner. FIU LAW Practice will combine approaches used in medical residency programs with those used in business incubator settings. Two fellows will receive extensive training, mentoring, close case management supervision. The apprenticeship program is open to recent FIU Law graduates, admitted to the Florida Bar.
Karim Batista has been appointed as the Managing Attorney for the FIU LAW Practice. His responsibilities include management of the family law practice, development of the fellows’ apprenticeship program and delivery of clinical instruction to current students selected to join the FIU LAW Practice.
Michelle Mason, Senior Associate Dean serves as the community liaison for the FIU LAW Practice.
If you would like additional information as to this initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.