Alameda County
Bar Association

Bay Area Legal Incubator Ribbon Cutting 

For additional information

Contact Cynthia Chandler, Mentoring Attorney, BALI │ Bay Area Legal Incubator

Cell: 510.325.4127,, website:

May 11, 2016


Unprecedented Collaboration of Bay Area Bar Associations, Law Schools and the County Announce Opening of New Legal Incubator Hub

Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation will be celebrating the growth of BALI │ Bay Area Legal Incubator and the launch of its new hub at the Alameda County Law Library, with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by the Bernard E & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation on May 17, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (ribbon cutting at 7:00 p.m.).

BALI │ Bay Area Legal Incubator is an accelerator hub for attorneys launching modest means solo practices addressing many of the most challenging social justice issues impacting Bay Area communities.

The accelerator, which launched in Oakland in January 2016 after two years of planning, is the work product of an unprecedented collaboration in the legal community between the Alameda County Bar Association, Volunteer Legal Services Corporation, five Bay Area law schools (UC Berkeley School of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, Santa Clara Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, and University of San Francisco School of Law) and Alameda County Law Library. The accelerator’s new hub re-envisions 3,000 square feet of the Alameda County Law Library with support from the Bernard E & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation.

“It was essential at this time of economic divide and shifts in the legal economy for the diversity of the legal community to come together to launch an innovative legal center equipped to address both the growing justice gap and to support emerging modes of practice,” explains Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation CEO Tiela Chalmers, who originally conceived of BALI.

Fourteen attorneys joined the BALI community in January 2016. To date, the cohort has performed a staggering 3,100 hours of pro bono legal work for low-income Bay Area residents and has represented dozens of modest means clients earning below three-times the federal poverty level in a diversity of civil and criminal matters. Already it has become an invaluable resource in the Bay Area, increasing access to justice for those who otherwise would be without representation.

The legal profession has rallied around BALI’s launch. Over 50 attorneys and judges from across the Bay Area are volunteering to coach BALI attorneys. Free services from corporate partners are provided to participants, including LexisNexis, OnLaw, Clio, and more.

Cynthia Chandler, BALI Mentoring Attorney, is proud that, “we’re creating replicable models for sustainable, community-oriented practices and supporting a movement within the legal profession toward social justice and affordable legal services.”

The ribbon cutting celebration is open to the public. For more information about BALI, its design as a social mission incubator, and its recent successes, see