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Justice Entrepreneurs Project – Principles, Standards, and Complaints
JEP Statement of Principles
JEP Statement of Principles
The Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) is a network of independent lawyers who are committed to making quality legal services accessible and affordable for regular people. Members of the JEP are selectively chosen for their commitment to this purpose.
JEP members are committed to building law practices that:
1. Serve the legal needs of regular people.
2. Are client-centered and emphasize approachability, compassion and collaboration between clients and attorneys.
3. Make legal assistance more affordable and transparent by offering fixed fees and flexible representation options, and leveraging technology to increase efficiency.
JEP members are also committed to collaborating with and supporting fellow members and actively participating in efforts to improve the legal profession, the practice of law and the larger justice system.
JEP Service Standards
Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) Network Service Standards
Law firms in the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (“JEP”) Network commit to provide excellent service in accordance with these standards.
1. All lawyers at JEP Network firms are licensed and in good standing to practice law in Illinois, carry malpractice insurance, and are committed to the Principles of the JEP.
2. JEP Network firms are committed to providing affordable representation options that include fixed fee arrangements and flexible representation options. JEP Network firms commit to make their pricing options transparent and accessible to potential clients.
3. Potential clients requesting assistance from a JEP Network firm can expect that the firm will provide an initial response to that request within two business days or sooner.
4. JEP Network firms make the following commitments to clients:
The JEP Network firm and its client will mutually agree on the objectives of the representation and establish in advance the fees and other expenses to be paid by the client. These objectives, fees, and other expenses to be paid will be outlined in a written client engagement agreement between the firm and client.
JEP Network firms will:
Establish communication guidelines with clients, including a procedure for regular communications and case updates;
Consult with the client about the means by which the client’s objectives are to be accomplished;
Keep the client informed about the status of the representation;
Promptly respond to reasonable requests for information and other appropriate communications; and
Bill and invoice electronically if requested.
5. JEP Network firms also commit to provide the following:
Websites that are up-to-date with respect to firm personnel, firm capabilities, and contact information; and
Electronic communication, including maintaining a functional email account and business telephone line with voicemail.
6. JEP Network firms commit to soliciting client feedback and promptly addressing client satisfaction concerns involving their services.
8. JEP Network firms commit to keeping timely appointments, whether in the courts, the office, or meeting places more convenient to clients. If a JEP network firm attorney is unable to make an appointment or will be late because of a conflict or for any other reason, he or she will inform the client in advance of the scheduled meeting time.
9. JEP Network firms commit to having a business continuity plan covering issues that will arise should the JEP Network firm be unable to provide services.
10. JEP Network firms are committed to abiding by the above standards, actively encouraging feedback from their clients, and working with their clients in good faith to address any disagreements about their representation.
Please feel free to provide feedback on your experience with a JEP Network firm by emailing email@example.com. Please do not include any sensitive, confidential, or privileged information regarding your particular case.
JEP Network Feedback and Complaints
The Client Complaint Review Process
Each JEP Network firm is an independent law practice, operated by members of the Illinois Bar in good standing who receive resources, education, and mentorship from – not supervision or oversight by–the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) of the Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF). JEP Network firms all commit to providing excellent service to their clients by operating in accordance with the JEP Service Standards.. We value the information we receive from clients concerning their experience with JEP Network law firms because it helps us continually improve the resources, education, and mentorship we offer to JEP Network law firms through the JEP. Maintaining excellent service standards is very important to the JEP! Accordingly, in some cases, client feedback may result in removal of a law firm from the JEP Network. Please note, however, that the greatest action we can take is to remove a law firm from the JEP Network and to refer the lawyer’s name to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC). Therefore, if you believe greater action should be taken, please contact the ARDC (see below for more information regarding the ARDC).
The JEP Network Client Complaint Review Process
If you are unhappy with the service you have received from your JEP Network law firm or you believe the law firm has violated one or more of the JEP Service Standards, we strongly encourage you to voice your concerns to the JEP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or through any client satisfaction surveys you receive after your case has been closed. Submitting your complaint gives us permission to contact your JEP law firm and inquire about the issue that has given rise to your complaint. Please do not include any sensitive, confidential, or privileged information in your complaint. Once your complaint has been submitted, the JEP Director will be in contact with you within two (2) business days with an initial response. If your complaint involves the payment of legal fees, please see “The Chicago Bar Association Committee on Professional Fees” section below.
The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois
If you believe your JEP Network lawyer or law firm has acted improperly, you should consider contacting the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and requesting that they look into the conduct of the law firm. Filing a request accusing a law firm of unethical conduct is a serious matter to the law firm so we recommend that, whenever practical, you first try to resolve any differences or disputes that do not concern claims of unethical or illegal conduct directly with the JEP Network law firm and then through the JEP Client Complaint Review Process (see the JEP Client Complaint Review Process” section above).
The Chicago Bar Association Committee on Professional Fees
If you and your JEP Network law firm have a disagreement about the payment of legal fees, we recommend you contact the Chicago Bar Association Committee on Professional Fees to help you resolve your disagreement. This service is free to the public and JEP Network law firms are required to participate in this process at their client’s request. Click here to learn more.