The Sustainable Economies Law Center was awarded the 2017 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access by the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services. The Louis M. Brown Award recognizes our center for "improving access to legal services for those of moderate and middle incomes in ways that are remarkable and replicable." Our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe Program and our Fellowship Program are two ways in which our Center is improving legal access for those of moderate income.
Executive Director Janelle Orsi accepts the 2017 Louis M. Brown Award
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides direct legal advice, workshops, teach-ins, discussions, and legal services to businesses, organizations, and individuals that are developing sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs and other vital aspects to build just and resilient economies. Since its inception in 2013, the Legal Cafe has served over 600 worker cooperatives, cottage food businesses, urban farms, land trusts, housing cooperatives, local investment initiatives, social enterprises, nonprofits and other projects that strengthen local economies. Recently, our center published a "Practical Guide to Starting a Legal Cafe" to provide assistance to attorneys interested in establishing legal cafes in their communities.
The Center's Fellowship Program is an incubator supporting attorneys all over the country who are starting new law practices and nonprofit law centers serving a similar client base. Each Fellow receives training, mentorship, networking, and other support opportunities. Many fellows gain hands-on experience at the Legal Cafe, while others receive mentorship remotely as they take on the unique legal needs of clients such as homemade food entrepreneurs, housing cooperatives, and worker-owned businesses.
The award was presented on February 4th at the ABA Mid Year Meeting in Miami.
For more information about the Louis M. Brown Award and to see past recipients, read here.