Volunteering at the Legal Cafe

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Sustainable Economies Law Center's (SELC) Resilient Communities Legal Cafe!

Community Based Lawyering

There are three ways you can participate at the Legal Cafe whether you are a law student, legal professional, or community member who wants to increase access to community based lawyering in our communities! Below, find the descriptions of the different ways you can get involved at the Legal Cafe!

Please find the application at the bottom of the page. 

"Taster" (Observer)

Observer's observing the observant.

"Tasters" come to do just that: get a taste of the Legal Cafe! Tasters are able to sit-in on the legal consultations and learn from experienced attorneys on how to use transactional law to build just and resilient local economies.

  • There is only one “Taster” spot reserved at each Legal Cafe.
  • We want all those "tasters" interested in the Legal Cafe to become actively involved and part of the SELC community of legal professionals and community activists!

"Servers" (Non-advising Volunteer)Servers serving!

Server, or non-advising volunteer, at the Legal Cafe is a volunteer who does intake for clients, observes the legal consultations, and actively takes part in the operations of the Legal Cafe.

  • "Servers" are the first point of contact for clients coming into the Legal Cafe. Servers take part in the intake process and are paired with an experienced Legal Cafe volunteer to issue spot the client’s needs and refine the scope of service that the client might be searching for. Servers can also go between the different consultations happening at the Legal Cafe. This allows them to learn about the full breadth of knowledge that our "Chefs," or SELC's experienced advising attorney volunteers, provide.
  • Servers can be law students, legal professionals, and community members interested in using law as a tool for social and economic justice.
  • SELC recognizes that Servers also come with their own set of skills and we encourage them to facilitate Teach-ins at the Legal Cafe. If you are knowledgeable in a particular legal or social justice area, we welcome Servers to coordinate a Teach-in with the "Host," Legal Cafe Coordinator.

"Chefs" (Advising Volunteer)Chefs serving up the delicious legal delicacies that SELC has on offer!

A "Chef" is an attorney with the competency to provide legal advice in the areas of law that SELC specializes in providing.

  • The Sustainable Economies Law Center focuses our community based lawyering on transactional law, whether it be entity formation, securities law, employment law, taxation, etc. for nonprofits, social enterprises, cooperatives, urban agriculture, community owned enterprises, and other organizational models that create just and resilient communities.
  • At the Legal Cafe, SELC pairs attorneys together in teams of two or three (volunteers permitting), so no one is alone in providing legal advice. The advice session becomes a living classroom for attorneys, as consultations turn into discussions of the different interpretations and applications of law to the innovative ideas our clients present.


Thanks to our Partners and Collaborators: