The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. Inaugurated in February 2013, the Legal Cafe runs semi-weekly at different locations from East Oakland to Richmond, California.
The Cafe series is a joint effort of SELC and the Green-Collar Communities Clinic (a project of the East Bay Community Law Center). Come, ask us your questions, and join others from your neighborhood who are taking their livelihoods, communities, and economies back!
SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS:
FIND LOCATIONS AND DATES BELOW!
- 1st Wednesday of Each Month (4:30-7:30 p.m.) @ Liberating Ourselves Locally Makerspace - 1234 23rd Ave, Oakland 94606
- 2nd Wednesday of Each Month (6:00-8:30 p.m.) @ the HUB in the David Brower Center - 2150 Allston Way, Suite 400, Berkeley 94704
- 3rd Tuesday of Each Month (5:00-7:30 p.m.) @ Alchemy Collective Cafe - 1741 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley 94703
No appointments necessary!
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe is a first-come, first-serve Legal Advice session. You might be asked to wait, but have no fear! There are always snacks, drinks, collaborative discussions, and the Resilient Communities Law Library to peruse. Feel free to come at anytime during the Legal Cafe hours to receive your legal advice and consultation from SELC’s competent volunteer attorneys. The attorneys at the Legal Cafes specialize in innovative organizational models, grassroots financing options, and government regulations around your business, nonprofit, or social enterprise.
At SELC, we know that small businesses, non-profits, and community enterprises building more resilient local economies are strapped for cash. That’s why we believe in creating different economic relationships that build community and trust without money! You can help strengthen the New Economy by “paying” for the next Client’s legal advice, giving back to SELC, or paying-it-forward in your community:
- The Bay Area Community Exchange (BACE) Timebank: BACE acts like a local community bank. The difference is, instead of money they keep track of time. For every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community, you earn one hour of use to have someone do something for you. With BACE, the currency is time and everyone’s time is equal. Participants of SELC’s Legal Cafe can “Pay-it-forward” by signing up to BACE and crediting SELC the time we provided you at the Legal Cafe!
- Bay Bucks: Bay Bucks is a a business-to-business (B2B) barter Trade Exchange, where locally owned companies can use their own goods or services to buy things they need – without cash! Businesses and non-profits can join Bay Bucks and pay SELC through this exchange. That way, SELC can buy goods and services from other organizations in the network for future programs, events, and trainings!
- Pay for SELC’s next Client: We provide Legal Advice to the community trusting that our Clients will help strengthen the Sharing Economy. In fact, individual donors drive our ability to provide these services to you! That means someone else has paid for your legal advice! Contribute to SELC and pay for the next Client who comes into the Legal Cafe.
- Receive our services as a GIFT: We understand that there are community members out there who don’t have the means or capacity to pay-it-forward. In that case, we offer our Legal Services to you as a Gift. ENJOY!
Teach-Ins at the Legal Cafe!
SELC provides education, training, and guided discussion on specific legal issues within the sharing, or new, economy. SELC’s teach-ins are meant to be practical, participatory, and oriented toward action. Teach-ins that SELC has hosted in the past include how to start a Cottage Food Operation (a.k.a. Home-Based Food Business), legal issues around Co-Housing, and how to set up and create systems of accountability within a worker-owned business. We are constantly trying to create new trainings, so please let us know if you have any ideas by emailing ricardo [at] theselc.org. Look below at SELC’s calendar for upcoming special topic Legal Cafes.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, please email ricardo [at] theselc.org.
If you’ve attended our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe after asking an attorney how much they would charge for the same legal advice, then you know how much you’re saving! Please help SELC continue the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe and give a few dollars here. Thanks!
Table of Contents
Why The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe?
SELC believes that because our current economic systems prioritize corporate profits over community resilience, they destroy opportunities for satisfying and sustainable work, damage the environment that sustains us, and unravel our sense of connection to one another. That’s why SELC is committed to providing reliable, affordable, and accessible legal information and advice to the people who are creating alternative economic systems. Through this work, we can help form the enterprises and entrepreneurs that will ring in the new economy.
About the Program
Those who want to create alternative economic structures have difficulty finding affordable and competent legal assistance because there are so few attorneys specialized in the legal needs of the sharing economy. Communities with high rates of unemployment and poverty will find the hurdles to launching new enterprises especially insurmountable. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe will give direct legal assistance to the residents of Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond, and at the same time create the reproducible model and resources to support similar programs around the country.
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe will provide events, workshops, legal advice clinics, and legal services supporting the creation of, for example:
Some of the Services
Weekly walk-in clinics. SELC is holding a weekly legal advice clinic at a soon to be announced cafe or community center.
One-time consultations. Resilient Communities Legal Cafe participants have the opportunity to receive one-time advice sessions with an attorney either at a low fee or without charge for low-income individuals.
Workshops. Between February and August, SELC will hold at least three community legal workshops on topics like “Legal Tools for the Sharing Economy,” “Legal Workshops for Community Food Enterprise,” and “How to Start a Worker-Owned Enterprise.” Stay tuned for event times and locations.
Community discussions. At least three guest lectures and discussions will help expand understanding of the sharing economy and cooperative enterprise.
Written resources. We’ve developed a series of legal handbooks and information sheets for clients to use and share with others.