Legal Fellowship 2014

  • About the Sustainable Economies Legal Fellowship: In 2014, SELC will offer between three and five fellowships to attorneys and recent law school graduates. The fellowship will be unpaid, and the purpose is to provide training, mentorship, and other resources to attorneys beginning new law practices and projects to serve the legal needs of local sustainable economies. Fellows will receive at least 25 hours of free classroom training for CLE credit, will receive mentorship from SELC staff and volunteer attorneys, and may take part in a variety of hands-on learning and networking opportunities offered at SELC.
  • Purposes of the Fellowship: The purposes of this program are to:
    • Help meet the legal needs of the growing sharing economy movement
    • Provide a launch-pad for new attorneys to establish sharing economy law practices in communities throughout the U.S.
    • Provide training to new lawyers on the legal needs of a sharing economy
  • Why: Meeting the legal needs of local sustainable/sharing economies requires that lawyers blaze new career paths and establish transactional law practices aimed at providing services to cooperatives, community-owned enterprise, urban farms, local currencies, land trusts, and so on. SELC recognized the need for this fellowship program when we realized that the vast majority of new law grads are reluctant to create these new programs. The ABA recently reported that 45% of law school graduates were unable to find legal work within one year after graduating. Many of these new graduates have chosen to take non-legal jobs, rather than to create programs serving the needs of local sustainable economies. This fellowship program will serve to provide training and support to attorneys and new graduates, serving as a launch pad for the creation of new law practices and programs throughout the country.
  • Who: New law school graduates and experienced attorneys are welcomed to apply.
  • When: The duration of the Fellowship will be September 2014 through September 2015.
  • Where: Classroom training will be provided at SELC’s offices in Berkeley/Oakland. Fellows will also be invited to attend SELC's weekly Resilient Communities Legal Cafes in Richmond, Berkeley, North Oakland, and East Oakland, in order to observe legal advice in action and to gain hands-on experience under the guidance of experienced attorneys.
  • How to Apply: Fellows will be accepted on a rolling basis. Between October 15, 2013 and August 1, 2014, please send a resume, 1-2 page cover letter, and 1-2 writing samples to Janelle Orsi at  In the cover letter, please tell us what motivates you to serve the needs of local sustainable economies, and also describe the law practice or project you might start. What would be the goals of the project or law practice?  Who would you serve?  What areas of law would it involve?  For the writing sample(s), we would appreciate seeing a sample of legal writing (such as a brief, memo, or law journal article) and a sample of writing aimed at lay-people or the general public, such as a blog post, article, or any other piece of writing you think demonstrates your communication skills.