The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides accessible and engaging education for communities and legal professionals so that communities everywhere have the legal knowledge they need to create their own resilient economies.
Several times per year, the Sustainable Economies Law Center hosts half-day in-person workshops on how to start a worker cooperative and how to start a small food business. We also regularly host webinars on a wide range of topics, including legal basics for complementary currencies, how to implement workplace democracy in your nonprofit, do-it-yourself policy making, and more.
Our three flagship legal guides include "Think Outside the Boss: How to Create a Worker-Owned Business," "Legal Resources for Food Justice Enterprises," and "El Proceso Legal Para Iniciar Tu Negocio Cooperativa." Click here to read or download the manuals.
The Law Center also hosts five free online legal resource libraries - learn more on our Legal Research page.
Have a legal question but not quite ready to read a full legal guide? Then this series of bite-sized legal guides are the perfect first step to set you on the right path. Of course, they should not be relied on as legal advice, but are valuable legal resources nonetheless. Take a look.
Our Teach-ins provide practical, participatory, and action-oriented discussions around food, housing, livelihoods, transportation, and more! Click here for more information on upcoming and past teach-ins. If you'd like to teach or host a teach-in, please visit our Legal Cafe volunteer page.
Since 2010, we have taught many classes on various facets of practicing law in the sharing economy. In Fall of 2013, the Law Center offered a 10-class workshop series to attorneys and recent law school graduates. Click here for details of the workshops. We'll be offering a similar series in 2015.
Our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe is also a living classroom for law students, legal apprentices, attorneys, and others interested in cultivating the legal roots of more just and resilient economies. Visit our volunteer page to learn about opportunities for practice-based learning at the Legal Cafe.
Mapping the Regulatory Terrain
Developing a community energy project turns out to be quite the puzzle because our current legal system favors centralized and for-profit ownership of energy infrastructure by the wealthiest sectors of society. So we are mapping the legal and regulatory landscape to help communities navigate building community projects.
The Sustainable Economies Law Center's expert panelists discuss the legal barriers, policy opportunities, and steps to creating a new energy future. Click here to watch the webinar.
Subin Varghese, Director of Community Renewable Energy, explains how Sustainable Economies Law Center is piecing together the puzzle of community ownership in the energy sector.
Read more here.
☀ Profiling legal frameworks for energy ownership, governance, and financing
☀ Creating a lexicon of legal models for community renewable energy
☀ Drafting model legal documents for communities
☀ Creating cartoons and videos about community energy models
☀ Publishing Plain-English legal guides