The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe is a first-come, first-serve, donation-based legal advice clinic, providing a collaborative space for community building and connecting.
This cafe is co-hosted by Alchemy Collective Cafe, a worker-owned business that serves delicious coffee!
For more information about the Legal Cafe, including the areas of law we specialize in, our upcoming teach-ins, and more, please visit www.theselc.org/cafe.
1741 Alcatraz Ave
Berkeley, CA 94703
Google map and directions
By Sustainable Economies Law Center Staff Attorney, Cameron Rhudy
It’s Here, it’s Here, it’s Finally Here! Our Guide to Starting a Legal Cafe
Over the years we have received many inquiries from attorneys who want to start legal clinics in their community that resemble our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe. In response, we have created our Practical Guide to Starting a Legal Cafe, a comprehensive guide for how to do just that. In the guide you will learn how to get the basics of your Legal Cafe in place and how to create that unique Legal Cafe experience. The guide also includes sample intake documents and a breakdown of tasks for scheduling and planning your Legal Cafe.Read more
Start a Legal Cafe in Your Community!
Thank you for your interest in starting a Legal Cafe in your community. Below you will find a working draft of our "Practical Guide to Starting a Legal Cafe."
NOTE: This guide is a work-in-progress and will be updated as we continue to improve upon our Legal Cafe and receive feedback from those interested in starting a Legal Cafe in their community. So please help us continue to improve this guide by sending your questions, feedback, or comments about the guide to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE CONTENTS OF THIS GUIDE SHOULD NOT BE RELIED ON AS LEGAL ADVICE.
ALSO, SOME OF THIS INFORMATION COULD BECOME OUTDATED, AND LAWS AND REGULATION OF THE PRACTICE OF LAW VARIES FROM PLACE-TO-PLACE. FURTHERMORE, ALTHOUGH WE TRIED TO COLLECT ACCURATE INFORMATION, SOME INFORMATION IN THIS GUIDE COULD EVEN TURN OUT TO BE INCORRECT OR SUBJECT TO OTHER INTERPRETATIONS BY COURTS OR REGULATORS! WE SURE HOPE THAT’S NOT THE CASE, BUT, WHAT CAN WE SAY? LAW AND REGULATION OF THE PRACTICE OF LAW IS COMPLICATED STUFF! THAT IS WHY WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU REFER TO ANY APPLICABLE LAWS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS THAT APPLY TO THE LOCATION OF YOUR LEGAL CAFE.
About the Guide
In February of 2013, the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) created an unusual “legal clinic” that we call the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe (Legal Cafe). Three years later, after providing legal support to more than 500 enterprises and organizations, and offering workshops for more than 2000 attendees, we have come to believe that the Legal Cafe is one of the most important and impactful projects our organization has ever created. The Legal Cafe has been instrumental in the launch of countless new micro-enterprises and organizations because of its community-oriented approach and unique strategy for providing accessible grassroots legal advice to community-focused entrepreneurs and change-makers. Part of that strategy was transforming the experience of receiving legal advice into a welcoming, lively, and empowering one for clients. In 2014, we received meritorious recognition from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services for our innovations in legal service delivery.
We have heard from groups around the world who are interested in replicating the model. This Guide represents our best attempt to document lessons learned and share resources we have created. Our Legal Cafe has evolved in many ways and we are constantly improving it. We hope to update this Guide regularly by incorporating new ideas not only from SELC’s Legal Cafe, but also from groups that start their own Legal Cafes based on this model.
Find out what others say about their experience at the Legal Cafe!
We want to live in a society where reliable and affordable legal support is available to all those creating the transition to localized, resilient economies.
The primary way that the Sustainable Economies Law Center provides legal advice is through our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe.
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides direct legal advice, workshops, teach-ins, discussions, and legal services to businesses and organizations that are trying to make their communities a better place to live. Legal advice is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, so no appointment is necessary. Find our where the next Legal Cafe is and sign up here!
At the Legal Cafes, our staff and volunteers specialize in serving cooperatives, nonprofits, cottage food businesses, social enterprises, urban farms, complimentary currencies, time banks, and small businesses. We provide advice and legal consultations around the following legal areas:
Legal formation for small businesses
Legal entity choice
IP agreements and licensing
Food Safety Laws
Seeking ongoing legal representation?
Due to limited staff capacity, the Sustainable Economies Law Center very rarely provides ongoing legal representation. Nearly all of our past clients have come through the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe first, so why not start there?!
We are only able to provide low- or no-cost legal advice because of the generous support of people like you! Support our capacity to provide legal services for a people powered economy here and see why others support our work here!
On Sunday, September 21st, over 300,000 people from across the globe gathered in the streets of New York to demand action on climate change. Here in the Bay Area, we're co-creating a solutions-based movement to transform our economies - read on for all the ways to get involved in the coming months!
IN THIS EVENTS BLAST
A Fall Celebration, Conferences, Workshops, Happy Hours, Oh my!
Pay-it-Forward Legal Advice for the Sharing Economy
Please help us create a more effective and accessible Legal Cafe by taking a few minutes to answer our questions as honestly and thoroughly as you wish. Skip any questions you want.
*Sustainable Economies Law Center will never share your identity, contact info, or address. The purpose of this survey is to help us evolve our programming and to understand our community better. Please do NOT uncheck the box "Send me email updates" unless you NEVER want to be contacted by the Sustainable Economies Law Center again.
From everyone at the Law Center, we thank you!Take the survey
Happy Spring, SELC supporters! We’ve been busy preparing the soil of a new legal landscape that supports community resilience. Will you help us sow seeds of resilience this spring?
Help us legalize sharing and grow the movement for more just and resilient economies - join our Community TODAY by becoming a SELC Community Member!
Like a community-supported farm, SELC thrives when our community invests in our work - whether that is an investment of time or money. That’s why we are excited to launch our new Community Membership Campaign! By becoming a SELC Founding Member, you can turn our advocacy campaigns into new laws, grow our community of passionate new economy advocates, and get special discounts and invitations to future SELC events and workshops!Read more