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
Read about how SELC is revolutionizing legal services and cultivating a new legal landscape this Spring!Read more
Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) Teach-ins provide practical, participatory, and action oriented discussions around food, housing, livelihoods, transportation, and more! Through these trainings and guided discussion on specific legal issues within the sharing, or new, economy, SELC hopes to inform and empower our communities towards resiliency.
Find future Legal Cafe Teach-ins at our Legal Cafe event page!
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,
- "know your rights" workshops,
- and how to set up and create systems of accountability within a worker-owned business.
Why don't you give us an idea?
Below, please tell us what subject, idea, or legal area that you'd like SELC to provide for the community in an inviting and collaborative discussion! Don't be shy!
Sustainable Economies Law Center maintains the Land and Housing section on the Community Enterprise Law website, which is a legal resource on housing and land use.
Elders deserve to live with housing security in a community of their choosing and retain self-determination for as long as possible. The Sustainable Economies Law Center is increasing its legal support for cooperatively-owned, resident-controlled housing options for seniors. That's why we've brought on a Borchard Fellow for Law & Aging, Julie Gilgoff, to help realize this vision. To find out more, please visit our Aging Cooperatively webpage.
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides direct legal advice, workshops, teach-ins, discussions, and legal services supporting the creation of:
Find the dates and locations for each Legal Cafe on our Legal Cafe events calendar.
SELC's Teach-ins provide practical, participatory, and action oriented discussions around food, housing, livelihoods, transportation, and more! Many of our most popular teach-ins focus on housing co-ownership, innovative ways of financing land and housing, and more. Check our events calendar for upcoming events and teach-ins!
Past Teach-ins have included:
- The Gritty, Moral Solution to the Housing Crisis with David Giesen
Legalizing Tiny Homes: The Ten-Year Plan
Chapter 9 of SELC’s book, Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy, focuses on legal tools for the creation of more economically sustainable housing models.
SELC is creating detailed legal case studies of communities and housing solutions that emphasize sharing, affordability, and sustainability. This work looks particularly at models of shared housing, including cohousing communities, ecovillages, and housing cooperatives. The legal case studies are designed to allow other groups to replicate existing housing models. Click here for one legal case study by SELC.