32 specific policy recommendations that enable communities to remove barriers to sharing and realize the benefits of the sharing economy in food, jobs, housing, and transportation. View in window below or click here to download PDF.
Policies for Shareable Cities is the first policy handbook of its kind. It includes 32 recommended policies that enable cities to benefit from the sharing economy in the priority areas of food, jobs, housing, and transportation. Click here to read or download the brief.
The Sustainable Economies Law Center's (SELC) free, comprehensive online legal resource library for urban agriculture. Key topics:
Planning & Zoning Soil
Animals and Livestock Employment Law
Food, Ag, and Health Regulations Water
Liability, Risk, and Insurance For-Profit Urban Ag
Land Access Building Codes
Homeowners Associations Non-Profit Urban Ag
Many thanks to the our volunteer researchers and volunteer research attorneys who contributed to this free online resource for urban farmers. View the eResource at UrbanAgLaw.org.
Click here to view or download the powerpoint presentation by East Bay Cohousing's Betsy Morris.
Community renewable energy is clean, small-scale, and owned or sponsored by communities. That's why it creates democratic, resilient energy grids with distributed economic benefits. SELC’s expert panelists discuss the legal barriers, policy opportunities, and steps to creating a new energy future. Click here to watch the webinar.
This article was originally published on Shareable
The legal problems of the sharing economy just got real. The latest lawsuits against "ride-sharing" companies Lyft and Über could be game changers. The plaintiffs are drivers who give rides to strangers for money, paying a portion of their earnings to the companies. The class action lawsuits argue that the drivers should be classified as employees of the companies. Regardless of the outcome, the lawsuits call attention to the potential harms arising from the non-sharing parts of the sharing economy. It’s a good opportunity to declare that the so-called “sharing economy” needs a new business model.Read more
"The rules for the new economy haven't been written yet. Well, they have...it's just that they were written 50+ years ago when the 9-to-5, 30-years-and-a-gold-watch career path was the rule, not the exception. They haven't kept up with the changing economy or the new workforce."
Read the whole interview with Sara Horowitz of the Freelancer's Union
Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy:
Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, and Local Sustainable Economies
Buy the Book! - use discount code PAB16SHR for 50% off!
What People Are Saying
About the Author and Contributors
All royalties from this book go to the nonprofit Sustainable Economies Law Center!
An e-book version is also available.
About the Book
To most law students and lawyers, practicing transactional law isn’t an obvious path to saving the world. But as the world’s economic and ecological meltdowns demand that we redesign our livelihoods, our enterprises, our communities, our organizations, our food system, our housing, and much more, transactional lawyers are needed, en masse, to aid in an epic reinvention of our economic system.
This reinvention is referred to by many names—the “sharing economy,” the “grassroots economy,” the “new economy.” This new economy facilitates community ownership, localized production, sharing, cooperation, small scale enterprise, and the regeneration of economic and natural abundance. Sharing economy lawyers make the exploding numbers of social enterprises, cooperatives, urban farms, cohousing communities, time banks, local currencies, and the vast array of unique organizations arising from the sharing economy possible and legal.
There are nine primary areas of work that sharing economy lawyers should become familiar with, and each is addressed in a chapter of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy:
- Designing and Drafting Agreements
- Choosing, Forming, and Structuring Entities
- Advising on the Legalities and Taxation of Exchange
- Navigating Securities Regulations
- Navigating Employment Regulations
- Navigating Regulations on Production and Commerce
- Managing Relationships with and Use of Land
- Managing Intellectual Property
- Managing Risk
The work of lawyers helping to build the sharing economy will often be challenging, but will always be interesting and demand creativity. Perhaps best of all, these lawyers will contribute greatly to the creation of a world in which innumerable people have now decided they want to live.
What People are Saying
“This monumental treatise defines, legitimates, and elaborates the key legal challenges facing U.S. new economy advocates, and in terms that even non-lawyers can understand. Whatever your angle – cooperatives, cohousing, alternative currencies, CSAs, social enterprise, crowdfunding – this book belongs front and center on your desk.”
- Michael Shuman, JD, author of Local Dollars, Local Sense and The Small-Mart Revolution
“Every once in a while someone sees the emerging pattern of a new order of things and is able to bring conceptual clarity and useful tools to it, thus defining a new field. That is what Janelle Orsi has done in her remarkable book on the sharing economy.”
- James Gustave Speth, JD, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy (Yale Press, 2012)
“A unique and indispensable handbook for anyone working in the field of alternative ownership design. We’ve long needed this book, and at last it’s here.”
- Marjorie Kelly, Fellow, Tellus Institute, and Director of Ownership Strategy, Cutting Edge Capital; author of Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution
“As Orsi notes in this invaluable book, lawyers often ‘work for firms that grease the wheels of the very economic system that is causing the widespread ecological and social distress.’ But this does not have to be the case! In Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy, she and her contributing co-authors provide an impressive roadmap to a range of innovative legal forms that can help communities build wealth and create the building blocks of a new economy.”
- Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism, and Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Maryland
“This is a book for those who have hoped and dreamed of a way to practice law that was good for lawyers, clients and the planet.”
- J. Kim Wright, JD, Founder of Cutting Edge Law & Author of Lawyers as Peacemakers, Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law
“This book contains a wealth of substantive information and practical advice for any lawyer interested in participating in and creating more collaborative communities and a more sharing world.”
- Emily Doskow, JD, co-author of Making It Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnership & Civil Unions, and The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Building Community
“Janelle Orsi is a visionary. Practicing Law in a Sharing Economy is an eye-opening work and an outstanding resource that belongs on the bookshelves of every attorney and law student who wants to become part of the growing movement to build sustainable, collaborative economies.”
- Don De Leon, JD, www.GrassrootsLawyers.com
“Can a sharing economy emerge from and transform capitalism? Janelle Orsi’s brilliant exegesis argues it can. Her book is a welcome clarion call to lawyers to learn and apply the rules that can support new forms of sharing and cooperation and to identify and change the rules that could inhibit or even endanger their continued growth.”
- David Morris, co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, author of Self Reliant Cities: Energy and the Transformation of Urban America, and Seeing the Light: Regaining Control of Our Electricity System
“Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy is an excellent practical guidebook for lawyers, sharing economy companies, communities, and anyone interested in understanding what the sharing economy is, what’s necessary to help sharing-based enterprises thrive, and the fundamentally important role of appropriate policies in place for new shared models. It makes a significant and ground-breaking contribution to the legal landscape and is an invaluable resource for the entire sharing economy moving forward.”
- April Rinne, JD, Director of WaterCredit, Water.org
- Phil Heiselmann, JD, Sustainable Food Law
Read the complete book review by Don De Leon, JD, of www.GrassrootsLawyers.com
About the Author
Janelle Orsi is the Director of the national nonprofit Sustainable Economies Law Center, and she is a “sharing lawyer” in private law practice in Oakland, CA. Her work is focused on helping communities, share, barter, and create cooperatives, social enterprises, cohousing communities, urban farms, local currencies, and community-supported enterprise. In 2010, Janelle was profiled by the American Bar Association as a “Legal Rebel ,” an attorney who is “remaking the legal profession through the power of innovation.”
Janelle is co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (Nolo 2009), a legal and practical guide to shared ownership and cooperative activity. Janelle earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
- Jenny Kassan, CEO of Cutting Edge Capital, on securities law, entities/organizations, and barter exchanges
- Inder Comar, on intellectual property
- Linda Barrera, Attorney at Law, on community energy
- Edgar S. Cahn, on time banking
- Marjorie Kelly, on entity design
- Brian Howe, Attorney at Law, on Washington social enterprise entities
- Daniel Fireside, Capital Coordinator for Equal Exchange, on corporate social responsibility
- Janelle J. Smith, on community-owned enterprise and local currencies
- Brendan Conley, on law collectives
- Christen Lee, on 501(c)(3) law firms
- Loren Rodgers, Executive Director of the National Center for Employee Ownership, on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
- Clementine Blazy, on social enterprise in France
- Mike Leung, on the proposed Worker Cooperative Federal Credit Union (unchartered)
- Wesley Roe, William G. Sommers, and Marjorie Lakin Erickson, on the Permaculture Credit Union
- Tree Bressen, on consensus policies
- Gaya Erlandson, on sociocracy/dynamic governance
- Gordon Ng, on local currencies
- Julie Pennington, on zoning and shared housing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Yassi Eskandari-Qajar / email@example.com
New report details what cities can do now to benefit from a sharing economy
San Francisco, CA (September 9, 2013) — A new report released today by the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) and Shareable details policy steps that city governments can take to benefit from the growing sharing economy by supporting innovations such as ridesharing, carsharing, cohousing, cooperatives, and urban agriculture.Read more
"If we are going to move from the current centralized food system to a local, diversified new food economy, sharing has to be part of the solution. Corporate control of our food system vests decision-making power with a very small group of people whose profit-maximizing goals often deplete resources from communities rather than strengthen them..."Read more
As a sharing lawyer, Janelle Orsi thought she would write agreements and form organizations. She quickly realized however, that her clients were continually running up against legal barriers that were too high and too difficult for people to navigate. In go-getter fashion, Orsi co-founded, along with attorney Jenny Kassan, the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) to break down some of the legal barriers and help people navigate them.Read more
SELC has been working hard since our last newsletter and we want you, our friends and supporters, to know what we've been up to. Read below for 20 exciting ways that SELC has been leading the way towards more just and resilient economies!
1. Legal Cafes
SELC is providing one of the most innovative legal advice clinics in the country, the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe. It's 1/3 Legal Advice Clinic, 1/3 Living Classroom, 1/3 Community Building and Collaboration Space! SELC staff and volunteer attorneys provide pay-it-forward legal advice for projects and organizations that build the sharing economy.
SELC's Director of City Policies and Community Currencies, Yassi Eskandari-Qajar, discusses the sharing economy with host Michelle Chan.Read more