What Sustainable Economies Law Center's clients, community members, partners, and fellows are saying about our work:
"The evening at SELC's Legal Cafe was one of the most beneficial (and pleasant) experiences I have ever had when seeking advice for my advocacy! Where else could you get a dedicated team of experts to sit and help you for two hours, without charge!"
-- Deborah Rogers, Legal Cafe client
"I had the absolute best experience ever dealing with the legal process. SELC staff and volunteers made me comfortable and confident allowing them to assist with my vision. The collaboration with various experts added another dimension of trust. I knew the vision was in great hands. Sacred things are secret things. My privacy was protected and respected. My concerns were heard and my learning style was addressed. It is important to be understood, before someone can help you. SELC, got it. Additionally, they met me where I was. When I left them, I left spreading my wing's in preparation for flight. Thank you everyone."
-- Erma Montgomery, Legal Cafe client
"My topic for legal advice was rather unusual but prevalent for many people. I was encouraged by SELC to help organize a legal cafe on the topic for those impacted by the issues to attend. That's not just great service but movement building! Much gratitude!"
-- Tom Long, Legal Cafe client
"The SELC legal cafe is awesome! Janelle, Sara and the rest of the SELC team helped me understand the sharing economy universe -- not just the law, but the other people and organizations that are working in this space. Their service is incredibly helpful, well-designed and fun."
-- Miishe Addy, Legal Cafe client
"This is an amazing group of amazing people with great minds and big hearts. I feel so grateful for getting the opportunity to brainstorm with these people and get help solidifying my ideas! THANK YOU!"
-- Joshua Lipson, Legal Cafe client
“Thank you so much for offering this amazing Legal Cafe! This work is EXTREMELY important to creating real structural change for our communities and flailing economy.”
-- Legal Cafe client
“I am so thankful for SELC’s help in cooperatizing everything!”
-- Tia Katrina Canlas, Alipato Project, Legal Cafe client
"SELC is an amazing organization and they are really setting the trend on how to solve problems within the community. Our communities need more organizations to offer solutions in the same manner that SELC is offering."
-- Apurwa Pokhrel, Sustainable Economies Law Center Community Member
“As a SELC Fellow, I am supported and encouraged in my decision to start my own law practice in sustainable economies and civil rights law. My favorite part of being a SELC Fellow is participating in Resilient Economies Legal Cafe which provides legal advice to the community members interested in starting their own businesses.”
-- Sustainable Economies Law Center Fellow Hasmik Geghamyan, Geghamyan Law Office
"As a current practitioner who challenges agribusiness and industrial farming practices which lead to widespread pollution of natural resources and drinking water sources, my fellowship at SELC has been an invaluable way to learn about the ways in which businesses and workers can move away from an outdated mode of farming and business, into a new economy. The fellowship at SELC has helped me think broadly and creatively about how legal practice can help to usher in new business models and new legal structures that would allow for a farming economy that is more cooperative, more sustainable, less exploitative, and more local."
-- Sustainable Economies Law Center Fellow
"I regard my discovery of the SELC and Janelle Orsi's book as the defining moments that confirmed the logic of my decision to study law."
-- Law student
Have something to add? Share your story of community resilience below!
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
We Recognize that Support Goes Beyond Dollars
Dollars will always be scarce in some communities. That’s why we believe in creating relationships that build community and trust beyond money. Help us build community resilience by ”paying-it-forward” to Sustainable Economies Law Center's next client in need, “paying-it-forward” in your community, or using a local currency to support our work:
We provide legal advice to the community trusting that our clients will help strengthen the Sharing Economy. In fact, individual donors drive our ability to provide these services to the community! That means that if you’ve received our services, someone else has paid for your legal advice! Contribute to our center and pay for the next Client who comes into the Legal Cafe.
BACE acts like a local community bank. Instead of money, however, they keep track of time. Earn credits for helping in your community and use them to learn new skills or get help from others. With BACE, the currency is time and everyone’s time is equal. Participants of our Legal Cafe can “Pay-it-forward” by signing up to BACE and crediting our Center the time we provided you at the Legal Cafe!
Bay Bucks is "money designed for the New Economy" - as a Bay-Area business-to-business mutual credit system, Bay Bucks helps local businesses and professionals trade what they have for what they need without using cash. Become a member business and donate your Bay Bucks to the Law Center or pay us directly in Bay Bucks for our legal services.
The Sustainable Economies Law Center values the time, skills, and energy of our communities. Explore the different ways you can contribute to our work by visiting our Get Involved page. Let's further our mission, together.
Part of Sustainable Economies Law Center's approach to catalyzing a more just and resilient society is to be the change we want to see. We have adopted policies that distribute "ownership" throughout the organization, allow for more dignified livelihoods, expand access to our legal services, and empower a new generation of grassroots legal experts. These policies include:
An equal and capped pay rate: Every member of our organization is compensated equally for their work - whether an attorney or not. That salary is based on two objective measures of our local economy - the average Oakland income and a regional living wage indicator calculated by the MIT Living Wage Calculator.
Decentralized governance: We take pride in our ability to get a lot done, and we credit much of our efficiency to the implementation of a highly structured system of distributed decision-making. Each program is run by a semi-autonomous circle of staff and volunteers, nested within larger circles of accountability. Our decision-making processes enable each staff member to propose projects and take significant leadership roles, optimizing individual autonomy and collective responsibility.
We have also launched a project to promote and support emerging models of decentralized nonprofit governance, which we're calling worker self-directed nonprofits. Find out more about this project here, and check out the resources, webinars, and teach-ins we've already put together to learn from and support other nonprofits.
Every contribution makes a big difference. Thank you so much for helping SELC build strong communities, promote justice and sharing, and grow the movement for more just and resilient local economies.
If you ever have any questions about your contribution, please contact Chris Tittle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!Share Your Thoughts
It’s like a CSA for more resilient communities!
The Sustainable Economies Law Center is a people-powered organization sustained by generous and dedicated folk like you. Our new Community Membership is an invitation to formally join and grow the community of local economy advocates, and ensure our work represents your vision for healthy and inclusive communities.
In return, a small monthly gift or annual contribution will help sustain our work and make us a more resilient organization!
With a monthly pledge of $5 or more, you will:
- Sustain our capacity to:
- Offer direct and accessible legal services through the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe; and
- Empower communities with legal tools and knowledge through our community workshops and teach-ins.
- Receive our thanks, as well as:
- Acknowledgement as one of our indispensable community members on Our Supporters page
- Invitations to member-only happy hours and other networking events connecting the movers and shakers of the new economy;
- The knowledge that you are part of the exciting movement to create more just and resilient local economies;
With an annual gift of $500 or more, you will:
- Sustain our capacity to:
- Advocate for new laws that foster more just and resilient local economies;
- Share replicable and innovative models of community resilience through our eResource Libraries, Sustainable Economies Attorneys Network, and publications; and
- Empower the next generation of community lawyers through our living classroom, unique CLE courses, and the growing Legal Apprentice Movement!
- Receive our thanks, as well as:
- Discounts on all our events, including specialty MCLE courses taught by Janelle Orsi;
- Invitation to special Sustainer events and dinners;
- Acknowledgment on our homepage as an indispensable supporter of our work;
- And that warm feeling of enabling the movement to create truly sustainable and healthy communities
Just as we work to foster economic structures rooted in reciprocity and cooperation, we want to enable a reciprocal relationship with you – the people we work with!
Tell us what you’d like to see as part of the Sustainable Economies Law Center Community! Send your thoughts, suggestions, and questions to Chris [at] theselc.org
Why support the Sustainable Economies Law Center?
We are Committed to Spending Dollars Mindfully
Sustainable Economies Law Center has a reputation for accomplishing a great deal with very little funding, and we are mindful of how we spend our dollars — but we do need your help! Your contribution helps us cover the costs of our staff’s modest wages, travel to the communities we serve, offer a shared workspace for our interns and volunteers, and organize workshops and clinics for communities. Even a small contribution is greatly appreciated.
Want to Take your Support to the Next Level?
Consider Becoming a Community Member or Sustainer!
Individuals who are inspired to make a contribution of $500 or more on an annual basis will become part of our Sustainer Circle, which comes with invitations to special Sustainer happy hours and networking events, free or discounted admission to our workshops, visible acknowledgment on our website, and gratitude galore!
SELC's annual Fall Celebration & Showcase is coming soon! We hold this event every year to celebrate the year's successes, connect with our friends, and thank our supporters in person. As we move into Fall, this is our opportunity to harvest the fruits of our work supporting the transition to more just and resilient local economies - so come on out and give thanks with us!Read more