The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies in Oakland, Berkeley, and the greater East Bay community. We’re currently running the Legal Cafe as a 6-month pilot program between February and August 2013 as a joint effort of SELC and the Green-Collar Communities Clinic (a project of the East Bay Community Law Center).
Why The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe?
SELC believes that because our current economic systems prioritize corporate profits over community resilience, they destroy opportunities for satisfying and sustainable work, damage the environment that sustains us, and unravel our sense of connection to one another. That’s why SELC is committed to providing reliable, affordable, and accessible legal information and advice to the people who are creating alternative economic systems. Through this work, we can help form the enterprises and entrepreneurs that will ring in the new economy.
About the Program
Those who want to create alternative economic structures have difficulty finding affordable and competent legal assistance because there are so few attorneys specialized in the legal needs of the sharing economy. Communities with high rates of unemployment and poverty will find the hurdles to launching new enterprises especially insurmountable. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe will give direct legal assistance to residents from Richmond, Berkeley, Fruitvale, East Oakland, San Leandro, and beyond, while creating a reproducible model and resources to support similar programs around the country.
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe will provide events, workshops, legal advice clinics, and legal services supporting the creation of, for example:
Some of the Services
- Weekly walk-in clinics. SELC is holding a weekly legal advice clinic at a soon to be announced cafe or community center.
- One-time consultations. Resilient Communities Legal Cafe participants have the opportunity to receive one-time advice sessions with an attorney either at a low fee or without charge for low-income individuals.
- Workshops. Between February and August, SELC will hold at least three community legal workshops on topics like “Legal Tools for the Sharing Economy,” “Legal Workshops for Community Food Enterprise,” and “How to Start a Worker-Owned Enterprise.” Stay tuned for event times and locations.
- Community discussions. At least three guest lectures and discussions will help expand understanding of the sharing economy and cooperative enterprise.
- Written resources. We’ve developed a series of legal handbooks and information sheets for clients to use and share with others.