Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Sustainable Economies Law Center!
Ways to Volunteer
There are three main ways that our community of supporters can get involved with us. Please carefully read and follow the instructions below.
We are primarily looking for self-motivated and committed research volunteers. If you are interested in diving into research, we request that you first familiarize yourself with our programs, projects, and eResource libraries and then fill out the short application form below. Familiarity with our work will help you and help us identify areas of alignment with your interests. In the application below, please select the research box and include in the Comments box what you are most drawn to work on. If you would like to provide more background information about your work and experience, you are (optionally) invited to send your resume to email@example.com when submitting the application form.
On occasion, we need help with non-research tasks such as event set-up, graphic design, or fundraising. If you are not interested in research, but rather would like to support our work in some of these other ways, please fill out the short application form below, selecting the box for volunteering generally. In the Comments box, please list the skills and knowledge you would like to share with us, and we keep your application on file and call on you if and when we could use a hand.
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe happens once per week, at different times, and in different locations. The purpose is to provide direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. If you are interested in getting involved in the Legal Cafe, please skip our general volunteer application and click here to complete the separate Legal Cafe Volunteer Application.
Whether or not you've submitted a volunteer application, we welcome you to come make a personal connection at our many events in the San Francisco Bay and beyond, including our Resilient Communities Legal Cafes, workshops, and happy hours.
Volunteer and Staff Expectations
We’d like to let you know about the qualities we look for in volunteers, what you can expect from us, and what we expect of you.
Qualities We Look for in Volunteers
At the Sustainable Economies Law Center, we run a lean, effective, and collectively-run organization and desire that our volunteers possess some of the following qualities:
- Interested and willing to learn
- Realistic about availability and skill level
- Can work independently
- Possesses good communication skills
- Flexible schedule (i.e. can occasionally meet with staff during normal business hours when needed)
- Has prior research experience, ideally in the legal field
- Willingness to do non-sexy tasks
- Committed to SELC’s Mission
Our Expectations of You
To get the most out of our shared experience creating more resilient economies, we want to emphasize that our volunteers must be:
- Accountable: We expect you to follow through on the project outcomes agreement you make with your Law Center counterpart.
- Communicative: We expect you to be responsive to communication with your Law Center counterpart and work with us to find solutions if you have trouble meeting a milestone or deadline.
- Realistic: We all have so much to give, and understanding our own limits helps us increase our impact by setting realistic goals and expectations for ourselves and the Law Center.
What You Can Expect From Us
At the Sustainable Economies Law Center, we depend on the support and hard work of our volunteer members. We strive for our volunteers to have a valuable, enriching, and fun experience. That’s why we utilize this manual and attempt to clarify processes, expectations (both ways), and desired outcomes from the outset. As a Law Center volunteer, you’ll be assigned a staff member with whom you will co-create your individualized project agreement and meet with for the duration of your project period.
- Clear: You will co-create your volunteer project with a Law Center staff member who will be your point person for the duration of your volunteering time. Both parties will create and agree to the process and outcomes of your project -- maximizing clarity and direction.
- Interested: Your project will be based both on our needs, and your skills and interest. We care about who you are, your experience, your goals, and why you’re working with us. We’re also willing to listen to your unique ideas for your project. Imagine that!
- Dedicated: We live and breathe our mission, and we do whatever we can to both further this organization and make the experiences of our staff, interns, and volunteers enjoyable and worthwhile.
- Available: If we accept you as a volunteer, we promise to work with you to identify your project and milestones, be responsive to your questions, and connect for regular check-ins throughout your project period.
We value your interest and look forward to reading your application.
Also, please let us know if you are a lawyer, a law student, or a legal professional.