Types of Legal Advice Given at Legal Cafes

Our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe is a first-come, first-serve, donation-based legal advice clinic, providing a collaborative space for community building. Our staff and volunteers specialize in serving cooperatives, nonprofits, cottage food businesses, social enterprises, urban farms, complimentary currencies, time banks, immigrant owned businesses, and small businesses. We provide advice and legal consultations around the following legal areas: 

  • Legal formation for small businesses: What are the regulations and requirements to have your organization legally function?Charlie Brown! That should be a pumpkin pie cooperative!

  • Legal entity choice: Should your org be a for profit, non-profit, and which legal entity fits best with your vision?

  • Employment law: Whether you're an employer, employee, or a cooperative, we can answer questions on how to prevent or resolve issues?

  • Securities law: What are the legal ways to raise money for your nonprofit org or for-profit business?

  • Tax law: What are the ways to receive tax exemption for your org?

  • Contracts: Contract review, drafting and negotiation

  • Liability issues: What are your governance requirements to avoid liability?

  • IP agreements and licensing: Do you have a product or invention that you'd like to protect or to be available as a creative commons but don't know how to do it?   

  • Environmental Law: Do you have questions about how to create more green spaces for your community? 

  • Food Safety Laws: Are you making and selling food? What are the regulations that you need to know to operate within the law?

Sliding Scale Donations


if your income is at or below the living wage (in Alameda County, the living wage is $16.48 p/hr for 1 adult or $33.37 p/hr for 1 adult supporting 1 dependent)


if your income is above the living wage (in Alameda County, the living wage is $16.48 p/hr for 1 adult or $33.37 p/hr for 1 adult supporting 1 dependent)


if your income is double the living wage or more (in Alameda County, that would be $32.96 p/hr or $68,557 p/yr for 1 adult)

At the Legal Cafe, we aim to serve 1) entrepreneurs and organizers who come from or work with marginalized communities and communities with high rates of unemployment and poverty, and 2) those working to build the models that will transition our communities from destructive economic systems to innovative and cooperative alternatives. To help us continue to serve all of our clients, we ask those who earn above a living wage* to donate when they seek advice at our Legal Cafes.

Your donation will help us to be more independent from foundation funding, which in turn will help us continue to be a people powered organization. And, the average cost for a transactional law attorney in the Bay Area is $271 p/hr, so donating $25 doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch now, does it?

*We use MIT’s living wage calculator to determine Alameda County’s living wage.


Thanks to our Partners and Collaborators: