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The Next Legal network is an online community for legal professionals to learn, share, seek feedback, grow professional networks, and together strengthen the legal foundations for more just and resilient economies. Learn more


Three of Sustainable Economies Law Center's clients are raising capital by selling shares and notes to the community: CA Farmlink, People Power Solar Cooperative, and East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (EB PREC). Here's Janelle Orsi's blog post about EB PREC and why we prioritize community capital raising. Janelle says "What’s important is that the community – not wealthy people or large institutions – is leading the way. In other words, community capital is not just a way to raise money; it’s a way to build power...

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What's the point if your clients can't understand your advice?

As you probably know by now, Janelle Orsi, Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center,  loves drawing cartoons. For our Fellows Week, Janelle drew this to inspire lawyers to be better communicators. 

Interested in our Fellows Program? Our Fellows receive at least 25 hours of free classroom training (CLE credit may be available), mentorship from staff and volunteer attorneys, and take part in a variety of hands-on learning and networking opportunities offered at the Law Center...

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Here's a few articles and podcasts that are inspiring our work and the research we need to reinvent economic systems.

We'd like YOU to contribute to this monthly feature. We'll share some of what we're reading and finding interesting but if you read (or write) an article you'd like to share on Next Legal please send the link to me!

Historic Federal Law Gives Employee-Owned Businesses Access to SBA Loans from...

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Although they are for-profit businesses, cooperative corporations can have little to no federal income tax burden depending on how they share their profits with their patrons. This is true even when the cooperative retains most of those earnings and allocates them to patron accounts. Patronage dividends, as defined under Subchapter T of the Internal Revenue Code, are tax-deductible to the cooperative. Patronage dividends must meet a specific definition, however: amounts paid by a cooperative to its patrons on the basis of the quantity or value of business done with...

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Tell us a little about yourself and the educational or career path you took to get to where you are now?

I grew up in small-town, rural Mississippi, but attended an elite prep school where I graduated as salutatorian. My privileged formal education was only one source of learning for me, though. My practical education came from an anti-intellectual, fundamentalist Baptist church where I developed as a leader and formed my identity. With this formal and practical education, I left Mississippi for college at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. I studied...

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