To most law students and lawyers, practicing transactional law isn't an obvious path to saving the world. But as the world's economic and ecological meltdowns demand that we redesign our livelihoods, our enterprises, our communities, our organizations, our food system, our housing, and much more, transactional lawyers are needed, en masse, to aid in an epic reinvention of our economic system.
This reinvention is referred to by many names--the "sharing economy," the "grassroots economy," the "new economy"--and involves new and different ways of consuming, producing, and transacting with each other. This new economy facilitates community ownership, localized production, sharing, cooperation, small scale enterprise, and the regeneration of economic and natural abundance.
Sharing economy lawyers make the exploding numbers of social enterprises, cooperatives, urban farms, cohousing communities, time banks, local currencies, and the vast array of unique organizations arising from the sharing economy possible and legal. There are nine primary areas of work that sharing economy lawyers should become familiar with, and each is addressed in a chapter of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy:
- --Designing and Drafting Agreements
- --Choosing, Forming, and Structuring Entities
- --Advising on the Legalities and Taxation of Exchange
- --Navigating Securities Regulations
- --Navigating Employment Regulations
- --Navigating Regulations on Production and Commerce
- --Managing Relationships with and Use of Land
- --Managing Intellectual Property
- --Managing Risk
The work of lawyers helping to build the sharing economy will often be challenging, but will always be interesting and demand creativity. Perhaps best of all, these lawyers will contribute greatly to the creation of a world in which innumerable people have now decided they want to live.
What Others are Saying...
“This monumental treatise defines, legitimates, and elaborates the key legal challenges facing U.S. new economy advocates, and in terms that even non-lawyers can understand. Whatever your angle—cooperatives, cohousing, alternative currencies, CSAs, social enterprise, crowdfunding— this book belongs front and center on your desk.” —Michael Shuman, JD, author of Local Dollars, Local Sense and The Small-Mart Revolution
“Every once in a while someone sees the emerging pattern of a new order of things and is able to bring conceptual clarity and useful tools to it, thus defining a new field. That is what Janelle Orsi has done in her remarkable book on the sharing economy.” —James Gustave Speth, JD, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy
“This is a book for those who have hoped and dreamed of a way to practice law that was good for lawyers, clients and the planet.” —J. Kim Wright, JD, Founder of Cutting Edge Law & Author of Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law
“Janelle Orsi’s brilliant book is a welcome clarion call to lawyers to learn and apply the rules that can support new forms of sharing and cooperation and to identify and change the rules that could inhibit or even endanger their continued growth.” —David Morris, co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, author of Self Reliant Cities: Energy and the Transformation of Urban America, and Seeing the Light: Regaining Control of Our Electricity System
“At a time of significant economic and environmental breakdowns, Orsi courageously presents a set of lawyering principles that promote sustainable communities and advance the common good. What an opportunity, especially for young, unemployed attorneys: to consider a legal practice that contributes to a sharing economy and environmental sustainability.” —Patricia Siemen, OP , JD, Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, Barry University School of Law
“Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy provides an impressive roadmap to a range of innovative legal forms that can help communities build wealth and create the building blocks of a new economy.” —Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism , and Lionel R. Bauman Profess or of Political Economy, University of Maryland