Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy

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* Book: Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy: Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, and Local Sustainable Economies. Janelle Orsi. SELC, 2012



"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.” 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:

  1. Designing and Drafting Agreements
  2. Choosing, Forming, and Structuring Entities
  3. Advising on the Legalities and Taxation of Exchange
  4. Navigating Securities Regulations
  5. Navigating Employment Regulations
  6. Navigating Regulations on Production and Commerce
  7. Managing Relationships with and Use of Land
  8. Managing Intellectual Property
  9. Managing Risk "