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January 14, 2013 The Modern Law Library

How to practice law in a ‘sharing economy’

By Rachel M. Zahorsky

The world’s global and economical meltdowns have pushed more Americans to consider shared access to resources, such as housing and autos, over individual ownership. One example of this kind of venture is Zipcar, a car-sharing service which was acquired by Avis two weeks ago for $491.2 million, according to the Associated Press.

As the number of community cooperatives, social enterprises and local sustainable economies increases, so does the need for transactional lawyers to guide individuals through the legal gray areas encountered in a sharing economy.

In her new book, Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy: Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, And Local Sustainable Economies, author Janelle Orsi predicts this trend will continue to gain nationwide momentum and teaches lawyers how to build their practices around the sharing economy and attract and advise like-minded clients. She discusses this and other insights about her book with ABA Journal reporter Rachel M. Zahorsky.

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Listen to the Podcast

In This Podcast:

Rachel M. Zahorsky
Janelle Orsi is the director of the national nonprofit Sustainable Economies Law Center, and she is a “sharing economy lawyer” in private law practice in Oakland, Calif. Her work is focused on helping communities share, barter, and create cooperatives, social enterprises, cohousing communities, urban farms, local currencies, and community-supported enterprises. Janelle is also the co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (Nolo 2009), a legal and practical guide to shared ownership and cooperative activity. She was selected as an ABA Journal Legal Rebel in 2010.