About SELC

Legal education, research, advice, and advocacy for just and resilient economies.

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) pioneers a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. We provide essential legal tools so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community. We support practices that promote just and sustainability, including:

• Cooperatives
• Community-supported enterprisesSELC150
• Barter
• Sharing
• Local currencies
• Intentional communities, ecovillages, cohousing
• Affordable housing and limited equity housing
• Urban agriculture
• Community-based renewable energy
• Community land trusts
• Social enterprise
• Microlending
• Local investing
• Co-op banks/credit unions

SELC was founded in 2009 when it became clear that the movement to create healthier local economies was suffering from a lack of legal expertise. As this movement takes shape through innovations such as cottage industries, cooperatives, local currencies, and community-supported enterprises, innovators are required to chart new legal territory. SELC maps out this changing legal landscape, educating communities about the limits and possibilities of new economic structures, and advocating for laws that clear the path for more sustainable economic development.

Based in Oakland, California, SELC is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Ventures, a California 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.