Dr. Zach Kaufman recently published an essay on LawForChange.org exploring the ten roles that attorneys have taken to support social entrepreneurship. The essay provides a clear overview of possibilities for the law students and young attorneys hoping to get their feet wet in the sector. An unexpected fact I found in the article was the identification of four major law firms that now have practice areas devoted to impact investing, social impact finance, or social entrepreneurship (I will add a fifth: Drinker Biddle & Reath has a Benefit Corporations & Corporate Sustainability practice led by Bill Clark, the drafter of the benefit corporation model statute). You can find Dr. Kauffman’s essay here. [Full disclosure: the article references many of the educational and scholarly contributions of the contributors to this blog, myself included]. The article abstract is below.
Making Social and Environmental Impact Through Legal Careers: The Top 10 Roles for Attorneys in Social Entrepreneurship (Zachary D. Kaufman)
Social entrepreneurship and law are increasingly interconnected. This article enumerates ten ways in which law students and attorneys can play a meaningful and often unique role in social entrepreneurship. The roles and examples described span the public and private sectors. However, these ten typologies—(1) The Student, (2) The Social Entrepreneur, (3) The Social Enterprise Staffer, (4) The Outside Counsel, (5) The In-House Counsel, (6) The Government Official, (7) The Scholar, (8) The Writer, (9) The Board Member, and (10) The Fundraiser—are by no means exhaustive. As the article discusses, anybody with a legal background can become involved in social entrepreneurship in multiple ways.