Events Archives - socentlaw

Thomson Reuters: Trustlaw Training



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In their latest annual survey, the Global Impact Investing Network and J.P. Morgan reported a total of USD 77 billion in capital allocated to impact investing. This unparalleled potential of the impact investing market coupled with a social enterprise sector that is exceeding expectations in both growth and impact, has increased the demand to master the evolving legal and financial frameworks available to social enterprises and impact investment funds. Choosing a robust legal and financial structure for transactions is key to tapping into this potential, which is exactly what TrustLaw’s Social Enterprise & Impact Investing Training aims to facilitate.

Headed to San Francisco this September and returning to London in October, the course series combine hands-on legal training with practical case studies, enabling strategic discussions and the sharing of best practices in social entrepreneurship and impact investing.  By attending, delegates will become part of a community of practice and will take away invaluable know-how on optimal legal and financial structures that will be taught by academics, lawyers, social investors and social entrepreneurs themselves.

Top reasons to attend:

o    Gain a “big picture” market overview of the social enterprise and social finance space in the US, UK and beyond

o    Learn how to structure social enterprises and lock in social mission

o    Get an in-depth understanding of social finance models

o    Learn about the key legal and commercial issues for the sector

o    Network with key players in the social innovation space

*San Francisco full-day workshop* Register before July 15 to take advantage of the Early Bird Rate. This course has been approved for up to 10 CLE credits in New York and New Jersey and 8 CLE credits in California. For more information, visit our website or contact Carolina at [email protected].

*London breakfast series* Register before 15 July to take advantage of the Early Bird Rate. For more information, check out our website or reach out to Shiura at [email protected].


You Are Invited…

Building a Legal Community of Practice to Add Still More Value to Impact Investments

Bingham, in conjunction with the International Transactions Clinic of the University of Michigan Law School, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Legal Working Group and Impact Investing Legal Working Group, is proud to present a legal symposium on Building a Legal Community of Practice to Add Still More Value to Impact Investments.


Panel One: Building a Legal Community of Practice for Impact Investing

∙ Ana Demel, Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University Law School

∙ Chloe Holderness, Managing Director, Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation

∙ Jonathan Ng, Global Legal Director, Ashoka

∙ Keren Raz, Associate, Paul Weiss

∙ Deborah Burand, Clinical Assistant Professor and Director, International Transactions Clinic, University of Michigan Law School (Moderator)


This panel will discuss impact investing and how lawyers add value to it, but also ways to grow the community of lawyers ready to serve impact investors and social enterprises in the U.S. and globally.


 Panel Two: Aggregating Capital for Impact Investing

∙ Donald Crane, Independent Legal Consultant

∙ Alyssa Grikscheit, Partner, Sidley Austin

∙ Jim Mercadante, Partner, Reed Smith

∙ Kevin Saunders, Deputy General Counsel, ACCION

∙ Carl Valenstein, Partner, Bingham McCutchen LLP (Moderator)

This panel will discuss what organization structures for aggregating capital best accommodate the needs of impact investors and social enterprises that are intent on achieving double bottom line returns. How can impact investment funds attract a broader range of investors and achieve greater scale?


Panel Three: Embedding Mission Goals Into Impact Investment Documentation

∙ Aaron Bourke, Associate, Reed Smith

∙ Edward Marshall, Chief Counsel & Compliance Officer, Developing World Markets

∙ Lynn Roland, General Counsel, Acumen Fund

∙ Ben Stone, Director of Strategy & General Counsel, MCE Social Capital

∙ Mary Rose Brusewitz, Partner, Strasburger (Moderator)


This panel will discuss how the missions of impact investors and social enterprises are shaping investment documentation as well as how social impact goals are shaping the life cycle of impact investments.



Thursday, October 2, 2014

8:00 – 8:30 am — Coffee and Registration

8:30 – Noon — Panel Discussions



Bingham McCutchen LLP

399 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10022


RSVP (for in person or online participation)

To attend in person, please rsvp by September 29 to [email protected]


To attend virtually and view the proceedings online, please register at:



Bingham McCutchen LLP is an accredited provider of California (#2874) and New York continuing legal education. This program is approved for 2.75 general hours of CA MCLE and 3.0 NY CLE credits in Areas of Professional Practice. The content is appropriate for attorneys of all experience levels. CLE credit in all other jurisdictions is pending.




More information here.


More information available at the Business Law Professor Blog.


In the fall of 2008, the University of Michigan Law School launched an International Transactions Clinic (ITC), a first of its kind in legal education in the United States. The ITC provides pro bono legal advice to organizations that have an international focus and are working to improve the world with innovative business models, products, and services.  Together the ITC and its clients are proving that it is possible to do good by doing deals – globally.

On Thursday, September 12, alumni and clients of the ITC are convening in Ann Arbor, Michigan to reflect on the clinic’s first five years.  The proceedings of this celebration will be streamed live from 1:30 – 6:15 pm (EDT) at:

Rachel Robbins, former General Counsel of the International Finance Corporation, will be delivering the keynote address. Nearly a dozen of the ITC’s clients will talk about “The Art of Lawyering Deals that Generate Social and Financial Returns (at Home and Abroad)” and “How to Structure Equity Exits from Double Bottomline Enterprises.”  And recent ITC law student alumni will talk about how this clinical legal experience has shaped the start of their careers (and sense of professional opportunities).

For more information about the program, speakers and resources (including video links to three of the ITC’s recent deals), please check out this website:


The following professors will be presenting on Crowdfunding Social Enterprise at a conference hosted by Leeds School of Business at University of Colorado-Boulder and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (July 12 to 13, 2013 in Boulder, CO):

Deborah Burand (Michigan)

Steven Dean (Brooklyn)

Joan Heminway (Tennessee)

Christine Hurt (Illinois)

Haskell Murray (Regent moving to Belmont August 2013)

Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn)

The panel is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on July 13, 2013.  The abstract of the panel is below:

Crowdfunding and social enterprise both grow from populist roots. In the eyes of proponents, the emergent legalization of crowdfund investing in the United States (through, e.g., the 2012 enactment of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act) and the increasing examination and adoption of separate forms of social enterprise entity (including, e.g., Delaware’s current consideration of benefit corporation legislation) hold promise to bring the benefits of capital finance and commercial enterprise to the masses. Given the common foundations of the crowdfunding and social enterprise movements, it seems logical to consider funding social enterprise by reaching out to the crowd.  Is a marriage of the two upstart phenomena—namely, the use of crowdfunding to finance social enterprise—a match made in heaven or an ill-fated pairing? This panel features five papers, each of which explores topics at the intersection of crowdfunding (including crowdfund investing) and social enterprise as a means of teasing out some of the relevant considerations.


Just received in my inbox. . .

DEADLINE: September 1st, 2013


November 6, 7 & 8, 2013

Our annual NYU-Stern Conference on Social Entrepreneurship is dedicated to the ongoing development of theory and research on social entrepreneurship and its impact on global communities. The aim of the two-day academic conference is to bring together scholars in social entrepreneurship to discuss emerging concepts and themes in social entrepreneurship research. Conceptual papers, research papers presenting quantitative and/or qualitative data are welcome, as well as case studies and practitioner contributions. Our previous conference can be viewed here.

Conference Themes

Here are several research suggestions that may be interesting and highly provocative, although abstracts that address other relevant and timely themes of social entrepreneurship but are not covered below are also welcome:

  • Social entrepreneurship process involving opportunity recognition and evaluation
  • Organizational forms of social enterprises
  • Challenges of scaling and measuring social impact
  • Emerging themes in social entrepreneurship education
  • Cross-cultural comparative studies in social entrepreneurship
  • Research challenges in social entrepreneurship

Abstract and Paper Submission and Review Process

Authors who wish to present their papers at the conference should submit electronically a three-page abstract (double-spaced, times new roman font, size 12) by Sunday September 1st, 2013 to the conference co-Directors, Dr. Jill Kickul, Director of the NYU-Stern Program in Social Entrepreneurship, and Dr. Sophie Bacq, Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University: [email protected] and [email protected]

Abstracts will be selected and authors will be notified and invited by September 15th, 2013 to submit a full paper due on Monday October 28th, 2013.

We hope to see you here in November!

Jill and Sophie


Simon Mainwaring (CEO of We First), Jay Coen Gilbert (Co-Founder of B Lab), and Dave Cobban (Director of Sustainable Business & Innovation for Nike) will host a live Google+ hangout on May 7, 2013 at 4pm eastern (1pm pacific).  You can RSVP for the free event here

The text of the announcement reads:

Join us live to discuss how business can become a force of good by partnering with customers to co-create lasting social impact. Submit your questions below or by tagging them with #ProfitToPurpose. Simon Mainwaring, CEO of We First and New York Times bestselling author, will lay out a new sustainable vision for purposeful capitalism. We First provides strategic consulting and training in storytelling and community building to brands like Coca-Cola, 3M, Livestrong and the X Prize Foundation.  Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder of B Lab, will share how the +BCorporation movement is building a new sector of the economy. Encompassing more than 700 companies across 60 industries and in 26 nations, B Corps use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Dave Cobban, Citizen Mobilization Director of Sustainable Business & Innovation of +Nike, will talk about his role and why Nike is focused on changing “the making of making” He’ll also give an inside look into Nike’s collaborative innovation approach and their partnership with NASA, USAID, and the US Department of State called LAUNCH

LAW & SOCIETY │ 5/31/13 │ BOSTON, MA

A few days ago, Kyle Westaway asked: When will law schools start taking [social enterprise] seriously?

Well, on Friday May 31, 2013 at the Boston Sheraton Hotel (Room 05) from 4:30 p.m. until 6:15 p.m. the Law and Society Association will host a roundtable discussion at its annual meeting on corporate and tax law issues in the social enterprise space.

The participants in the Law & Society roundtable include the following law professors:

Alicia Plerhoples (Georgetown) (Chair), Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn), Haskell Murray (Regent), and Marcia Narine (currently UMKC, but moving to St. Thomas (FL) in the fall).

The abstract from our proposal reads:

We propose a roundtable discussion session that will focus on corporate and tax law’s expansion to accommodate for-profit businesses’ pursuit of the social good. This session ties to the conference’s theme of investigating the economic downturn’s effect on law and society by exploring the ways in which the downturn has promoted a rapid acceleration of the social enterprise movement and an increased commitment to corporate sustainability methods. Sustainability is a complex goal that requires a multidisciplinary approach that necessarily involves economic actors—businesses. Social entrepreneurs as well as corporate leaders are considering some of the most pressing economic issues of our time related to sustainability. How will businesses operate given the increased global demand for natural resources, gross economic disparity and inequality, and climate change of the twenty-first century?

Our panel will discuss the ways in which corporate and tax law are being reconceived to address social and environmental problems. We will discuss the proliferation of so-called social enterprise legislation (i.e., the benefit corporation, L3C, flexible purpose corporation, etc.) that has been hailed as an innovative step forward in business, while also criticized as being untested, unnecessary, and even irresponsible. In addition to introducing the audience to the new social enterprise legislation, the panelists will debate the various criticisms of social enterprise generally, and the legislation specifically, and discuss social enterprise in the larger context of the social and environmental pressures on the global economy. We will also offer our thoughts on the future of the social enterprise movement.

This is the only one of many panels, symposia, and conferences over the past few years that has had focused on social enterprise law.  That said, I agree with Kyle that law schools are still lagging behind business schools in the social enterprise space.  As I mentioned in the comments to his post, some of this lag is due to the fact that the U.S. social enterprise statutes are only 5 or fewer years old and, to my knowledge, there has not been any litigation involving these new forms.   This semester, I am teaching a social enterprise law course at Regent University School of Law, and it has been a wonderful class to teach.  I know a number of my co-bloggers have also taught social enterprise law classes, including Cass Brewer (Georgia State), Alicia Plerhoples (Georgetown), Deborah Burand (Michigan), and even Kyle Westaway – who asked the opening question – has co-taught a short course in social enterprise law at Harvard Law School.  I am sure there are additional social enterprise law courses being offered, and I do think law schools will start taking social enterprise more seriously as the space evolves.



Jonathan Ng, the Global Legal Director for Ashoka, recently sent me information about a webinar that Morrison & Foerster, Jones Day, and Adler & Colvin are putting on specifically for Ashoka staff, Ashoka Fellows, and Ashoka’s contacts and partners.  Jonathan said I could post information about the webinar on this blog.  You must preregister for the webinar here.

The speakers include:  Susan H. Mac Cormac (Partner, Morrison & Foerster) R. Todd Johnson (Partner, Jones Day); David Levitt (Principal, Adler & Colvin).

The webinar is described as “a workshop on legal ‘hybrid’ structures – where social, environmental, and economic missions are embedded in one or more legal forms. . . . [The presenters will] provide detail on important corporate, governance, and tax issues – as well as operational challenges – and discuss how the various models may or may not be effective in maximizing social and environmental goals through company operations.”