Janelle Orsi is a lawyer, advocate, writer, and cartoonist focused on cooperatives, the sharing economy, urban agriculture, shared housing, local currencies, and community-supported enterprises. She is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), which facilitates the growth of more sustainable and localized economies through education, research, and advocacy. Janelle also works in private law practice at the Law Office of Janelle Orsi, focusing on sharing economy law since 2008.
Books: Janelle is the author of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy: Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, and Local Sustainable Economies (ABA Books 2012), and co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (Nolo Press 2009), a practical and legal guide to cooperating and sharing resources of all kinds.

Cartoons: Janelle’s cartoons include: The Next Sharing EconomyEconomy SandwichShare SprayThe Beatles EconomyThe Legal Roots of ResilienceHousing for an Economically Sustainable FutureTransactional Law Practice for a Sharing EconomyGovernance is Life, and Citylicious.

Fun Fact and Blog: Janelle is an advocate for a more open, inclusive, and accessible legal profession, and you can see her 10-minute presentation on transforming the legal profession here. Janelle supervises two legal apprentices — co-workers who are becoming lawyers without going to law school. Janelle and her apprentices are blogging about the process at LikeLincoln.org.

Fellowship and Recognition: In 2014, Janelle was selected to be an Ashoka Fellow, joining a robust cohort of social entrepreneurs who are recognized to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society.  In 2010, Janelle was profiled by the American Bar Association as a Legal Rebel, an attorney who is “remaking the legal profession through the power of innovation.” In 2012, Janelle was one of 100 people listed on The (En)Rich List, which names individuals “whose contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures.”

Previously: Janelle has worked in a range of legal practice areas, including criminal defense,police misconduct, youth law, immigration, adoptions, LGBT rights, and estate planning. From 2005 to 2008, Janelle was Executive Director of Women Defenders, a professional organization of women defense attorneys, and she has also worked for or interned with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Legal Services for Children, the Youth Law Center, and the San Francisco Juvenile Public Defender. Prior to becoming an attorney, Janelle worked in the fields of nonprofit development, K-12 education, and social services.

For many years, Janelle volunteered her mediation skills with SEEDS Community Resolution Center . She also founded and coordinator of the Music Sanctuary Project, a program of Guitars not Guns that provides music lessons to detained immigrant youth.

Education: Pomona College (B.A. Cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa, 2002); Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley (Juris Doctorate, 2007).