About‎ > ‎

About my practice

I practice law to help people and to build better institutions.  I want to empower others and myself to build a better world.  My practice focuses on supporting Constructive Program and Civil Resistance.*(See definitions below)  The majority of my work is in Constructive Program, where I help people build cooperatives, nonprofits, socially responsible businesses, and other social justice projects.  I help people develop replaceable models that will change our way of life.  And I help with projects that will increase people's capacity, health, and social welfare.  If we want a better world, we have to put in the elbow grease to building it.    

My work with Civil Resistance focuses on explaining the current legal landscape, looking for leverage points, and helping develop successful strategies.  

For more detailed explanation of the services I offer, please see my Services page.  

What is Constructive Program?

I like the Metta Center's definition, "Constructive Program is action taken within the community to build structures, systems, processes or resources that are positive alternatives to oppression."  It is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of activities, anything from building cooperatives to teaching about healthy diets.  I like to think of it as "cooperative with good" as opposed to "non-cooperative with evil" and it is a broad as our imaginations.  Most socially-conscious people are involved in aspects of Constructive Program already, we just have not yet adopted it as unifying term to describe our collective efforts. 

What are Constructive Institutions?

Constructive Institutions are institutions designed to benefit all the people involved in them and to build the capacity of those involved. These are institutions that do not extract wealth from their workers for the benefit of a few. They build community among participants, and support a just and vibrant society. Cooperatives in their many forms are a wonderful example of a constructive institution, designed to be democratic and fairly egalitarian.    

What is Civil Resistance?

Civil Resistance is... well... civil.  As in, non-violent, courteous, by citizens, and in pursuit of just ends.  It is a broad term used to define a wide range of obstructive activities that build support for and participation in the movement.  The goals can be anything from trying to change the way the general public behaves to trying to change an unjust law.  At its heart, Civil Resistance is "non-cooperation with evil" and can be done daily in our everyday life. More confrontational forms include Civil Disobedience and Satyagraha.  Historically, Civil Resistance is far more effective at producing good outcomes for society.(Why Civil Resistance Works, Erica Chenowith ADD FULL CITE)  
Some good examples: