Janelle Orsi is an attorney living and working in Berkeley, California, who also refers to herself as a ‘sharing lawyer’. Her law and mediation practice is focused on helping individuals and organizations share resources and create more sustainable communities.

She works with social enterprises, non-profits, cooperatives, community gardens, co-housing communities, ecovillages, and others doing innovative work to change the world. Her primary areas of legal specialty are real estate, small business, nonprofit, and estate planning law. In addition to her private practice, Orsi is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center.

She is co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (2009), which is a practical and legal guide to cooperating and sharing resources of all kinds. She also writes regularly for Shareable.net.

Previously, she was Executive Director of Women Defenders, a professional organization of women defense attorneys and has worked in a range of legal practice areas, including criminal defense, youth law, immigration, adoptions, LGBT rights, and estate planning. She has 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, Orsi worked in the fields of nonprofit development, education, and social science research.

Janelle Orsi volunteers her mediation skills with SEEDS Community Resolution Center. She is also founder and coordinator of the Music Sanctuary Project, a program of Guitars not Guns that provides music lessons to detained immigrant youth. She lives in “casual co-housing”, shares garden space and regular meals with her neighbors, takes part in a grocery co-op, shares an office space, and is always looking for new ways to share in her life.

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