Greetings People Who are Reading This!
I just finished a snack taco while drafting a proposal for a potential new consulting client, which I made after squeezing in some gardening time in between rain showers. I do love working from home, as it feeds my need to flow with my go! Despite what you might think, I am not a disciplined "sit down and get this done" kind of person. I've tried lots of techniques, but I've realized that listening to my intuition and doing the work that feeds me in that moment works best for me. The challenge is not putting my true self down - I'm a high performing slacker and proud of it! Ha!
Currently, I'm feeling like writing a long letter to you! So, in my last musing, I shared a bit of woe about a failed business relationship and alluded to bigger and better things on the horizon! I am STOOOOOOOOKED and honored to finally be ready to share a new chapter in this amusing book of life.
Dr. Nicole Pierce, Carolyn Swenson, and I formed The Vervain Collective to support the natural health community - the professionals, the health conscious, and the curious; the growers, the makers, and the dabblers. Together, we collectively learn about and celebrate relationships between plants, minerals, fungi, microorganisms, and each other! Our plant-based apothecary will have a treatment/consultation room for natural health practitioners and a community education space! We're opening inside the Roots Zero Waste Market in late spring! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!
Here are some happy shots of Vervain's official launch at Yogafort this March! Our booth was a hit and we got to talk to a lot of people about the special opportunities ahead!
I'm going to still be a lawyer!
I've been reflecting on the funny-ness of life and the many circles we travel through. When I was a freshman in college, I was pre-med pursuing a career in alternative medicine. Then for a few reasons (including almost failing organic chemistry!) I chose law school instead. I never stopped loving plants or believing in the healing power of nature. I'm super in love with my niche private practice, and I'm so grateful that I am able to pursue Vervain as well. Part-time lawyer, part-time sustainability consultant, part-time apothecary owner! Full-time Kelsey Jae!
Selected Things to Say About Lawyering:
* Social entrepreneurship - I believe in the mission of B Lab, which is "using business as a force for good". The creation of a rigorous and ambitious third-party standard to measure a broad scope of issues (workers, environment, government, supply chain, community, etc.) helps to eliminate greenwashing. If you can't back it up, it's getting harder to say it with a straight face. That said, pursuing a B-Corp Certification isn't ideal for all businesses. Deciding whether it's worth it is a decision based on factors such as the need for transparency and accountability and the need to distinguish yourself in the marketplace.
Even if you don't have the intention of getting certified, doing the Impact Assessment is illuminating. You take the assessment and get a score. Usually, it's pretty low the first time you do it because you have yet to focus on documentation of the issues it tests. The assessment comes with an Improvement Report which gives you targeted ways you can improve and get more points. Then, after you implement some/all of the suggested improvements, you get back in the assessment and update your answers. Once you get to 80 points, you submit for approval. Then a staff member is assigned to you and they grill you and ask for more proof. If you stay above 80, you can become a Certified B Corp!
Full disclosure, I have had a hard time getting certified as a solo practitioner lawyer in a single member LLC. Even though social entrepreneurship has been my guide, it's hard to get points in governance, workers, and supply chain when I work from home from a laptop. BUT, I am not abandoning the effort! My consulting company, Warm Springs Consulting, earned our certification last year. And I will be pursuing it for The Vervain Collective as well.
If you (or your colleagues or other attorneys) want to know more about the law of social entrepreneurship, you know where to find me!
* "Low-Bono" - Being accessible to my community is important to me, and I've tried to create a compensation model that allows me to meet my needs while helping awesome people who might otherwise forgo legal representation due to cost. I love the term "low-bono" - a concept that applies to offering modest rates to clients of modest means. My clients on the lower end of my sliding scale are brilliant, ambitious, courageous, and inspiring. Please help spread the word that I do not turn people away for lack of funds if their needs align with my values and we are able to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement.
* Child Protection Cases - I am in my second year of volunteering for the Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian ad Litem program. It has been empowering - and very sad at times. I'm glad that this program exists to step in and in most cases stop child abuse and neglect and get families the help they need. Please consider volunteering - we need more volunteer lawyers and guardians (non-lawyers).
* Nonprofit Law: From Incubation to Fundraising - Here is a link to a great video/CLE from the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a source of great inspiration to me.
Alright friends - it's been a long letter. I have a few more "billable" things to tend to before doing some laundry and hitting dance class!
Be not-too-safe out there! Strive to find what moves you and move with it!
One of my favorite things to do is think, and I love exchanging knowledge with people trying to improve our community. This space is for me to share some of my musings in the hopes of adding more layers to our collective conversation. Please comment and share freely!