Host Simon Love speaks with Christina Oatfield on how SELC began as a part-time project, and became a fully-staffed legal center providing legal education, conducting legal research, advocating for new legislation, and providing free legal advice to support thriving communities.


Christina Oatfield
Christina is a leader of SELC’s Food Program and she supports the Grassroots Finance Program. She also leads California state legislative campaigns in a variety of issue areas. While she is not yet licensed to practice law, her areas of expertise include food safety laws, agricultural laws, securities laws, and cooperative and nonprofit corporations.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • That some lawyers are actually community-minded superheroes that work to support social enterprise, cooperatives and nonprofits.
  • How SELC provides a pathway to becoming a lawyer without the crippling debt
  • What SELC is doing to empower the next generation of farmers and to keep farmland out of the hands of speculators
  • Why we need more young farmers (Hint: the average age of farmers is sixty years old!)
  • How Community Development Financial Institutions could use community finance to support more entrepreneurs
  • Why it’s important to accommodate both wealthy and non-wealthy investors in community finance
  • How the ‘Friends and Families’ offering Exemption greatly privileges people from wealthier backgrounds (and how California’s new law will give entrepreneurs from low-income backgrounds a chance to raise funds from different circles.)
  • How worker-owned cooperatives reduce issues like wage disparity and low worker satisfaction within the workplace.