Board of Advisers

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Jeena Shah, Esq.

Jeena is a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law in the Constitutional Rights and International Human Rights Clinic where she directs human and civil rights cases and projects at the local, state, national, and transnational level. Locally, her students collaborated with organizations, including UCELC, to develop policy proposals that implement the Movement for Black Lives' policy platform.

Prior to joining Rutgers, Jeena practiced as an international human rights attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

She also assisted in the development of the Ferguson Legal Defense Committee and helped direct the Ella Baker Internship Program.

Lastly, Jeena founded and directed the Movement Lawyering Bootcamp.

She earned her J.D. from NYU School of Law and a BA. summa cum laude from Drew University. 


Janelle Orsi, Esq.

Janelle is a lawyer, advocate, writer, and cartoonist focused on cooperatives, the sharing economy, land trusts, shared housing, local currencies, and rebuilding the commons. 

She is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center 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.

She is also 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.

Edward De Barbieri, Esq.

Ted is a Professor and Founding Director of the Community Development Clinic at Albany Law School where he provides pro bono transactional legal services to clients needing assistance with nonprofit, small business, cooperative enterprise, and other economic development issues.

Prior, Ted was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at Brooklyn Law School where he directed the Urban Economic Development Clinic

In addition, Ted was a 2008 Equal Justice Fellow and a Fullbright Resarch Fellow at the University College Cork, Ireland from 2007-2008. He received his J.D. from Broolyn Law School in 2008 and a L.L.M. from National University in Ireland,Cork.

Ted's latest article "Do Community Benefits Agreements Benefit Communities? is now available to read here



Missy Risser, Esq.

Missy Risser is a Staff Attorney with the Urban Justice Center's Community Development Project where she represents nonprofits and worker cooperatives in transactional and land use matters.

Prior, Missy was a Legal Fellow at CUNY School of Law's Community and Economic Development Clinic where assisted the world's largest cooperative business organization in developing a legal framework for the  union cooperative model.

Missy is also a co-founder of 1 Worker1Vote, a nonprofit that supports the development of unionized worker cooperatives.

In addition, she sits on the advisory board for designing the WE, a social impact benefit corporation focused on co-creating an ecosystem of social change.

Missy received her J.D. from CUNY School of Law where she was a Public Interest Graduate Fellow and received a M.Ed. in Urban Education from Temple University and a B.A. from Vassar College. 

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Samuel Gray, Esq.

Sam is a Partner at Liszka & Gray, LLC.

Previously, he was an Associate at the Law Office of Aaron H. Pierce in New York City where he represented social enterprises, small businesses, and worker cooperatives.

He does pro bono work with the Urban Justice Center's Community Development Project assisting cooperatives and nonprofit organizations in transactional legal matters and is a member of the Steering Committee of the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative, a democratically-run organization dedicated to supporting community-owned businesses.

In addition, Sam is a Legal Fellow of the Sustainable Economies Law Center's Fellowship Program where he receives extensive training and resources to support the legal needs of local sustainable economies.

He received his J.D. from Cardozo Law School in 2013 where he was an Associate Editor of the Cardozo Journal of Law and Gender.

Kelsey Ripper, Esq.

Kelsey is the Director of the Micro-Enterprise Project at the Volunteers of Legal Services where she assists small businesses and micro-enterprises with transactional legal matters, including contractual, intellectual property, and real estate legal matters.

In addition, she is the Secretary of the Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the NYC Bar Association and the Director of the Community Economic Development Committee of the American Bar Association.

Prior, Kelsey was Staff Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow at Lawyers Alliance for New York where she designed and implemented a program to provide business legal services to nonprofits addressing food security issues through urban agriculture.

Lastly, while in law school, Kelsey was a Stein Scholar for the Public Interest and gained community development legal experience at Fordham University School of Law's Community Economic Development Clinic.