The Law Office of Janelle Orsi

Cohousing, TICs, Condos, Cooperatives, and Sharing Law

Contact Us

Firm Overview

My primary work is drafting contracts, forming entities, and navigating regulations on behalf of individuals and groups entering into co-ownership arrangements and forming cohousing communities, ecovillages, tenancies in common, condos, housing cooperatives, land trusts, and shared workspaces. In addition to my real estate work, I work with nonprofits, social enterprises, worker cooperatives, and farms. I am also a mediator, and have mediated real estate, family law, workplace, and neighbor disputes. My overall focus is helping individuals and communities create a more sharing, sustainable, and equitable world.

Example cases

Drafting Tenancy in Common (TIC) Agreements for individuals that co-own a home, duplex, or other multiplex. Forming and structuring an LLC for the development of a cohousing community.

Main Office

Main
1010 Grayson Street
Suite 2
Berkeley  CA  94710

Phone
  • (510) 649-9956

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

I typically spend about 10-30 minutes talking to a client to learn about his/her needs, to determine whether my services are appropriate, and to suggest helpful resources. Thereafter, I usually set up a first consultation (60-90 minutes) for a flat fee of $200.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

I often set a flat fee for the preparation of certain documents. For example, Tenancy in Common Agreements usually run between $1000 and $3000, depending on the complexity of the matter. CC&Rs for condos and LLC Operating Agreements for cohousing communities run between $3000 and $5000.

Hourly Rates

$200

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Office Manager

None.

Emergency After Hours

Yes

Languages Spoken

Spanish

Is your firm willing to help a client with one discrete part of a case, without taking on the whole case?

Yes!

What are your policies about dividing work within the firm to make the process most cost-effective for the client?

My clients are generally pleased with the ways I make my work cost-effective and affordable. Because I am a solo attorney with low overhead, I have a great deal of flexibility in the way I charge for services. I am also very open to bartering, particularly if the barter arrangement involves food!

How frequently does your firm use mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law to resolve cases?

I am a mediator and ALWAYS encourage clients to use mediation before they take a conflict to court. Aside from my mediation work, I am primarily a transactional attorney, and therefore do not litigate on behalf of my clients.

Does your firm provide pro bono legal services or otherwise participate in your community?

Approximately 25% of my cases are pro bono, and another 40% are "low bono," meaning I charge less than half of my usual rate. Many of my clients are low income and I believe strongly in the need to make legal services accessible to everyone. Many other clients are nonprofits or cooperatives working to create the world I want to live in, and it's important to me to make legal services accessible to such groups.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

I'm friendly, approachable, and down-to-earth. My documents are easy to read and understand. I have a strong focus on creating a more just and sustainable world.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I try to share as much information with clients as possible! I believe it's so important to empower communities with knowledge of the legal possibilities and limitations of their work and activities.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Yes, definitely! Admittedly, for documents like a Tenancy in Common Agreement, CC&Rs, or LLC Operating Agreement, it's much easier for me if clients start with a template that I have drafted. For a handful of such documents, I can provide clients with a free template to work with.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

Yes!

Janelle Orsi

I founded my law practice in January of 2008 to with the specific goal of creating a more sharing world. As a "Sharing Lawyer," I help people share housing, share cars, form cooperatives and ecovillages, form community gardens, start social enterprises, and generally create a more sustainable world. I am co-author of "The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community" (www.sharingsolution.com) (Nolo 2009), and co-author of a forthcoming book called "Sharing Law: The Legal Landscape of the New Economy," to be published by the American Bar Association. I also write regularly for http://www.Shareable.net.

My clients are generally pleased with the ways I make my work cost-effective and affordable. Because I am a solo attorney with low overhead, I have a great deal of flexibility in the way I charge for services. I am also very open to bartering, particularly if the barter arrangement involves food!

License
  • Bar Number: 254897
    California , 2008

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

Videos

Legal Rebels

LA-NOLO1:LDR.1.5.0.20140409.25642