Lawyers, Legal Advice and Relationality in Sustainable Economy Initiatives


  • Bronwen Morgan UNSW Australia


Legal profession, community enterprise, transactional law, new economy


The context of this paper is that of legal professional support for sustainable economy initiatives. Practices that blur the line between law and non-law as a strategy are often viewed by those who found such initiatives as part of an important reframing of economic transactions. The central claim of this paper is that legal professional identities are challenged, and even undermined, by the relational work performed in constituting sustainable economy initiatives. Two distinct lines of argument are made. First, practices that stretch the boundary between law and not-law establish relationalities that challenge legal professional identity. Secondly, legal professional identity is challenged by the work of clarifying regulatory grey areas, typically where practices draw the boundary between personal and commercial in novel ways that undercut or are unforeseen by existing legal rules. The paper concludes by suggesting the constitutive implication of this boundary work is the emerging figure of the community enterprise lawyer.

El contexto de este artículo es el del apoyo jurídico profesional a iniciativas de sostenibilidad económica. La tesis central de este artículo es que el trabajo relacional que tiene lugar en la fase de constitución de dichas iniciativas pone en cuestión, e incluso mina, las identidades jurídicas profesionales. Se describen dos líneas argumentales. Primero, las prácticas que fuerzan el límite de lo legal y lo no legal establecen relaciones que cuestionan la identidad jurídica profesional. Segundo, la identidad jurídica profesional se pone en cuestión durante el trabajo de clarificar áreas grises de la regulación, normalmente aquéllas donde las prácticas marcan el límite entre lo personal y lo profesional en formas que cortocircuitan las normas legales existentes. El artículo concluye con la hipótesis de que la implicación constitutiva de este trabajo en los límites es la figura emergente del abogado de empresa comunitaria.





How to Cite

Morgan, B. (2017) “Lawyers, Legal Advice and Relationality in Sustainable Economy Initiatives”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 7(7), pp. 1487–1508. Available at: (Accessed: 22 October 2021).