Table of Contents

Benefit Corporation Legislation and the Emergence of a Social Hybrid Category

Hans Rawhouser, University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business
Michael E. Cummings, University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business
Andrew Crane, York University - Schulich School of Business

'A Tinge of Melancholy Lay Upon the Countryside': Agricultural Historic Resources within Contemporary Agricultural and Historic Preservation Law

Jess R. Phelps, USDA

When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches

Pamela Foohey, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

What’s Money Got to Do with It?: Public Interest Lawyering and Profit

Kathryn A. Sabbeth, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Non-Profits in the Commons Economy

Jyh-An Lee, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law


"Benefit Corporation Legislation and the Emergence of a Social Hybrid Category" Free Download
California Management Review, 2015, Forthcoming

HANS RAWHOUSER, University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business
MICHAEL E. CUMMINGS, University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business
ANDREW CRANE, York University - Schulich School of Business

Previous research highlights the tensions that social hybrids face by spanning categories. This paper explores the emergence of legislation to support a new category for social hybrids, focusing on Benefit Corporation legislation in the United States. We present quantitative analysis of the state-level factors that make a state suitable for a social hybrid category (attractiveness for for-profit business and non-profits, existing social hybrid organizations, legislative intensity, political leanings) followed by qualitative analysis of the arguments marshaled for the creation of the Benefit Corporation legal form. Our findings raise important insights for research on social hybrids and suggest a range of practical implications.

"'A Tinge of Melancholy Lay Upon the Countryside': Agricultural Historic Resources within Contemporary Agricultural and Historic Preservation Law" Free Download
Virginia Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 56, 2015


Preservation of working lands and resources has become the focus of many interested in the protection of rural areas. Despite public support for such initiatives and quantifiable successes, preservation advocates have struggled to utilize the current tools available to safeguard historic resources. To address this gap, this Article first considers the unique nature of agricultural historic resources and the challenges they present from a preservation perspective. It then assesses the current framework of historic preservation laws, developed largely for urban neighborhoods, and the issues preservationists face in applying these tools to the rural context. Last, this Article proposes a series of policy solutions that would provide meaningful assistance to rural preservationists in achieving their objectives. Ultimately, historic preservation has the potential to play a strong role in preserving the character of rural areas, but only if this profound policy disconnect can begin to be bridged.

"When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches" Free Download
76 Ohio State Law Journal __ (2015, Forthcoming)

PAMELA FOOHEY, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

What does a church do when it is about to go bust? Religious organizations, like any business, can experience financial distress. Leaders could try to solve their churches’ financial problems on their own. Perhaps leaders do not view the problems as addressable with law. Or perhaps they do not think, as a moral or spiritual matter, that they should resort to the legal system, such as bankruptcy, to deal with their churches’ inability to pay its debts. Yet about ninety religious organizations seek to reorganize under the Bankruptcy Code every year. This Article relies on interviews with forty-five of these organizations’ leaders and attorneys to examine how the leaders conceptualized their churches’ financial distress as legal problems and decided to address those legal problems with bankruptcy.

Through these inquiries, the Article sheds light on longstanding questions about how people and organizations decide to use the legal system versus doing nothing or solving problems through self-help. The Article thus provides one of the first assessments of how small organizations view their problems as legal problems, and the first assessment of how leaders of small organizations decide to file for bankruptcy.

Church leaders’ journeys began with struggling to solve their congregations’ financial problems themselves and proclaiming that “bankruptcy from a spiritual standpoint is a no-no.? Most often, creditors’ foreclosure threats brought law to leaders’ attention. Leaders then turned to social networks for help understanding their legal options. Drawing from these results, the Article also scrutinizes how leaders’ reliance on social networks and feelings of stigma and shame because of their decisions to file influence debates about restricting access to bankruptcy.

"What’s Money Got to Do with It?: Public Interest Lawyering and Profit" Free Download
Denver University Law Review, Vol. 91, 2014

KATHRYN A. SABBETH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Definitions of public interest lawyering influence financial support, regulation of lawyers, and professional identity. This Article examines three contexts in which legal institutions have operationalized the concept of public interest lawyering: tax exemptions, exceptions to solicitation prohibitions, and fee-shifting statutes. The Article critiques the common conception of public interest lawyering as work provided by non-profit organizations or through volunteer activities outside the mainstream market for legal services. It argues that interpreting public interest lawyering as a market exception not only is incomplete but also threatens the viability of important work.

"Non-Profits in the Commons Economy" Free Download
The SAGE Handbook of Intellectual Property. pp.335~354 (Matthew David & Debora Halbert eds., 2014)

JYH-AN LEE, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law

Protecting intellectual commons has been one of the most important goals of recent innovation and information policies. Awareness of this importance has increased dramatically because of the expanding intellectual property (IP) laws and the digital technologies that control the flow of information. Over the past twenty years, the creation of institutions and organizations, such as Creative Commons (CC) Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Free Software Foundation (FSF), and Public Knowledge (PK), has laid essential building blocks for intellectual commons as a social movement. Significantly, these organizations are primarily nonprofit organizations (NPOs). This chapter focuses on the NPOs that occupy an increasingly critical and visible position in the intellectual-commons environment in recent years. It highlights the importance of the nonprofit sectors in the digitally networked environment, a topic that has been neglected by mainstream IP and Internet law scholarship. By illustrating the role of NPOs in shaping the commons environment, this study provides a new lens through which we can better understand the intellectual-commons environment.


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Advisory Board

Nonprofit & Philanthropy Law eJournal

John E. Anderson Professor of Tax Law, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

University Professor of Philanthropy and the Law, Director - National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University School of Law

Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law

Professor of Law and Sociology, Vanderbilt University - Law School

Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Professor of Law, University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law