John Marshall BELAW Clinic Helps Get Worker Cooperative Resolution Passed in Cook County

From John Marshall Law School

The Business Enterprise Law Clinic (BELAW) at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has been instrumental in helping get a resolution passed before the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The resolution provides additional support to worker cooperative businesses. For the past year, students enrolled in John Marshall’s BELAW Clinic have been providing transactional legal services to worker cooperative businesses. The BELAW Clinic also authored and published a report on local worker cooperative development, Cooperation Chicago: Building Chicago’s Worker Cooperative Ecosystem, commissioned by the Illinois Worker Cooperative Alliance. Across the country, worker cooperative businesses have been on the rise. Nearly one third of U.S. worker cooperatives operating today were established after 2010. “Representing worker cooperative businesses gives students more opportunities to analyze complex legal issues and increases opportunities for community impact, public speaking and lawyering-in-context,” said Professor Renee Hatcher, Director of John Marshall’s BELAW Clinic. “Worker-owned cooperatives push against inequality and economic injustice by paying workers more equitably, keeping local wages in the community and addressing economic isolation, worker exploitation and employment discrimination, as the majority of new worker-owners in Chicago and nationally are women or people of color.”

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