Practice Area Insights — Opportunities and Challenges of Lawyering to Advance Just and Transformative Investment

24 Min View By: Jinna Kwak, Dorcas R. Gilmore

In this video, Dorcas R. Gilmore and Jinna Kwak explore what it looks like to effectively represent clients with goals of using and leveraging their capital for social justice.

Transformative finance and similar concepts are rooted in questions like “How do we make real the promise of justice for all communities… and how do we shift the economy in ways that actually achieve that?” Gilmore said. Kwak, of counsel at Adler & Colvin, and Gilmore, principal of Gilmore Khandhar, LLC and co-editor of new book Investing for Social Impact, Economic Justice, and Racial Equity, have deep experience working with nonprofits and grassroots organizations seeking capital, grantmakers and investors, and beyond. Their insightful discussion delves into opportunities and challenges in each context at the intersection of legal frameworks and broader principles. They highlight the need for creativity, imagining risk and diligence more broadly, and understanding the variety of roles lawyers can play.

Read more about the video’s featured speakers below:

Dorcas R. Gilmore is a racial and economic justice attorney and consultant with over twenty years of experience working with national, regional, and local organizations across the United States. She is a principal of Gilmore Khandhar, LLC, a solidarity economies law firm representing social ventures, investors, and community enterprises that create a more just and equitable economy. She began her legal career as a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney at the Community Law Center, where she developed a youth business legal services program and represented communities fighting anti-gentrification efforts. She was an Assistant General Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving as corporate counsel and economic and environmental and climate justice advocacy counsel for the national office and over 2,200 state and local affiliates. She received the NAACP Staff Attorney of the Year Award for her work. She was a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School. She is a Past Chair of the ABA Business Law Section’s Community Economic Development Committee and former Governing Committee member of the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing & Community Development Law. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Global Boatworks Holdings, Inc., and Baltimore Action Legal Team. She was a founding Advisory Committee member of the Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s Racial Justice Institute and Board of Directors of the National Black Worker Centers. Committed to building the field, she has directed community equity development law clinics and trained law students as a Practitioner in Residence at American University Washington College of Law and Visiting Associate Professor at George Washington University Law School and University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Prior to her legal career, she worked abroad on international economic development efforts as a part of the Dominican Republic’s Presidential Plan Against Poverty. She graduated from Rollins College and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she was a Gilbert & Jaylee Mead Public Interest Scholar.

Jinna Kwak (Of Counsel, Adler & Colvin) practices exempt organization law with a focus on handling transactional matters for a variety of charities, including nonprofits with for-profit subsidiaries and/or affiliates, and advising organizations in the impact investment space. Before joining Adler & Colvin, Ms. Kwak was a corporate associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her A.B. in Economics at Harvard.

For more insightful business law content, top-tier CLE programming, and valuable connections, join the ABA Business Law Section, a global network of more than 30,000 business law professionals.

Connect with a global network of over 30,000 business law professionals


Login or Registration Required

You need to be logged in to complete that action.