Transactional Lawyers: Not Just Paper Pushers, More Like Agents of Change

Social Justice Monday – February 2, 2015
Submitted by Justin Abbasi, Law Library Intern

Millions of dollars, major deals, big contracts and… marginalized and low-income communities? How do those things go together and where do lawyers fit into that equation? Litigators seem to gain all the attention with headline cases and television shows, but meanwhile, transactional lawyers are quietly making an incredible impact especially in underserved communities.
Three Seattle University law school alumni discussed how to make a difference through transactional legal work:

Peter Smith ‘09 is a partner at the Apex Law Group who focuses on providing counsel to enterprises – non-profits, for-profits and businesses seeking to make a social impact. Social enterprise corporations include ones like EcoStoves which makes clean burning, portable wood and charcoal powered cookstoves and distributes them to developing countries.

Andra Kranzler ‘11 is the Community and Economic Development Manager for Skyway Solutions which works in community-building, equitable development, and neighborhood revitalization in Southeast Seattle. Prior to joining Skyway, Andra worked at Columbia Legal Services advocating for race equity in hiring. Through her work with other partners, the Seattle City Council passed the Priority Hiring Ordinance which requires a percentage of city-funded construction projects be performed by residents from economically distressed areas of Seattle and King County.

Erica Wolf ‘05 is the Executive Director of the law school’s Center for Indian Law & Policy and teaches the Indian Trusts & Estates Clinic. Erica works with law students to provide free legal services to assist Indian people in making informed decisions about their property and provide estate planning services. Through these services, they are working to reduce fractionation of Indian land.

Looking to learn more? You may be interested in:

Contract drafting : powerful prose in transactional practice
By Lenné Eidson Espenschied
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF807.E84 2010)

Publisher’s Description:
Contract Drafting: Powerful Prose in Transactional Practice presents an overview of the stages in the contract process and offers a comprehensive introduction to the substantive areas addressed in transactional documents. In fourteen lessons, readers will learn how to work from prior documents to produce effective and complete legal documents that protect the client’s interests.

Contracts : a transactional approach
By David Zarfes & Michael L Bloom
Available at SU Law Library LAW-Reserve (KF801.A7Z37 2011)

Publisher’s Description:
This concise paperback, which will be a valuable supplementary text to any traditional contracts casebook, combines cases and actual contracts to bring a real-world practical perspective to the first-year contracts classroom. Contracts: A Transactional Approach fills the long-felt need by professors, students, and practitioners for a teaching approach to contracts that focuses on practical and transactional skills.

Choosing the language of transnational deals : practicalities, policy, and law reform
By Patrick L. Del Duca
Available at SU Law Library LAW-3rd Floor (K843.D45 2010)

Publisher’s Description:
This book takes a comparative look at cross-border secured lending and commercial dispute resolution. It illustrates how parties involved in transactions can effectively structure their business to maximize their control of the language choice in which they deal. The book integrates investigations of national legal systems and various international organizations to illustrate the new institutional dynamics through which the languages of transnational commerce and finance are being defined.

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