TrustLaw Training: Social Enterprise and Impact Investing

2 December 2019 | 3 December 2019
Cooley LLP 55 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

Date & Time

  • 2 December 2019
    8:30am - 01:15pm
  • 3 December 2019
    8:30am - 02:45


  • Cooley LLP 55 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

On 2-3 December 2019, the TrustLaw team and social innovation experts will run a two half-day, CLE accredited Social Enterprise and Impact Investing Training in New York City.

This course will explore key legal issues and trends in the social innovation space and provide lawyers and other professionals with the skills they need to advise the different stakeholders in the sector. It is a first-of-its-kind course to combine hands-on legal training with practical case studies and excellent networking opportunities.

Upon completion of the training, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the shape of the social economy in the U.S. and how the U.S. has positioned itself as a leading player in this space globally.
  • Advise on the appropriate business structure for different social enterprises and on different mechanisms to lock social mission into business activities.
  • Recognize the key legal issues facing social entrepreneurs to help ensure agreements and commercial documentation reflect the financial and social realities of this rapidly growing sector.
  • Have a clear understanding of innovative tools and mechanisms used to inject capital into socially focused businesses, including social impact bonds, crowdfunding and impact investment funds.
  • Design and structure investment transactions using innovative impact terms and approaches to align investors with varying financial return and impact objectives.

Participants will become part of a community of practice that facilitates the sharing of lessons learned and best practices in the realm of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Additionally, upon completion of the course, attendees may be given the opportunity to participate in related pro bono projects through TrustLaw, enabling them to apply the skills and knowledge gained to real-life matters.

CLE: This course is approved for 8-10 CLE credits in California, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Credits issued will be based upon verified attendance and applicable rules.


Half-Day - $250 | Full Course - $400

Breakfast, lunch, and drinks reception included. Group discounts are available. NGOs and social enterprises are entitled to a reduced rate. For more information, please contact Shiura Rasheed.

The cost of the course goes to support the work of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono service, TrustLaw, which connects the world’s leading legal teams to provide free legal assistance to NGOs and social enterprises working for social and environmental change.


  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Testimonials
  • Social Enterprise

    The first half-day of the course is designed to provide participants with a big picture market overview of the social enterprise space in the United States and beyond. Three topics, ranging in format from lectures to interactive workshops, will give attendees a thorough overview of the market, structuring options, and the key legal challenges that arise for lawyers and other professionals serving this space.

    8:30 – 8:50 | Registration & Breakfast

    8:50 – 9:10 | Opening Address: State of the Social Enterprise Sector

    A market overview of the social enterprise sector in the U.S. and beyond, including definitions of social enterprise, key terminology and key debates.

    Speaker: TBC

    9:10 – 9:30 | Lecture: Structuring Social Enterprises and Protecting Social Mission

    Understand the range of different structures available to social enterprises and the practical advantages and challenges of each. This session will also discuss protecting the social mission of "profit with purpose" businesses and the different legal mechanisms to lock in social purpose.

    Speaker: TBC

    9:30 – 9:45 | Break

    9:45 – 10:45 | Panel: Where Mission Meets Form: What Legal Structures Social Entrepreneurs Choose and Why

    A panel discussion that will provide insight into different legal structures chosen by social entrepreneurs and the impact it has on achieving social mission, to separate the hype from the practical utility of the new forms.

    Moderator: TBC

    Speakers: TBC

    10:45 – 12:00 | Workshop – Structuring & Locking in Social Mission

    This interactive session will build on the previous sessions, and allow participants to practice advising social entrepreneurs on the right structure and how to lock in social mission based on case studies.

    12:00 – 12:15 | Networking Break

    12:15 – 13:15 | Interactive Panel and Lunch: Through the Eyes of a Social Entrepreneur

    Overview of the key legal challenges faced by new social businesses including shareholder agreements, intellectual property, privacy policies, and employee issues. The session will include an interactive panel in which featured social enterprises will share practical lessons about real-life legal issues encountered.

    Moderator: TBC

    Speakers: TBC

  • Impact Investing

    The second half-day of the course will deep dive into the social finance space, bringing the legal perspective to topics including impact investment fund structures, innovative financing mechanisms and structuring investments for impact.

    8:30 – 8:50 | Registration & Breakfast

    8:50 – 9:10 | Opening Address: State of the Social Finance Sector

    A market overview of the social investment space in the U.S., covering facts and figures on the size of the market, review of the "big players", and identification of key gaps, challenges and opportunities to move the market forward.

    Speaker: TBC

    9:10 – 9:30 | Lecture: Impact Investing and Impact Investment Funds

    Lecture on the legal structuring of social impact funds and how the differing needs and requirements of social investors are reflected in a fund.

    Speaker: TBC

    9:30 – 9:45 | Break

    9:45 – 10:45 | Panel: Structuring Impact Investments and Impact Terms

    Key fund managers and financial intermediaries discuss how they structure their funds, and how to strike the right balance between social and financial returns. The session will explore the innovative investment terms and alternative structures they use to create more impact and better returns.

    Moderator: TBC

    Speakers: TBC

    10:45 – 12:00 | Workshop: Investment Terms - Structuring for Impact

    Interactive workshop where participants will practice drafting a custom financing term sheet designed to preserve social mission and will advise social impact companies and impact investors on how to strike the right balance between social and financial returns.

    12:00 – 12:15 | Break

    12:15 – 13:15 | Discussion: Innovative Financing Models

    A broad look at innovative finance mechanisms that mobilize private sector capital in new and more efficient ways to deliver positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes. The session will also discuss gaps in the market and explore future perspectives on the space.

    Moderator: TBC

    Speakers: TBC

    13:15 – 14:45 | Closing Luncheon: How Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing can Solve the Refugees Crisis

    Closing luncheon and lively discussion with leading social innovators that will provide insight into new approaches taken to support social enterprise and impact investing around the world.

    Moderator: TBC

    Speakers: TBC

  • Testimonials

    "I really enjoyed the mix of law and non law materials, and the interactive workshops" Soumya Rao, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

    "I attended the Impact Investment training day and found it to be informative, clear and well-delivered. The sessions gave me quite a few ideas for new pro bono projects that might be developed for our lawyers" Sophie Orr, White & Case LLP

    "The sessions were very thorough and backed up by documentation which is of course useful for recalling the detail" Soraya Mir, The Fred Hollows Foundation

    "Pooling together such a diverse group of perspectives - from practitioners to legal experts - brought a unique set of discussions to the table" Alex Christopoulos, Stars Foundation

    "Great topic, some passionate and very knowledgeable speakers, it was nice to put a face to TrustLaw too" Emma Quinn, Brown Rudnick LLP

    "Meeting and interacting with lawyers and other leaders in their fields who are passionate about social enterprises and impact investing" Anonymous

    "The clarity of the speakers in providing general overviews of concepts that were relatively new to me."  Anonymous


  • The Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship —the first center of its kind at a law school—is an emerging global leader in the field of law and social entrepreneurship. The Grunin Center is advancing a global movement that creates new ways for law and lawyers to drive positive change in the world.

    The mission of the Grunin Center is to enhance the community of lawyers and legal institutions engaged in social entrepreneurship and impact investing and to accelerate their effective participation in these fields. To fulfill this mission, the Grunin Center educates students and practicing lawyers about legal issues in social entrepreneurship and impact investing; disseminates knowledge, resources and research about legal issues and policy developments in these fields; and collaborates with other field-building organizations, universities and research centers.