SEE Change is always on the lookout for people and organizations in the field of social entrepreneurship involved in something noteworthy – and newsworthy! Positive Impact Law Group caught our attention earlier this year and we connected with Natalie McFarlane, entrepreneur extraordinaire and pioneer of the burgeoning niche of law and social entrepreneurship, to learn more.
Why did you found Positive Impact Law Group?
At the most basic level, I was inspired to found Positive Impact Law Group because of one of the truths I acknowledge: a mind for business success and a mind for social consciousness for positive impact are not mutually exclusive and can operate concurrently. So, the socially-minded, entrepreneur and legal mind in me decided to create a boutique law firm that is designed to serve those who have come to know the same truth, or who are willing to test it out.
What’s your experience in the social enterprise sector?
I have experience in the social enterprise sector working as an animator to socially reintegrate at-risk youth. I also have volunteer experience as a youth academic tutor and as mentor in the nonprofit sectors in Montreal and Greater Toronto Area. I’ve also worked on the legal side as a student volunteer providing pro-bono legal services to individuals and community organizations through the Windsor Community Legal Aid Clinic and Pro-Bono Students Canada.
What services does Positive Impact Law Group provide?
The legal services that we provide include the range of services involved in entity formation, intellectual property, corporate governance, and ongoing outside legal counsel. For any specialty legal services that fall outside of the scope of our services, Positive Impact Law Group sources compatible service providers on behalf of clients.
Your tag line is “innovative legal services for social entrepreneurs.” Share some of Positive Impact Law Group’s service innovations.
A significant driving force behind our service innovations is the principle of accessibility. Some of the innovations that have come out of that include educational experiences like the Positive Impactor Strategy Sessions and intellectual property strategy sessions, which are designed to help social entrepreneurs frame the legalities of their social ventures in an empowering perspective. As well, there are cost-effective alternative fee arrangements designed to support social ventures at various stages with their legal systems. For the non-legal business support needs of clients, we tap into our network of affiliate service providers, who are aligned and are well-positioned to provide our clients with the unique attention.
What types of businesses does Positive Impact Law Group serve?
Organizations whose bottom lines are more than just about profit – whether they be start-ups, evolving with solid revenue model and ready for legal systems support, or those who have been sustainable and are looking to scale up.
Natalie McFarlane is the founder of Positive Impact Law Group, a law firm for social enterprises. She obtained her LL.B. from the University of Windsor in 2004 where she served as an elected Faculty Council Representative, Vice-President of the Black Law Student’s Association of Canada (Windsor Chapter), and Editorial Assistant of the Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues. Natalie was called to the Ontario Bar in 2005. Her professional legal experience includes serving the role of In-house Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary at multinational institutions in the financial services sector.