Attorney Sarah Kaplan Joins as Partner

Attorney Sarah Kaplan Joins as Partner

Sarah Kaplan headshot

Sarah Kaplan has joined the partnership at Cutting Edge Counsel. Sarah first affiliated with the firm in 2015 and joined as an Associate in 2021. Sarah has 10 years of experience serving a wide range of cooperatives, including worker, consumer, agricultural, platform, investment, and multi-stakeholder cooperatives, including limited cooperative associations. Her focus also includes securities law, helping clients raise capital from their private networks, their stakeholders, or the public. Sarah also regularly handles legal structuring issues for businesses, general small business matters, and trademarks.

“We are thrilled that Sarah has accepted Cutting Edge’s partnership invitation. She is a key member of our leadership team and demonstrates the commitment to impact and innovation we so highly value in our attorneys,” said Kim Arnone, managing partner. “Adding her as partner strengthens our firm and reinforces our commitment to providing exceptional legal services to cooperatives and other impact enterprises.”

Sarah has been a Fellow of the Sustainable Economies Law Center since 2013. Sarah graduated magna cum laude from Chicago Kent College of Law. Sarah has her A.B. from Princeton University. She has previously lived in Chicago and the East Bay Area of California, and now lives and gardens in St. Louis, Missouri. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois and California.

We’re Hiring! Operations and Office Manager (PT)


Summary of our Firm

Our law firm and consulting practice help mission-driven organizations raise capital in alignment with their values and goals. We use our experience, legal knowledge, and passion to assist businesses, cooperatives, and nonprofits with innovative and successful capital raising campaigns. We believe that community-centered offerings help social enterprises maintain control, stay mission-aligned and build a more just, equitable and sustainable economy. Our services include strategic and capital raise consulting and related legal services.

What We are Looking For

  • You are a mission focused individual dedicated to a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable economy
  • You are actively engaged in your community, offering support to initiatives that align with your values
  • You are a strategic thinker that can look at complex problems and offer straightforward solutions
  • You are a generalist that is excited to roll up your sleeves and learn about all aspects of our business operations including front line client communications, organizational management and bookkeeping
  • You are organized, efficient, and self-disciplined

Summary of the Position

You will act as the operational and organizational guru for our law firm and consulting practice. Your primary responsibilities include driving the company’s day-to-day activities, increasing the firm’s organization and efficiency, managing firm software and technology, supporting client experience (including client management and light bookkeeping) and working with the principals on strategic initiatives.

Job Responsibilities

  • Respond to potential client inquiries and schedule consultations
  • Manage client pipeline and follow up communications
  • Onboard clients including finalizing agreements and recordkeeping
  • Document and streamline company policies and procedures
  • Manage firm systems and software including GSuite, Salesforce, Zoom conferencing and webinars, Bill.com, and Gusto, among others
  • Assist with bookkeeping functions in conjunction with the firm’s accountant:
    • Accounts receivable management in Bill.com and communication with clients regarding payments
    • Accounts Payable management in Bill.com and communication with vendors
    • Process payroll on semi-monthly schedule
  • Assist with human resources, marketing, and operations tasks
  • Troubleshoot minor IT and software issues; work with vendors to resolve as needed
  • Provide administrative support to attorneys and consultants
  • Handle insurance renewals and other compliance matters
  • Assist with special projects as requested

Qualifications

  • Relevant associate or bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Two years of related operations and/or bookkeeping experience
  • Ability to adapt to a changing environment and handle multiple priorities
  • Experience with GSuite, Microsoft products, Salesforce, Zoom, Bill.com, Adobe Acrobat, Docusign preferred
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Ability to prioritize projects effectively
  • Self-starter and able to work well without constant direction
  • Well-organized and possessing excellent attention to detail

Compensation, time and location: $26 per hour; 18-22 hours per week (flexible number of hours per week; 4-5 days per week); we are based in Oakland, CA and would prefer a person located in the Bay Area in order to be in the office once per week but we will consider a remote placement.

Please send a resume with a cover letter and references describing why you are interested in the position to info@cuttingedgecapital.com. 

Equitable Community Solar: A Sense of Ownership

Charged with exploring sense of ownership strategies for economically-disadvantaged communities in California, Cutting Edge Capital worked in partnership with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP) to identify strategies and business models that encourage the development of equitable community solar projects in West Oakland, California. WOEIP is a resident led, community-based environmental justice organization dedicated to achieving healthy homes, healthy jobs and healthy neighborhoods for all who live, work, learn and play in West Oakland.

As a result, Cutting Edge presented three strategies:

  • cosponsorship and development of a project awarded to participate in the Community Solar Green Tariff Program;
  • cosponsorship and development of a large-scale solar project that provides electricity to a site host or municipal utility (e.g., Port of Oakland); and
  • development of a solar commons model in which a cooperative owns and develops a solar project on a host site and shares in the utility savings generated.

Watch the full presentation above or download the presentation file below to learn how the framework presented promotes equitable community solar projects that support a “just transition” to a regenerative economy in alignment with WOEIP’s mission.

Bay Area Ranchers Cooperative on KALX

Bay Area Ranchers Cooperative on KALX

Listen in as Bay Area Ranchers Cooperative (BAR-C) Vice President Adam Parks speaks with KALX Method to the Madness host Lisa Kiefer about the future of sustainable ranching and the alternative meat sourcing option his collective aims to provide local consumers. During the segment, Parks shares his own history and experience as a local rancher and meat vendor, which ultimately led to the inception of the BAR-C and its mission to provide USDA-inspected responsible animal harvesting.

Like many organizations, both large and small, BAR-C’s member farms have had to quickly pivot to counter challenges caused by the global pandemic. However, where many large meat processing plants across the country faced shortages, BAR-C’s member farms were able to maintain their businesses due to their small-scale operations and alternative meat processing model. Moving forward, BAR-C will continue its fundraising campaign, which launched in September and is offering various types of capital raise strategies including preferred stock offerings and a Reg CF via WeFunder

Hear the full interview below.

Webinar Replay: Community Capital Series Part I and II

Webinar Replay: Community Capital Series Part I and II

We need to build back better, and community capital is one of the key paths to drive the change we seek. This past month, Cutting Edge teamed up with SVX US to cohost a two-part webinar series exploring live case studies of place-based funds and nonprofit organizations across North America. During the webinars, attendees heard from speakers representing U.S. and Canadian companies VERGE CapitalTechSoup, New Way Homes, PVGrows, Community Vision, and Upper Canada Social Impact Fund.

If you were unable to attend the webinars or would like to revisit the presentations, please use the links below to access the recordings:

Place-Based Funds: A Vehicle for Community Investment – August 13, 2020
In this webinar, Cutting Edge founding partner John Katovich and managing partner Brian Beckon discuss securities law and concepts around place-based impact investing funds. The team also explored case studies from VERGE Capital, Upper Canada Social Impact Fund, TechSoup, and PV Grows.

Community Capital: Case Studies and Strategies for Innovative Nonprofit Financing – August 27, 2020
In the second and final webinar, Cutting Edge managing partner Kim Arnone joined in to lead the discussion on securities law and concepts around nonprofit financing, including private offerings and community offerings. The team also explored case studies from TechSoup and Community Vision.