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Elizabeth L. Carter
Managing Attorney

 

Elizabeth is a business capital attorney who represents investment companies, small businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, and other social enterprises with the legal strategy and compliance of raising capital from their community and other investors.  Her most recent work includes assisting  a driver-owned ride-share cooperative with the legal compliance of its $2.5 million debt crowdfunding offer through Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF). Similarly, she assisted a number of cooperatives with the amendment of their governing documents (by-laws, operating agreements, articles of incorporation) in order to prepare them for an upcoming capital raise from non-member investors.  She also assisted a number of investment funds with the securities legal strategy and compliance of a SEC Rule 506(c) crowdfunding offer, including a cooperatively-owned investment fund that offered  $2 million in equity to accredited investors, as well as a community development financial institution that offered $1 million in slow equity to mission-aligned accredited investors.

Elizabeth's prior work includes the legal representation of entrepreneurs, property owners, small businesses, nonprofits and government agencies in various community economic development initiatives including drafting a joint venture agreement on behalf of a minority-owned redevelopment entity in order to promote inclusionary development; serving as general counsel to a limited-equity housing cooperative with over two hundred affordable housing units for seniors, and persons of low income; assisting a community development nonprofit with real estate sales for affordable housing development; representing a government agency with property tax lien issues in order to assist in the removal of blighted properties; reviewing, drafting, and negotiating commercial real estate contracts on behalf of small businesses; and helping to prevent a tax lien foreclosure on behalf of a low-income property owner through the negotiation and drafting of a third-party investor real estate agreement.

She also served as Special Counsel in the Department of Economic and Housing Development of the City of Newark (NJ) where she was lead counsel on a $8.1 mill affordable housing cooperative project and authored the City's amended tax abatement ordinance which provides tax incentives for inclusionary development by women, racial minorities, and cooperatives. Elizabeth also founded and served as Lead Counsel & Executive Director of the Urban Cooperative Enterprise Legal Center, Inc. (@ucelc), a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to create and support cooperative enterprises within marginalized communities in order to promote local sustainability. Lastly, Elizabeth extended her community development and teaching experience to Chicago having served as Director of Community Planning and Economic Development of Chicago's 20th Ward Ald. Jeanette Taylor's office and as Visiting Professor in the Community Enterprise and Solidarity Economy Clinic at the University of Illinois School of Law in Chicago 

Currently, Elizabeth is on the Board of Directors of the Co-op Ed Center, a nonprofit dedicated to incubating cooperative enterprises in the Chicago-area; and serves on a number of Advisory Boards including the Seaway, A Division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union and the National Public Housing Museum.

Elizabeth is an honors graduate of the University of Michigan, double majoring in African American studies + political science with a minor in philosophy. She is also a graduate of Rutgers University, graduating with a a dual degree in law and urban planning. Elizabeth is licensed to practice federal law, as well as State law in three states: Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, and is passionate about the  solidarity economy, restorative economics, and community economic development. She is open to speaking engagements. 

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 2020

  • New Jersey, 2016

  • New York, 2016

 

Other Professional Affiliations​

 

Education

  • Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey: Juris Doctorate (2015)

  • Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Policy, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Masters in City and Regional Planning (2015)

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan: Bachelor of Arts with honors Afro-American and African Studies,    Political Science, and Philosophy 2011

Publications

THE TEAM

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Chynnique Ross, Esq.
Associate
Chynnique received her education at UIC Law, where she served as a Student Attorney for the IP Trademark Clinic, conducting client intake work and drafting search reports. She also served as a Research Assistant to Professor Renee Hatcher, conducting a literature review about Indigenous tribal governance practices, researching alternative approaches to institutional governance and other topics. 

Before joining the Firm, Chynnique gained valuable experience working as a securities law clerk, where she researched securities and employment matters and provided analysis and assessments to the senior attorney. Chynnique currently serves as the Executive Director of The Light Law INC. and a board member of Encourage You 2, INC. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Murray State University. Her work and research focus on providing access to capital and legal representation to underrepresented business owners. 
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Briana Gipson-Fleming, MUPP
Programs & Communication Manager
Briana Gipson-Fleming is an award-winning researcher and community economist with seven years of experience in community economic development communication, programming, and engagement. In 2021, she graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with her Master of Urban Planning and Policy and specialization in (community) economic development. She is the 2020 Peters Regional Planning Fellow for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and a member of the 2020-2021 Illinois American Planning Association Pro Bono Program project team. 

Her passion for community self-determinism and reparative economy has won her research fellowships at Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions like the University of Iowa, Rutgers University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). 

Briana is professionally trained in Dignity-Infused Community Engagement by the Thrivance Group, an anti-racist planning firm based in California. 
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