Bridget Gramme, Dan Jackson, J. Kim Wright, Stephanie Dangel
Annette McGee Johnson, Ashoka Global General Counsel. Legal. International Development. Social Entrepreneurship.

The Law & Social Entrepreneurship Working Group

The Working Group emerged in 2019 from a one-day law and social innovation conference in San Diego, presented by Ashoka as part of their Ashoka U Exchange for educators.

 Ashoka is an international organization founded by former lawyer, Bill Drayton

From their website: Ashoka builds and cultivates a community of change leaders who see that the world now requires everyone to be a changemaker. Together, we collaborate to transform institutions and cultures worldwide so they support changemaking for the good of society

From 2011 to 2021, Ashoka hosted The Ashoka U Exchange for educators. The 9th annual Ashoka U Exchange “Beyond Boundaries and Borders: Expanding Possibilities for the Future of Higher Education” was hosted by the University of California, San Diego. There was a special break-out group for legal educators at that and at previous Ashoka U Exchanges. The Law and Social Innovation gatherings brought together a community of thought leaders and innovators in the field of legal education, who together explored the role of law schools in creating the next generation of changemaker lawyers.  Kim was a speaker at both the 2017 and 2019 Exchanges.  

The 2019 group created a project to develop a syllabus for law and social entrepreneurship, the Ashoka Model Changemaking for Lawyers Syllabus.  The Working Group of Bridget, Dan, and Stephanie were soon joined by Annette. They have developed the syllabus over several meetings at Ashoka events and at The Annual Conferences on Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing.

With input from participants in the conferences, law student interns, and additional research, the Working Group has identified several areas of interest:  Reframing Lawyering, Changemaking Skills, Law as a Tool of Change; The Business of Changemaking; and Financing Changemaking.

Bridget Gramme

Bridget Fogarty Gramme serves as administrative director and supervising attorney at University of San Diego’s Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL), and is an adjunct professor. At CPIL, Gramme teaches Public Interest Law and Practice, supervises law students in their monitoring of California’s occupational licensing agencies and drafting of articles for CPIL’s Journal, the California Regulatory Law Reporter (forthcoming online), edits the Reporter, oversees all of CPIL’s administrative functions. In addition, she spearheads CPIL’s advocacy projects—from legislative advocacy on bills of interest to CPIL, to public interest impact litigation.

Dan Jackson

Dan Jackson is the Executive Director of NuLawLab at Northeastern University School of Law. The NuLawLab is an innovation laboratory working to imagine, design, test, and implement pioneering approaches to providing legal information, legal services, and legal education. The lab seeks outcomes that advance the democratization of law by: partnering with individuals and communities to identify unmet legal needs and design responsive solutions; cultivating knowledge and experiences from multiple disciplines and social perspectives to shed new insight on barriers to legal empowerment; and transforming legal education to create new means of connecting people to law, legal information, and services.

Stephanie Dangel

Stephanie Dangel is a Professor of Practice at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She serves as the faculty director of the law school externship program; teaches law school courses in transactional drafting, entertainment, social innovation and commercializing new technologies; convenes Start Smart Law seminars and workshops for law students and entrepreneurs from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh community; builds multi-nonprofit collaborations focused on inclusive innovation and equitable entrepreneurship; and publishes articles on using law and social innovation training as a way to prepare law students for 21st Century careers. She was previously the Executive Director of the Innovation Practice Institute. The Innovation Practice Institute at the University of Pittsburgh prepared law students to be and to serve innovators and entrepreneurs, with a special emphasis on social innovation and entrepreneurship, through experiential courses, internships, fellowships and public seminars and workshops.