Trustee: Thurston Law Firm

San Francisco, CA

Why are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
I am an attorney with a law practice in San Francisco providing legal services to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups. I have a particular interest in helping social enterprises achieve their social-mission oriented goals. I often work with clients to develop sustainable financial models that include new forms of equitable investing and capital to support such growth. The current rise in impact investing supports the burgeoning community of investors interested in supporting social ventures and companies that have a positive impact on economic development, job creation, and a host of other important social causes.
What is the mission of your organization?
Thurston Law Firm is a law practice providing direct legal services to small businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises. With deep roots in the San Francisco community, our firm was built on the philosophy of promoting social impact through innovation. Our professionals have diverse backgrounds in both public interest and corporate law, a skill-set that we leverage to help our clients confront their legal challenges at each stage of growth. Every year, we hold workshops, author research, and engage practice groups to promote an awareness of key issues facing social enterprises. We strongly believe that empowering entrepreneurs with accessible legal knowledge is essential for driving economic and social change in our communities.
In the past, how effective have you been in achieving this mission?
Since its founding in January 2011, Thurston Law Firm has provided legal services to over 80 small businesses and successfully established many nonprofits as 501(c)(3) organizations. Thurston Law Firm has also assisted pop-ups in both the retail and restaurant spaces achieve growth through alternative financing mechanisms.
Do you belong to any organizational networks -- nationally, regionally, or locally? If yes, please list.
California State Bar Association The Hub Social Impact Investing Forum Impact Law Forum
How will you decide who to endorse as a borrower? What due diligence will you conduct?
I have a large client base of start-ups and social entrepreneurs seeking capital to fund social ventures. I work closely with clients to develop realistic and sustainable financing structures involving both debt and equity, and that incorporate alternative methods of financing such as crowdfunding. As such, I have access to clients’ revenue forecasts and other financial projections that assist me in determining whether a client has the financial means to cover debt repayments. If, after review of a business plan, financial records, and my own experience with the client, I feel confident that the client can repay the loan, I may offer my endorsement as a Trustee.
How do you plan to support the borrower, both before and after the loan is disbursed?
I offer support to the borrower through the provision of legal services essential to building a successful business from the ground up. I often charge reduced or flat fees to social enterprises and nonprofits to help ensure access to the critical legal services required to form and operate a sustainable business. The services I offer include entity formation, contract drafting and negotiation, intellectual property and employment law counseling as well as alternative dispute resolution.
How will you help us ensure that the loans you endorse have a significant and positive social impact?
Since I work closely with social enterprise and nonprofit clients to develop social mission statements to incorporate into a company’s charter and operations, I have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the impact of such ventures. Companies that incorporate sustainable principles into their business models such as locally sourced manufacturing, job creation, and environmentally friendly practices are some of the methods by which a company can incorporate social impacts as part of both its legal infrastructure and operations. I also recommend to clients online tools available to perform self-assessments of social impact such as B-Lab in order to help evaluate a company’s social impact.

About Thurston Law Firm

Trustee Type:
Law Firm
First Tier trustee
On Zip Since:
Nov 8, 2012
(45 months)
Loans Endorsed:
Total Value:
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Repaid in Full:
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