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A Green Law Firm Walks the Walk
A Green Law Firm Walks the Walk

In addition to providing sound legal services, what most people might not know about Ater Wynne LLP is its long standing commitment to social enterprises focusing on sustainability and positive social impact. The Portland based law firm serves as a valuable resource to local social entrepreneurs by sharing its expertise on law, as well as state and local business climates and political issues. They help social entrepreneurs untangle the more complex and sometimes intimidating components of starting a business, such as entity structure and formation, entity governance structures to preserve mission-keeper responsibility and authority, licensing and distribution of intellectual property, and investor relations, and provide guidance towards the right decisions from the beginning that will ultimately help sustain their social and environmental values.

Ater Wynne’s relationship with Portland State University began with the school’s Business Accelerator (PSBA), serving as a sponsor and consultant to local start-ups. What sets their involvement apart from other altruistic efforts is their interest in going farther than merely having their logo displayed in exchange for a sponsorship. For example, the relationship with the PSBA spawned a partnership with PSU’s Impact Entrepreneurs Social Innovation Incubator (SII), connecting with Portland’s community of social entrepreneurs to elevate their knowledge and preparedness in launching their businesses.

Ater Wynne has sponsored two Business Briefing Breakfast (BBB) events, a public event hosted by PSU’s School of Business. The firm co-presented the April 19th BBB event on impact investing, an emerging field of investment activity that takes into account financial, social and environmental returns. Ater Wynne has played an active role in planning and conceptualizing these Business Briefing Breakfasts with Impact Entrepreneurs (IE) director, Cindy Cooper. Additionally, the firm also hosts a more intimate quarterly meeting at its offices to educate members of the SII on the latest cutting-edge developments in B-corporations, benefit corporations, and other legal issues. These quarterly meetings give SII members and its network the opportunity to participate in active dialogue with experts at Ater Wynne and gain insight that is particularly relevant to their start-up ventures.

Ater Wynne doesn’t just talk the talk, for a third consecutive year, the firm has been named one of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work for in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine. The firm was the top ranking law firm on the list. Ater Wynne also received the inaugural Sustainable Law Firm Leadership Award from the Oregon State Bar Sustainable Future Section and is a recipient of the City of Portland’s BlueWorks Award recognizing their sustainable business practices.

Do you have a business idea to create positive change? Are you interested in starting a small social enterprise? Find out more about joining Impact Entrepreneurs Social Innovation Incubator so you can work with great companies like Ater Wynne. Please visit: to find out more.

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