Good Capital Project Newsletter

Aaron Bourke is an Associate with Reed Smith Global Corporate Group. He is a founding member of the Reed Smith Social Impact Finance Group and the Impact Investing Legal Working Group.

Related Professionals: Aaron Bourke

Good Capital Project: How did the Impact Investing Legal Working Group start? What are your objectives? What are some of the gaps that the group is working to solve?

Aaron Bourke: The Impact Investing Legal Working Group (IILWG) started from humble beginnings. From my perspective, I was working at Reed Smith trying to figure out how to build a practice around social enterprises and impact investing. I met several like-minded lawyers, including Deborah Burand from NYU Law.

Together with several other attorneys working in the sector, we organically developed monthly calls to discuss how legal professionals can better support social entrepreneurs and impact investors. We wanted to create an open dialogue to help each other identify issues and “work smarter” in this space. From the beginning, we identified “community building” as a core pillar of our working group.

Very quickly, we grew to a fairly large distribution list of people. More people started to ask how they could become involved, which gave us the momentum to host a symposium. We hosted our first annual conference four years ago with 140 attendees. Now, our annual conference is held at NYU Law, with approximately 325 attendees at our conference in June this year. There is so much latent enthusiasm among legal professionals for social impact and that is why IILWG continues to grow.

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