FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions

Who We Are

How is Unified different from other legal support companies?
Unified was founded by two 20+ year general counsels and a financial services thought leader to re-design legal support services. Our goal is to remove unnecessary costs, prove alternative ownership models work, empower women in law, finance, and tech, and have a social impact. Our reason for being is to provide sophisticated, affordable, modern legal support to purpose-driven companies so we can all do more good.

That’s why Unified is:

  • A Delaware Public Benefit LLC
  • Woman-Owned
  • Steward-Owned
  • All remote
  • A mix of legal, operational, and accounting professionals
Is Unified a non-profit?

No. A non-profit organization is granted tax-exempt status by the IRS because it furthers a social cause and provides a public benefit and makes no profit.

Steward-owned companies are for-profit ventures that operate to serve a specific purpose through their products, services, and operations. Unlike conventional companies, where profit is used to benefit shareholders, steward-owned companies primarily reinvest profits into the purpose.

Steward-owned companies like Unified can raise money through debt or equity with certain predetermined economic rights, but the voting rights can never be sold.

Do I need to come into your office and meet you in person?

No. While we’re happy to work from your offices on occasion, and many times suggest whiteboarding sessions for larger projects, part of the reason we can offer affordable pricing is because each of our team members works remote. Most are in Texas, California, and the Philippines.

What are your business hours?

The great thing about having team members in different time zones is that we can almost promise 18-hour coverage. But most work happens from 9 am to 9:00 pm Monday through Friday, Central Standard Time.

What is steward ownership?

Steward ownership is a governance model that assumes companies have a role beyond generating profits to increase shareholder value. All companies can and should have a reason for being and serve a broad range of stakeholders. While the ownership structures can vary, the designs share two principles:

Principle 1: Profits Serve Purpose

Profits are an engine to support the company’s purpose. They are reinvested in the business, used to repay founders and capital providers, shared with stakeholders, and used to improve communities. Profits are not an objective, but a means to further the purpose.

Unified’s purpose is to make sophisticated legal support affordable, valuable, and transparent so purpose-driven companies can make more informed decisions, be more profitable, and we can all do more good.

Principle 2: Self-Governance

Control of the company is kept with “stewards” – people actively engaged in or connected to the business and its mission (such as employees, customers, vendors, community members, etc.)

Unified issues our voting Steward Shares to our team members and select community advisors, partners, and clients.

Are there subject areas that Unified does NOT cover?
  • Age Discrimination
  • Alcohol and Firearms
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Family & Medical Leave Rights
  • Gender Discrimination & Sexual Harassment
  • Pregnancy Law
  • Cannabis Law
  • Undocumented Workers
  • Workplace Discrimination & Harassment
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Wage & Hour Issues
  • FDA
  • ADA & Disability Access
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws
  • False Pricing or Overcharging
  • Consumer Protection
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Premises Liability
  • Tobacco
  • Residential Hotels Illegally Evicting Guests
  • Harassment, Discrimination & Retaliation
  • Wage and Hour Disputes
  • Wills
  • Construction law
  • OSHA Defense
  • Divorce/family law
  • Boundary litigation
  • Harassment/nuisance
  • Slander/defamation
  • Collection actions involving complicated facts
  • Contingency fee matters
  • Disputes over lawyer’s fees
How does Unified define “Woman-Owned”?
  • Majority (at least 51%) ownership by one or more women
  • Demonstrated proof of female management and control of business
  • Unrestricted female control of the business in legal documents and day-to-day operations
  • A woman holding the highest defined title in the company’s legal documents
  • Documented evidence of female contribution of capital and industry expertise
  • Status of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident for woman owner(s) constituting majority ownership
Why UNIFIED UN?

We all have different ideas about the most important world issues to fix. But everyone agrees that something needs to be done. The issues seem so huge, so complicated, that it’s hard to believe anything we do will have a meaningful impact. But a lot of people doing little things can have a huge impact.

We believe the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals provide us with the best possible framework for working together to tackle these difficult world challenges.

How do you decide which companies receive donated support services under UNIFIED UN?

Luckily, we attract many like-minded clients who are purpose-driven and align with one or more of the UN’s SDGs. We give current clients priority for UNIFIED UN projects. For example, an existing client provides a technology solution for improving the lives of the elderly, one of our most vulnerable groups. After learning about steward ownership, they decide to convert and build purpose into their corporate DNA. We worked with them over several months and then drafted all their conversion documents at no charge. We benefited from learning more about our client. They benefited from free work. And we all believe the world benefits by supporting alternative governance and companies helping our most vulnerable.

Do you only donate services to nonprofits?
No. We LOVE nonprofits, but we may choose to donate our services to for-profits doing really great stuff. Why? To quote Fred Kofman, “Capitalism, done consciously, is the most powerful system for uplifting humankind to unimaginable levels of prosperity, peace, and happiness.” We take a strategic view toward philanthropy grounded in conscious capitalism. By supporting non-profits and purpose-driven for-profit companies that align with one or more of the UN SDGs, we help like-minded companies that do not qualify for other corporate giving programs.
Aren't you just doing this UNIFIED UN for the tax deduction?

No. First, professional fees for pro bono services aren’t tax-deductible. Second, giving to for-profit companies is not tax-deductible. Bottom line – no tax deductions for us. But we’re not doing this for the tax deduction. We’re doing it for the joint value created between Unified, our purpose-driven clients, and world. It’s a win, win, win game – and we really like that.

Does the entire company have to align with one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to qualify for UNIFIED for UN?

No. We can all channel our talents toward fulfilling a higher purpose without a higher purpose being our sole purpose. For example, a company may have developed an ancillary technology that can help generate wind energy. Unified may donate services to help speed the development and commercialization of that wind energy technology.

Do you expect UNIFIED for UN to make a dent?

Yes. Now more than ever, we understand that we’re all in the same boat. We must act individually and collectively to plug our shared boat’s leaks. And if we all do our part, we can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

What We Do 

Intellectual Property

How can you help us protect our IP?
Unified Law, with its law firm partners, helps companies develop and preserve their intellectual property to maximize profits and secure a competitive edge.

IP services include:

  • Licensing agreement negotiation and drafting, including channel management
  • US and international trademark and copyright portfolio management
  • Filing and prosecution of trademark and copyright applications in the US and foreign countries and post-registration maintenance
  • Intellectual property and technology licensing and transfer agreements
  • Product resell and distribution agreements
  • Reviewing internal policies and procedures for handling intellectual property matters from a “best practices” perspective
  • Intellectual property due diligence in an investment (including M&A) setting
  • Intellectual property litigation management
  • Patent prosecution strategy and management
What type of intellectual property protection do I need?
It depends on what you want to protect. If it’s a name, slogan, or logo that distinguishes your product or service from competitors, you might want a trademark. If it’s an original creative work, such as a book or song, a copyright is the way to go. And if it’s an invention, you’ll want a patent.
Why should I register a copyright?
While your work is under some copyright protection as soon as it’s created, there are many benefits to registering a copyright. You’ll establish a public record of the copyright and get a certificate of registration. You also may sue infringers for statutory damages and attorney’s fees—not just actual damages and profits, which can be harder to prove. And if you register before or within 5 years of publication, you’ll establish presumptive evidence in court that the copyright is valid.
What are the benefits of registering your trademark?
Do you like your name and have aspirations of growing beyond your city? Yes? Then protect your brand with a trademark or risk the inevitable. Trademarks help protect business and product names, slogans, and logos, and help consumers tell brands apart. When you register your trademark, you get strong nationwide protection, and the right to file a federal lawsuit against anyone who copies it. If you don’t, you’re limited to the area where you operate right now via common law.
What does "patent pending" mean?
It means you’ve filed a patent application (provisional or nonprovisional), and lets competitors know you’ve staked a claim to your invention.
Should I trademark or copyright my logo?
You could apply for both, though most people start with a trademark. A trademark protects your logo as a brand in business, while a copyright protects it as an artistic work.
Can I trademark my business name before I open my business?
You can start the process, but the USPTO won’t officially register your trademark until you can show you’re using it in business. We always recommend you register the trademark ASAP, before spending time and resources building your brand.
What are the rights of a copyright owner?
The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute copies (for sale or otherwise), publicly perform or display, or create derivative works of the copyrighted work. They may also authorize others to do the same.
How long does a copyright last?
Generally, copyright protection lasts the entire lifetime of the creator, plus an additional 70 years. For work made for hire, anonymously, or using a pseudonym, copyright protection lasts for 95 years from the year of first publication or 120 years from the year of creation (whichever comes first). If the work was first published before 1978, these timeframes can vary.
Should I provide a copy of my creative work?
Yes, we’ll need one complete copy of your work if it has not yet been published, and two copies if your work has been published. We’ll give you detailed instructions once you complete your order.
Will I receive anything after I register my copyright?
Yes, the U.S. Copyright Office will mail you a certificate of registration, typically within 8-12 months.
Can I still register it?
I found a trademark really similar to mine. Often no, if it would create confusion as to who owns the mark. But if the other mark is used for different products or services, it might be possible because consumers may not be confused about who sells what. Take the Delta trademark. Delta Dental, Delta Air Lines, and Delta Faucet Company coexist because the products are different enough to prevent consumer confusion.
Should I register my business name and logo separately?
Yes. The USPTO allows one trademark—that’s one name, one logo, or one slogan—per application. You can register a logo that includes text, but then the design and the text together are considered one trademark.
Want them protected individually?
You’d need to file two applications.
How many trademark classes should I register in?
It depends on what you sell. The USPTO puts all products and services into 45 classes. Own a restaurant? You provide a service in class 43 (food services). Also sell cookbooks and teach cooking at the restaurant? Register in class 16 (paper goods) and class 41 (education and entertainment services) too. Usually, your trademark protection is limited to the classes in your application.
How long will it take to register my trademark?
Ideally, six to nine months if you’re using your mark in commerce. The USPTO will review your application within a few months, and then either send an Office action with questions, or approve your trademark for publication. If published and there are no objections by the public within 30 days, your mark is officially registered. If you’re not yet using your mark in commerce, it can take longer. After making it through the previous steps, the USPTO will grant a Notice of Allowance—which says they’ll register your mark once you provide proof of use in commerce through a Statement of Use. Once that’s submitted and approved, your mark is officially registered.
Is there a chance my trademark could get rejected?
Yes.

The USPTOs examining attorney might reject your mark if consumers could confuse it with another trademark (i.e. if your mark sounds like or looks like another mark in a similar industry).

What's the difference between a copyright and a trademark?

Copyrights protect original creative works, including books, movies, songs, paintings, photos, web content, and choreography. Trademarks protect business and product names, slogans, and logos to help customers tell brands apart.

What’s the difference between the ™ symbol and the ® symbol Anyone can use the ™ symbol on their trademark, but it doesn’t protect it. The ® symbol means your mark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), giving you all the legal protections that come with it.

Corporate Formation

Why can’t I use an Operating Agreement or Joint Venture agreement form from the Internet?

You can, but we don’t recommend it.

When you start a business, the relationship between partners is often great or at the very least you respect each other. But as the clock ticks and there are unforeseen bumps, these relationships can suffer or there can be confusion or misaligned expectations about each party’s roles and responsibilities.

You want to set expectations from the get-go, not after unforeseen bumps become sinkholes.
An operating / joint venture agreement can help set the framework for how your relationships as partners will work, who is responsible for what, and ultimately what will happen if those things do not happen.

Why can’t I use an Operating Agreement or Joint Venture agreement form from the Internet?

You can, but we don’t recommend it.

When you start a business, the relationship between partners is often great or at the very least you respect each other. But as the clock ticks and there are unforeseen bumps, these relationships can suffer or there can be confusion or misaligned expectations about each party’s roles and responsibilities.

You want to set expectations from the get-go, not after unforeseen bumps become sinkholes.
An operating / joint venture agreement can help set the framework for how your relationships as partners will work, who is responsible for what, and ultimately what will happen if those things do not happen.

Employment

What kind of employment matters can you handle?
  • Handbook creation
  • Executive employment agreements
  • Advising and representing management in employment discrimination claims
  • Defending wrongful discharge and other types of employment-related claims
  • Drafting and negotiating employment contracts and severance agreements
  • Counseling to avoid and, when necessary, resolve employment claims before they become claims
  • Ensuring compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws
What kind of employment matters can you handle?
  • Handbook creation
  • Executive employment agreements
  • Advising and representing management in employment discrimination claims
  • Defending wrongful discharge and other types of employment-related claims
  • Drafting and negotiating employment contracts and severance agreements
  • Counseling to avoid and, when necessary, resolve employment claims before they become claims
  • Ensuring compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws

How We Charge

How much does it cost to draft letters?
The fee for contracts depends on your circumstances. For example, the $$ involved, the risk that the contract is managing, the complexity of the deal, the type and number of parties involved, whether we can use our forms, etc., will all affect the cost.

We recommend booking a Discovery Call so we can invest the time with you to understand the fundamentals of what the contract needs to cover, the tone of voice, your leverage, and any specific time deadlines. From there, we can provide you with an accurate fixed cost and timescale to prepare your contract.

If we can work from an existing document and there are minor adjustments, it may not be much (like $200+).

If we need to draft a contract from scratch and it isn’t standard, it may be more (like $1,000).

The best way to find out is to book a Discovery Call.

How much does it cost to draft letters?
The fee for contracts depends on your circumstances. For example, the $$ involved, the risk that the contract is managing, the complexity of the deal, the type and number of parties involved, whether we can use our forms, etc., will all affect the cost.

We recommend booking a Discovery Call so we can invest the time with you to understand the fundamentals of what the contract needs to cover, the tone of voice, your leverage, and any specific time deadlines. From there, we can provide you with an accurate fixed cost and timescale to prepare your contract.

If we can work from an existing document and there are minor adjustments, it may not be much (like $200+).

If we need to draft a contract from scratch and it isn’t standard, it may be more (like $1,000).

The best way to find out is to book a Discovery Call.

What does it cost to register a trademark in the US?
A US licensed attorney is required to file the trademark registration in the United States. Like many other projects, we do the support (gathering all the information, running the search, and preparing the application for attorney review and filing).

The total fixed fee for preparing and filing a US trademark application is $______.

The filing fees we will pay to the United States Patent and Trademark Office start at $_____ and increase by $_____ depending on how many classes of goods or services you need.

For more information on our trademark services, book a Discovery Call.

How much do supplier agreements cost?
Templates may work for straightforward arrangements, but a one-size approach rarely fits all! Our supplier agreements are customized, easy to understand, and fair.

  • We set out clear roles and responsibilities for the parties
  • Manage the level of risk involved with the supply chain and logistics
  • Provide clarity and certainty if there is a dispute
  • Define the price and payment terms

The typical supplier agreement costs between $300 – $1,000, which depends on the complexity of the relationship and the $ involved.

We can also review any supplier agreements and advise you on any areas that need to be negotiated or removed.

Do you charge for the Discovery Call?
No. We never charge for an initial consultation. During the Discovery Call, we discuss the details of your business needs and our services to see if we’re a fit.

UNIFIED for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Why is Goal No. 1 (No Poverty) important?

It’s the challenge of our age: How do we end poverty? Over the last decade, the world has made considerable strides in overcoming global poverty, with over 1.2 billion rising out of extreme poverty.

Still, according to the most recent estimates:

  • 736 million people, about 1 in every 10, wake up every morning lacking the vital things they need to survive their next 24 hours – food, water, a safe shelter, and clothing.
  • In the United States, 10.5% of the population — 34 million people — live in poverty. For an individual in the US, the poverty line is $12,880 annually or about $35.28 per day.
  • Worldwide, the poverty rate in rural areas is 17.2%—over 3 times higher than in urban areas.
  • Having a job does not guarantee a decent living for those who work. In fact, 8% of employed workers and their families worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2018. One out of 5 children live in extreme poverty. Ensuring social protection for all children and vulnerable groups is critical to reducing poverty.
  • The fallout from the pandemic threatens to push over 70 million people into extreme poverty.
  • One out of 5 children live in extreme poverty, and the negative effects of poverty and deprivation in the early years have ramifications that can last a lifetime.
  • 55% of the world’s population – about 4 billion people – did not benefit from any social welfare.
  • Living in a constant survival mentality affects all areas of life – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty for everyone everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.
  • Ensure that all men and women, especially the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to basic services, ownership and control over property, inheritance, new technology, and financial services, including microfinance.

 

Why is Goal No. 1 (No Poverty) important?

It’s the challenge of our age: How do we end poverty? Over the last decade, the world has made considerable strides in overcoming global poverty, with over 1.2 billion rising out of extreme poverty.

Still, according to the most recent estimates:

  • 736 million people, about 1 in every 10, wake up every morning lacking the vital things they need to survive their next 24 hours – food, water, a safe shelter, and clothing.
  • In the United States, 10.5% of the population — 34 million people — live in poverty. For an individual in the US, the poverty line is $12,880 annually or about $35.28 per day.
  • Worldwide, the poverty rate in rural areas is 17.2%—over 3 times higher than in urban areas.
  • Having a job does not guarantee a decent living for those who work. In fact, 8% of employed workers and their families worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2018. One out of 5 children live in extreme poverty. Ensuring social protection for all children and vulnerable groups is critical to reducing poverty.
  • The fallout from the pandemic threatens to push over 70 million people into extreme poverty.
  • One out of 5 children live in extreme poverty, and the negative effects of poverty and deprivation in the early years have ramifications that can last a lifetime.
  • 55% of the world’s population – about 4 billion people – did not benefit from any social welfare.
  • Living in a constant survival mentality affects all areas of life – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty for everyone everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.
  • Ensure that all men and women, especially the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to basic services, ownership and control over property, inheritance, new technology, and financial services, including microfinance.

 

Why is Goal No. 2 (Zero Hunger) important?

Everyone has the right to health, and nutritious food is crucial for a healthy life. We envision a world in which every person – regardless of age, race, ability, income, or status – has access to the food they need.

A few facts:

  • Current estimates are that nearly 690 million people are hungry, or 8.9% of the world population – up by 10 million in one year and almost 60 million in 5 years.
  • Most of the world’s undernourished – 381 million – are in Asia. Over 250 million live in Africa, where the number of undernourished is growing faster than anywhere in the world.
  • Food insecurity in the United States rose from 10.9% in 2019 to 11.8% in 2020.
  • About 2 billion people worldwide did not have regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food in 2019.
  • If recent trends continue, the number of people affected by hunger will surpass 840 million by 2030, or 9.8% of the global population.
  • 144 million children under age 5 were affected by stunting in 2019.
  • In 2019, 6.9% (or 47 million) children under 5 were affected by wasting or acute undernutrition, a condition caused by limited nutrient intake and infection.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • End hunger and ensure access by all people to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food all year round.
  • End all forms of malnutrition.
  • Double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, and fishers.
  • Ensure sustainable food production systems that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding, and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality.
  • Provide investment in rural infrastructure, agricultural research, technology development, and plant and livestock gene banks to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries.

 

Why is Goal No. 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) important?

Before the pandemic, we made progress in improving the health of millions of people.

But health emergencies such as COVID-19 pose a global risk and have shown the critical need for preparedness. The United Nations Development Programme highlighted huge disparities in countries’ abilities to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic provides a watershed moment for health emergency preparedness and investment in critical 21st-century public services.

  • In 2018 about 6.2 million children and adolescents under the age of 15 died, mostly from preventable causes. Of these deaths, 5.3 million occurred in the first 5 years, with almost half of these in the first month of life.
  • Despite determined global progress, an increasing proportion of child deaths are in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Four out of every 5 deaths of children under age 5 occur in these regions.
  • Over 40% of all countries have fewer than 10 medical doctors per 10,000 people; over 55% have fewer than 40 nursing and midwifery personnel per 10,000 people.
  • Every day in 2017, approximately 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • AIDS is now the leading cause of death among adolescents (aged 10–19) in Africa and the second most common cause of death among adolescents globally.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Reduce the global maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
  • End preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000.
  • End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other infectious diseases.
  • Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.
  • Halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.
  • Strengthen the capacity of all developing countries for early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and global health risks.

 

Why is Goal No. 4 (Quality Education) important?

Education is a key to escaping the No. 1 Goal of ending poverty and improving women’s lives.

Over the past decade, we’ve made progress towards increasing access to education and school enrollment rates at all levels, particularly for girls. But about 260 million children were still out of school in 2018 — nearly one-fifth of the global population in that age group. And more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.

And now, the global pandemic has far-reaching consequences that may jeopardize hard-won gains made in improving global education.

A few key facts about global education:

  • Before the coronavirus crisis, projections showed that over 200 million children would be out of school, and only 60% of young people would complete upper secondary education in 2030.
  • Before the coronavirus crisis, the proportion of children and youth out of primary and secondary school had declined from 26% in 2000 to 19% in 2010 and 17% in 2018.
  • More than half of children that have not enrolled in school live in sub-Saharan Africa, and over 85% of children in sub-Saharan Africa are not learning the minimum.
  • 617 million youth worldwide lack basic mathematics and literacy skills.
  • Some 750 million adults – 2/3 of them women – remained illiterate in 2016.

But, if we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education.
  • Ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education.
  • Substantially increase the number of youth and adults with relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship.
  • Eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations.

 

Why is Goal No. 5 (Gender Equality) important?
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. And it’s part of the heart and soul of Unified Law.

There has been progress: More girls are going to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage, more women serve in leadership positions, and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality.

Despite these gains, many challenges remain: discriminatory laws and social norms remain pervasive, women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political leadership, and 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 report experiencing violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months. Worse, emerging data shows that, since the pandemic outbreak, violence against women and girls – particularly domestic violence – has intensified.

  • Globally, 750 million women and girls were married before 18, and at least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone FGM.
  • In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working; in 39 countries, daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights; and 49 countries lack laws protecting women from domestic violence.
  • One in 5 women and girls, including 19% of women and girls aged 15 to 49, have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months. Yet, 49 countries have no laws protecting women from such violence.
  • While women have made important inroads into political office worldwide, their representation in national parliaments at 23.7% is still far from parity.
  • Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use, and health care.

If we are UNIFIED we CAN:

  • End discrimination against all women.
  • End all forms of violence against all women and girls.
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.
  • Provide universal access to sexual and reproductive health.
  • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources.

 

Why is Goal No. 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) important?

While substantial progress has been made in increasing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, billions of people in rural areas still lack these basic services. Worldwide, one in 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water, 2 out of 5 people do not have a basic handwashing facility with soap and water, and over 673 million people still practice open defecation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of sanitation, hygiene, and adequate access to clean water for preventing and containing diseases. Hand hygiene saves lives. According to the World Health Organization, handwashing is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. Yet billions of people still lack safe water sanitation, and funding is inadequate.

  • 1 in 4 health care facilities lacks basic water services.
  • 3 in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services, and 6 in 10 people lack access to safely managed sanitation facilities.
  • At least 892 million people continue to practice open defecation.
  • Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80% of households without access to water on premises.
  • Water scarcity affects over 40% of the global population and is projected to rise.
  • 4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines
  • Over 80% of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea with no pollution removal.
  • Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrheal diseases.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
  • Achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying particular attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
  • Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse.
  • Expand water and sanitation-related activities, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling, and reuse technologies.

 

Why is Goal No. 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) important?

The world is making progress towards Goal 7, with encouraging signs that energy is becoming more sustainable and widely available. Access to electricity in poorer countries has accelerated, energy efficiency continues to improve, and renewable energy is making impressive gains in the electricity sector.

But more focused attention is needed to improve access to clean and safe cooking fuels and technologies for 3 billion people and expand renewable energy’s use beyond the electricity sector.

A few key facts:

  • 13% of the global population still lacks access to modern electricity.
  • 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste for cooking and heating.
  • Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Indoor air pollution from using combustible fuels for household energy caused 4.3 million deaths in 2012, with women and girls accounting for 6 out of every 10 of these.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services.
  • Increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
  • Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  • Expand infrastructure and upgrade technology to supply modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries.
Why is Goal No. 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) important?

Sustained and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs for all and improve living standards.

But COVID-19 has disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy.

  • Globally, 61% of all workers were engaged in informal employment (activities that are not taxed or registered by the government).
  • Men earn 12.5% more than women in 40 out of 45 countries with data.
  • The global gender pay gap stands at 23% globally, and without decisive action, it will take women another 68 years to achieve equal pay.
  • Despite their increasing presence in public life, women continue to do 2.6 times the unpaid care and domestic work that men do.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading, and innovation, focusing on high-value-added and labor-intensive sectors.
  • Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services.
  • Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
  • Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Why is Goal No. 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) important?

With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more critical, as is the growth of new industries and information and communication technologies. Promoting sustainable industries, investing in scientific research and innovation, and bridging the digital divide are all important ways to facilitate sustainable development.

But basic infrastructure services like the provision of water and electricity are threatened by conflicts and climate shocks. Construction of built infrastructure consumes significant amounts of natural resources, often sourced via global supply chains currently facing disruptions. And, without careful planning and consultation, infrastructure later delivered on the ground risks fragmenting ecosystems and adversely impacting local communities.

A few facts:

  • 16% of the global population does not have access to mobile broadband networks.
  • Least developed countries have immense potential for industrialization in food and beverages (agro-industry) and textiles and garments, with good prospects for sustained employment generation and higher productivity
  • Capacity investment in solar slipped 3% to $131.1 billion in 2019.
  • Developing countries continued to outpace developed economies in renewables investment. In 2019, they committed $152.2 billion, compared to $130 billion for developed countries.
  • In the US, it is estimated that about 63m full-time jobs in industries such as tourism, retail, agriculture, and manufacturing depend on the quality, safety, and reliability of transport infrastructure.
  • The McKinsey Global Institute analysis suggests that increasing infrastructure investment by 1% of GDP could create major new job opportunities worldwide.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Develop quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, focusing on affordable and equitable access for all.
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in the least developed countries.
  • Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, particularly in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets.
  • Upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action.
  • Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, particularly developing countries, encourage innovation, and substantially increase the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending.
  • Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological, and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States.
  • Support domestic technology development, research, and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, among other things, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities.
  • Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet.
Why is Goal No. 10 (Reduce Inequalities) important?

Reducing inequalities and ensuring no one is left behind are integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Inequality within and among countries is a persistent cause for concern. Despite positive signs toward reducing inequality in some dimensions, such as lowering relative income inequality in some countries and preferential trade status benefiting lower-income countries, inequality persists.

COVID-19 has deepened existing inequalities, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable communities the hardest. It has spotlighted economic inequalities and fragile social safety nets that leave vulnerable communities to bear the brunt of the crisis. At the same time, social, political, and economic inequalities have amplified the impacts of the pandemic.

  • Evidence from developing countries shows that children in the poorest 20% are still up to 3x more likely to die before their fifth birthday than the richer countries.
  • Persons with disabilities are up to 5x more likely than average to incur catastrophic health expenditures.
  • Despite overall declines in maternal mortality in most developing countries, women in rural areas are still up to 3x more likely to die while giving birth than women living in urban centers.
  • Up to 30% of income inequality is due to inequality within households, including between women and men. Women are also more likely than men to live below 50% of the median income.
  • Of the one billion population of persons with disabilities, 80% live in developing countries.
  • One in 10 children is a child with a disability.
  • Only 28% of persons with significant disabilities have access to disability benefits globally, and only 1% in low-income countries.

But if we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40% of the population at a rate higher than the national average
  • Empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, despite age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.
  • Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies, and practices and promoting legislation, policies, and action in this regard.
  • Adopt fiscal, wage, and social protection policies and progressively achieve greater equality.
  • Improve the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions and strengthen the implementation of such regulations.
  • Ensure enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions to deliver more effective, credible, accountable, and legitimate institutions.
  • Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.
  • Encourage official development assistance and financial flows, including foreign direct investment, to States where the need is greatest, in particular least developed countries, African countries, small island developing States, and landlocked developing countries.
Why is Goal No. 11 (Make Cities Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable ) important?

The world is becoming increasingly urbanized. Since 2007, more than half the world’s population has been living in cities, and that share is projected to rise to 60% by 2030.

Cities and metropolitan areas are powerhouses of economic growth—contributing about 60% of global GDP. However, they also account for about 70%of global carbon emissions and over 60% of resource use.

Rapid urbanization results in a growing number of slum dwellers, inadequate and overburdened infrastructure and services (such as waste collection and water and sanitation systems, roads, and transport), worsening air pollution, and unplanned urban sprawl.

Why is Goal No. 12 (Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns) important?

Worldwide consumption and production — a driving force of the global economy — rest on using the natural environment and resources in a way that continues to have destructive impacts on the planet. Our economic and social progress over the last century has come with environmental degradation endangering the very systems on which our future development — our survival — depends.

Sustainable consumption and production is about doing more and better with less. It is also about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency, and promoting sustainable lifestyles.

A few facts and figures:

  • Each year, an estimated 1/3 of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes worth around $1 trillion – rots in the bins of consumers and retailers or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.
  • If people worldwide switched to energy-efficient light bulbs the world would save US $120 billion annually.
  • Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost 3 planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Implement the 10-year framework of programs on sustainable consumption and production, all countries acting, with developed countries taking the lead.
  • Achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
  • Halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.
  • Achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle and significantly reduce their release into the air, water, and soil to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.
  • Reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse
  • Encourage all companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
  • Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable.
  • Ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.
  • Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.
  • Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.
Why is Goal No. 13 (Climate Action) important?

Climate change impacts are increasingly being felt in all regions of the world, with growing challenges for water availability, food production, and the livelihoods of millions of people. We also know that impacts will continue to increase if drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are further delayed – affecting the lives of today’s children tomorrow and those of their children much more than ours. But science is also clear: with immediate action now, drastic impacts can still be prevented.

A few facts:

  • From 1880 to 2012, the average global temperature increased by 33.53 degrees Fahrenheit (0.85°C). To put this into perspective, for each 1 temperature increase, grain yields decline by about 5%. Maize, wheat, and other major crops have experienced significant yield reductions at the global level of 40 megatons per year between 1981 and 2002 due to a warmer climate.
  • Oceans have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and the sea level has risen.
  • Given current concentrations and ongoing emissions of greenhouse gases, it is likely that by the end of this century, the increase in global temperature will exceed 34.7F compared to 1850 to 1900 for all but one scenario.
  • Global carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have increased by almost 50% since 1990.
  • Emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the 3 previous decades

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning
  • Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning
  • Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible
  • Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in the least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth, and local and marginalized communities
Why is Goal No. 14 (Oceans) important?

The ocean drives global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea.

Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future. However, at the current time, there is a continuous deterioration of coastal waters owing to pollution, and ocean acidification is having a negative effect on the functioning of ecosystems and biodiversity. This is also negatively affecting small-scale fisheries.

Saving our ocean must remain a priority. Marine biodiversity is critical to the health of people and our planet. Marine protected areas need to be effectively managed and well-resourced, and regulations need to be implemented to reduce overfishing, marine pollution, and ocean acidification.

A few facts:

  • Oceans cover 3/4 of the Earth’s surface, contain 97% of the Earth’s water, and represent 99% of the living space on the planet by volume.
  • Oceans absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.
  • Carbon emissions from human activities are causing ocean warming, acidification, and oxygen loss.
  • The ocean has also absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat in the climate system.
  • Ocean heat is at record levels, causing widespread marine heatwaves.
  • Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
  • Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion annually or about 5% of global GDP.
  • Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people.
  • Roughly 80% of marine and coastal pollution originates on land – including agricultural run-off, pesticides, plastics, and untreated sewage.
  • Around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year
  • Sustainable and climate-resilient transport, including maritime transport, is key to sustainable development. Around 80% of the volume of international trade in goods is carried by sea, and the percentage is even higher for most developing countries

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, particularly from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.
  • Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience and act for their restoration to achieve healthy and productive oceans.
  • Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.
  • Effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing, and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics.
  • Conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
  • Prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing.
  • Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology.
  • Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.
  • Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources.
Why is Goal No. 15 (Life on Land) important?
The physical world and everything in it is our nature. Our life depends on earth and as part of the earth’s ecosystem we have a duty to take care of it. Development on the other hand is continuous resulting in population growth, enhanced technology and demands to build more infrastructures. As a consequence of progress, we have caused severe damage to our land through deforestation, loss of natural habitats and land degradation. Promoting a sustainable use of our ecosystems and preserving biodiversity is not a cause. It is the key to our own survival. Land is our wealth and our future. A better future is possible if we care, protect, recover, restore and invest in land.

A few facts:

  • Forests are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
  • Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction.
  • Over 80% of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60% of energy intake.
  • As many as 80% of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-based medicines for basic healthcare.
  • Africa and Asia are projected to lose 80% of the global cropland due to urban area expansion. Expansion often happens on prime agricultural lands that often are twice as productive as national averages.
  • 70% of agricultural land is used to grow feed crops and grazing (livestock production);nearly 30% of total food value of global crop production is lost by “processing” it through inefficient livestock systems.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.
  • Ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.
  • Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats.
  • Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed.
  • Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation.
  • Conduct awareness campaigns on how to take care of the earth in our own ways.
Why is Goal No. 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions) important?
This goal intends peaceful and inclusive societies based on respect for human rights, protection of the most vulnerable, the rule of law and good governance at all levels. It also envisions transparent, effective and accountable institutions, which promote non-discriminatory laws and policies, combat corruption, bribery and organised crime and prevent violence, terrorism and crime. It aims to improve people’s lives by reducing violence, improving access to justice, and promoting effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.

A few facts:

  • The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018, the highest level recorded by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in almost 70 years.
  • The births of around one in four children under age 5 worldwide are never officially recorded, depriving them of a proof of legal identity crucial for the protection of their rights and for access to justice and social services.

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.
  • Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.
  • Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.
  • Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development.
Why is Goal No. 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) important?
The Global Goals can only be met if we work together.To build a better world, we need to be supportive, empathetic, inventive, passionate, and above all, cooperative.

A few facts:

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is universal and​ calls for action by all countries – developed and developing – to​ ensure no one is left behind. It requires partnerships between​ governments, the private sector, and civil society.​
  • Significant challenges remain: official development assistance is declining; private investment flows are not well aligned with sustainable development; there continues to be a significant digital divide; and there are on-going trade tensions.​

If we are UNIFIED, we CAN:

  • Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources.
  • Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development.
  • Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.
  • Build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries.
  • Determine our advocacy, find a charity that we want to support.
  • Work or volunteer in NGOs that are working towards the Global Goals.
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Do you handle litigation matters directly?
No. Unified Law is not a law firm. But we can help you (a) pick outside law firms; (b) organize document review teams, (c) review discovery, (d) conduct research, (e) review the bills received from outside law firms for reasonableness; (d) decide on various strategy options; and (e) act as a liaison for outside counsel who needs information about company policies and procedures.
Is Unified Law a Broker Dealer?
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(2) work with you to finalize an engagement letter or letters (if engaging a law firm partner) that outlines the services and the fee arrangement, so there are no surprises.

How does Unified Law define a "sustainable business"?
A sustainable business is concerned about the social, environmental, and economic impacts associated with its current and future operations and the ability of the business to meet present needs while ensuring its and others’ long-term survival.
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For every client and every project, Unified Law assembles the team roles needed for the transaction at hand and has a large network of trusted tax, legal, and other specialized professionals to support client needs.

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