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Public Interest Law: Non-Profits

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Transactional
Public Interest Law
Non-Profits

The two most common ways in which lawyers represent or work with nonprofit organizations is either as an attorney-advisor on tax or incorporation matters, or as a manager and leader of the nonprofit itself.

Lawyers who help oversee a nonprofit organization’s internal operations might have titles like executive director or general counsel. In addition to potential substantive knowledge about the issue focuses of the nonprofit, these individuals are also called upon to provide overall vision, management, supervision, and financial oversight. These positions also take on the role of public spokesperson, representing the nonprofit in the media or at events.

There are also outside counsel who are sometimes brought in, especially in relation to specific tax, employment or human resources, and incorporation issues. There are an increasing number of private sector firms that specialize in serving tax-exempt organizations (the IRS’ [...]

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The two most common ways in which lawyers represent or work with nonprofit organizations is either as an attorney-advisor on tax or incorporation matters, or as a manager and leader of the nonprofit itself.

Lawyers who help oversee a nonprofit organization’s internal operations might have titles like executive director or general counsel. In addition to potential substantive knowledge about the issue focuses of the nonprofit, these individuals are also called upon to provide overall vision, management, supervision, and financial oversight. These positions also take on the role of public spokesperson, representing the nonprofit in the media or at events.

There are also outside counsel who are sometimes brought in, especially in relation to specific tax, employment or human resources, and incorporation issues. There are an increasing number of private sector firms that specialize in serving tax-exempt organizations (the IRS’ term for recognized nonprofit organizations). Students who seek careers representing a nonprofit organization should develop familiarity with the rules governing the creation and operation of tax-exempt organizations. Moreover, students who hope to pursue social entrepreneurship should also consider taking such courses to better understand the special laws governing tax-exempt organizations. Students should also take advantage of Levin Center trainings that provide enhance and develop skills in public speaking, media advocacy, and fundraising.

 
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