If your organization needs assistance with legal issues such as those listed below, visit our Request Legal Assistance page to get started. We can match your nonprofit with a volunteer lawyer who can help with your specific legal issue. We also provide workshops which address many of the important legal issues faced by nonprofits.

Applying for Tax Exemption

  • Evaluate if your organization is ready for tax exemption
  • Understand the pros and cons of forming a tax-exempt organization

Corporate Law and Governance

  • Form legal, tax-exempt entities
  • Understand the roles, responsibilities, and proper activities of a nonprofit board
  • Evaluate potential liabilities of board of directors
  • Operate within the law and its own bylaws
  • Draft or revise bylaws or articles of incorporation
  • File the necessary charitable registration, state and federal reports

Nonprofit Mergers and Consolidations

  • Create and structure affiliate relationships
  • Merge or enter into joint ventures
  • Understand collaborations

Contracts and Leases

  • Negotiate contracts with service providers, other nonprofits, or lessors

Intellectual Property

  • Register and protect trademarks
  • Copyright educational materials
  • Obtain releases or licenses

Real Estate

  • Acquire or sell real estate
  • Review or negotiate commercial or office lease
  • Negotiate financing agreements with lenders

General Employment

  • Prepare or update personnel manuals and policies
  • Understand ADA, FMLA, HIPAA, Title VII and other federal regulations
  • Review or prepare employment contracts
  • Understand laws on hiring, background checks, references, performance reviews, discipline, and terminations
  • Properly classify paid and volunteer staff; employees as exempt or non-exempt; workers as independent contractors or employees

Harassment Policies

  • Do we have a harassment policy that covers sexual, religious, racial and other forms of harassment?
  • When and how do we investigate a claim of harassment?
  • What harassment training should paid and volunteer staff receive?

Insurance and Risk Management

  • Understand risks your organization may face
  • Implement protections to address these risks
  • Get appropriate insurance protection, such as Directors & Officers liability insurance


  • Review laws that apply (or don’t apply) to volunteers
  • Screen potential volunteers?
  • Understand when, and how, a nonprofit organization can be held liable for the negligent acts of its volunteers
  • Understand the federal Volunteer Protection Act and what protections it affords for nonprofit agency volunteers (including volunteer board members)

Nonprofit Child Care Centers

  • Comply with state and federal laws
  • Make sure policies and procedures up to date and adequate to protect the center and employees

Fundraising and Revenue Generating Activities

  • Comply with fundraising laws and regulations
  • Properly register your organization to conduct fundraising
  • Appropriately report the donations to the IRS
  • Provide proper acknowledgements to donors

Political Activities

  • Understand what political activities are prohibited
  • Understand the rules about lobbying and advocacy activities

Privacy, Confidentiality and Liability

  • Disclose or prohibit from disclosing confidential client information
  • Respond to subpoenas and requests for records
  • Comply with HIPAA regulations