To be eligible for free transactional legal services, an organization must be:
- A nonprofit organization, or one seeking 501(c)(3) status, serving the disadvantaged or enhancing the quality of life through important social, civic, arts, educational, or environmental programs or services
- Seeking transactional (i.e. non-litigation) legal assistance, and unable to pay for legal services without significantly impacting resources for programs
- Governed by a board that has a sufficient number of independent directors or trustees, or is willing to work towards those standards
- Located in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York (the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island), and primarily serving the communities within these three states. We do not assist nonprofits that are primarily focused on serving communities outside of the tristate region, even if the nonprofits are located in our service area.
Other considerations include: the organization’s impact and beneficiaries, financial profile and sustainability, the nature of the legal request and the likelihood we can identify an attorney to assist, as well as the organization’s ability to be responsive to and work with the Partnership and our volunteer attorneys. For a start-up organization, the quality and thoughtfulness of its business plan is also a consideration.
Please note that the Partnership does not assist individuals or for-profit organizations. Also note that the Partnership does not have the legal expertise necessary to advise houses of worship, religious corporations, or religious schools.
For existing nonprofits that qualify for our services, we charge a non-refundable administrative fee of $295 for nonprofits with an annual budget under $100,000, and $495 for nonprofits with an annual budget of $100,000 or more. For past clients (those who have not received assistance from us within the past two years) that continue to qualify for our services, there is a non-refundable administrative fee of $295.
Pro Bono Partnership can assist new groups with incorporation and/or obtaining tax-exempt status, and charges a non-refundable administrative fee of $595 to organizations that qualify for our services. The organizations should also be prepared to pay filing fees at the state and federal level. Please visit our Emerging Nonprofits page if you would like assistance with formation.