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 New York (excluding New York City), New Jersey, Connecticut, and other areas on a case-by-case basis.
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. If your organization offers a program or service to people of all faiths, the nonprofit may qualify for Partnership services.
Pro Bono Partnership can assist new groups with incorporation and obtaining tax-exempt status, and charges a $500 fee for this service. The organization 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.