Mobilizing Legal Forces for the Good

Although nonprofit organizations can make a big impact, they tend to have tiny or nonexistent legal teams. Even for the lucky few charities with a lawyer in-house or close by, it’s impossible for one attorney to know enough about all the different areas of law to be able to address all the organization’s needs.  Fortunately, there is plenty of good will in the legal profession for good causes. Pro bono legal services are quite literally yours for the asking. Here’s how.

And here’s more.

Author: Lesley Rosenthal

LESLEY ROSENTHAL is the author of Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits (John Wiley & Sons 2012). She leads the legal, governance, and compliance functions of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. Since 2005 she has fashioned the legal context for the renowned arts center's world-class cultural and educational offerings, its entrepreneurial initiatives in media, fashion, and international consulting, and the $1.2 billion redevelopment of its iconic physical complex. Rosenthal has served in many roles throughout the nonprofit sector, including for the New York State Bar Association and its Foundation. For 13 years she was in private practice as a business, litigation, and technology lawyer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in Manhattan. Rosenthal graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. The National Organization for Women (NOW-nyc) has named her a "Woman of Power and Influence," and the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel has named her Counsel of the Year for Excellence in the Arts. Follow her on Twitter @GoodCounselBook or find her on Facebook at Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits * * * Nonprofit organizations, law firms, bar groups, or universities wishing to inquire about scheduling a book-signing event, training program or conference may contact

3 thoughts on “Mobilizing Legal Forces for the Good”

  1. Lesley Rosenthal is correct. There are plenty of big law firms who need to train their transactional associates in client contact, but don’t want to sic them on their paying clients. Nonprofit people tend to come from the same social class as the lawyers and their clients, and need transactional bread-and-butter services. All is good, as long as the nonprofit engages in worthy causes, defined as those that might not upset the paying clients and thus present a business conflict.

    Of course, the same incentives do not apply to the legal needs of poor people, whose pro bono services are pretty sketchy.

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