Presentation on theme: "O BTAINING A P RO B ONO L EGAL A SSESSMENT FOR Y OUR O RGANIZATION Erica Spangler Raz Staff Attorney Nonprofit Legal Assessment Program This presentation."— Presentation transcript:
O BTAINING A P RO B ONO L EGAL A SSESSMENT FOR Y OUR O RGANIZATION Erica Spangler Raz Staff Attorney Nonprofit Legal Assessment Program This presentation has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers.
Webinar Objectives The Law Project’s Pro Bono Legal Services What is a Legal Assessment? –More importantly, why do we need one? Legal Assessment Process Frequently Asked Questions
The Law Project’s Pro Bono Legal Services Serve as liaison to community groups and volunteer attorneys Nonprofit Eligibility –Community-based organization –Organization does not have funds to pay for legal representation –Only “transactional” legal services; no litigation or disputes Recruit volunteers who are Illinois-licensed attorneys –Also work with orgs with national or international activities –Referrals for orgs with no Illinois programs (see http://clccrul.org/INWIN for nonprofits in northwest Indiana)http://clccrul.org/INWIN TLP staff attorneys serve as resource throughout the representation by the volunteer attorney –60-day check-in throughout nonprofit legal assessment program
What is a Legal Assessment? A comprehensive review of a nonprofit’s legal documents, policies and procedures (or lack thereof), and specific recommendations to reduce legal risk and align with nonprofit best practices. Organizational Structure Nonprofit Governance Insurance and Risk Management Exempt Organization (Tax) Intellectual Property Privacy and Information Technology Human Resources Real Estate, Licenses, and Permits
Why do we need a Legal Assessment? Good Governance and Risk Management –Proactive and strategic in addressing potential problems, instead of discovering them along the way As part of Strategic Planning –Embark on period of growth –Changes in organizational structure Follow “Best Practices” But - also requires board and ED commitment!
Legal Assessment – Process and Timeframes 1.Application 2.Intake Meeting and Document Gathering at Organization site (1-2 weeks) 3.Follow up to complete legal assessment file (depends) 4.Recruit Volunteer Team Lead (8-12 weeks) 5.Firm Review and Approval (2 weeks) 6.Initial Client Meeting at Law Firm (2 weeks) Timeframes are general, there are many factors that make the process shorter or longer.
Legal Assessment – Process and Timeframes 7. Presentation to Board (4 weeks) 8. Progress check-in every two months 9. Assessment Report (Scorecard) and Presentation to the Board (typically 4-8 months) 10. Assessment Presentation to Board (2 weeks) 11. Implementation of Recommendations (depends) 12. Evaluations
Frequently Asked Questions Can we include specific legal assistance as part of the assessment? Why do you need the President’s involvement? –Or, why do you need the Executive Director’s involvement? What if we have no board members in the Chicago area? What happens if the Legal Team cannot assist us with implementation of the suggestions?
Resources www.thelawproject.org (links to articles, webinars, upcoming workshops for nonprofits) www.thelawproject.org www.donorsforum.org (free grants database, librarians, workshops) www.donorsforum.org www.boardsource.org (for founders, directors, officers) www.boardsource.org www.afj.org (for advocacy, lobbying nonprofits) www.afj.org www.irs.gov > Charities and Nonprofits www.irs.gov –www.stayexempt.org (compliance, lobbying info)www.stayexempt.org www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov > Building Better Charities www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov www.cyberdriveillinois.com www.cyberdriveillinois.com www.lumity.org (finance/technology workshops for nonprofits) www.lumity.org Axelson Center North Park University
Contact Information This presentation has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers. Erica Spangler Raz Staff Attorney Nonprofit Support Program The Law Project of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (312) 939-3638 www.thelawproject.org firstname.lastname@example.org