Starting a nonprofit firm will drown you in a sea of paperwork. You’ll need to hire a San Diego nonprofit attorney to make everything easier for you. You’ll need someone to draft documents and file forms for you. You’ll also need someone to help you with your legal questions.
Below are five tips that can help you in hiring the best San Diego nonprofit attorney.
- Ask Around. It’s difficult to find an attorney with nonprofit experience. The easiest way to find one is to ask other nonprofit executives. Ask them who their lawyers are and how they found them. And while you’re at it, check if the local law firms have pro-bono work for nonprofits.
You can also find one online. Make sure to scan for an attorney that works with nonprofits and charities. If you end up finding multiple attorneys, consult your network if they have worked with them. Ask for inputs about them to help you decide.
- Meet with the Potential Attorneys. Many attorneys provide free consultations. You should take advantage of those. When you do, make sure to bring at least one person with you. Doing that can help you get another opinion about the attorney.
You can also prepare a questionnaire for them. It’s important for you to find out more about them. What are their experiences working with nonprofits? Do they require a retainer? What other services does their firm offer? What are the fees involved? These are just a few of the questions that can help you find the right San Diego nonprofit attorney.
- Search Outside Your Board. There are nonprofit firms who ask attorneys to be on the board of directors because of their experience and expertise as an attorney. But this shouldn’t be your only method when finding an attorney. Having one on your board can be advantageous. That’s because they have a legal background that can help with board decisions.
By doing this, you can’t expect your attorney to defend you in the court to perform legal actions. That would create a conflict of interest. This can also put your attorney at risk of lawsuits.
- Review the Performance of the Attorney. After taking care of the paperwork, stay in touch with the attorney. Make time to review his or her performance yearly. Doing this will help you make sure that the attorney meets your needs. If he or she doesn’t, then you should look for another one. Working with an attorney should be beneficial to you and to the attorney. If he or she doesn’t treat you as a valuable client, then you should move on.
Legal issues will never stop. Make sure that you ask the attorney about other issues that may arise. It may be about conflict of interest issues, or IRS rules and regulations. It may also be about dealing with the removal of volunteers or for recordkeeping. When questions like these arise, go to your attorney.
- Look for Referral Sources. There are different services that you can use to find a San Diego nonprofit attorney. Use these services to jump-start your search.
- Bar Associations. Start at the national level. Check out the American Bar Association’s website.
- Attorney Lawyer Referral Service (ARS). Only use an IRS if it isn’t operated by an independent group of attorneys. An ARS gives the names of the attorneys who are selected to be listed under charity or nonprofit. Make sure to use an ARS that is run by the local bar association.
- Law Schools. Check if they have a clinic or if there are other programs that can help you.
- Nonprofit organizations. Consult with the regional or local chapter to see if they have referral services for attorneys.
- Martindale-Hubbell. Use this directory to help you with your search for a good nonprofit attorney in San Diego.
Why Choose Ortega Business Law
If you’re looking for a team with nonprofit corporate law experience, Ortega Business Law is the best choice. They deal with the formation and administration of nonprofit entities and corporations. But why Ortega Business Law?
Ortega Business Law offers different services to cater to everyone’s needs. They provide legal counseling on the feasibility of structuring a nonprofit entity. We all know how challenging it is for nonprofit organizations and entities. But despite the challenges, Ortega Business Law can customize the work for each organization. They take their clients’ mission, vision, and needs into account.
Services Offered by Ortega Business Law
- Preparing or reviewing IRS form 1023 and/or form 1024
- Preparing or reviewing Franchise Tax Board Form 3500
- Preparing or reviewing bylaws for the organization
- Preparation of other nonprofit filings including 501(c ) (4), 501 (c)(6), etc.
- Reinstatement of revoked 501 (c) (3) and 501(c)(4) status
- Formation of the nonprofit profit business entity, including:
- Articles of Incorporation
- Organization/Board Policies
- Board of Directors Resolutions
- Conflicts of Interest Policies and Code of Ethics
Benefits with Ortega Business Law
- Nonprofit mergers. Mergers are complicated. It’s important for a nonprofit organization to have the expertise of a qualified attorney before merging with another entity. Ortega Business Law will help you by educating you with everything that involves a merger. This includes negotiations and drafting documents and agreements. This also includes reporting and board counseling.
- Board and Staff Training. Staff training can make a difference for a nonprofit organization. Board members are busy volunteers. Therefore, it’s challenging for them to acquire the information needed to manage the organization. With Ortega Business Law, you can gain knowledge and experience in this area.
Corporate Compliance Review. It’s important for nonprofit organizations to examine their internal policies and bylaws. This is to make sure that they are aligned with the acts of the board of directors, and with the new federal and state laws and regulations. You can work with Ortega Business Law closely to make sure you get the necessary resources. Doing this will make sure your organization is viable.