Nonprofit lawyers help handle legal issues which commonly affect many nonprofits. They also help maintain your nonprofit status, file important paperwork and help your nonprofit avoid future ‘legal’ problems.
Finding a good lawyer who has a lot of experience working with nonprofits can be hard, but it is not impossible.
Given below are some tips for finding a good nonprofit lawyer.
Tips To Find A Good Nonprofit Lawyer
1. Make Use Of Online Services
You can make use of referral sources or other services online to find the right lawyer for your nonprofit organization. Some of these services are given below,
- Your state’s nonprofit association will most probably have referral services for lawyers and other nonprofit consultants.
- LegalMatch is a great website that helps you find a lawyer according to the information you give like state, city, and the area of specialization for your nonprofit’s legal matters. Some lawyers even offer pro bono services. Lawyer.com is a similar website.
- MovingWorlds.org is a website where nonprofits can post their legal needs and find a lawyer who is willing to volunteer for their cause. This is very useful for organizations that don’t have a lot of money to spend on a lawyer.
- Digital Media Law Project is a website where nonprofit legal service providers are listed for about 16 states. You can enter your nonprofit’s state and find a good match.
- In Law.com, you can select the nonprofit category from the list of categories and find a suitable lawyer.
- Martindale-Hubbell is an online directory site where you can browse attorneys and law firms depending upon ratings and experience.
If your nonprofit lacks the sufficient funds required to pay a lawyer, you can set up a donation website that uses donation-based funding to help pay for legal services.
2. Ask Other Nonprofits
An easy way to find a lawyer who specializes in nonprofits is to ask the executives of other nonprofits. If they have worked with nonprofit lawyers before, they will be able to tell you their experience and how they found their lawyer.
You can also find local attorneys online by doing some research. If you do find local attorneys who have worked with charities and nonprofits, make sure you do a background check on them.
3. Ask Previous Clients For Their Feedback
If you are interested in a certain law firm that does legal work for nonprofits, it is recommended to get the opinion of their previous clients before you hire anyone.
The previous clients will give you their first-hand experience. You will also be able to understand some of the work procedures of the lawyer. This will help you decide whether the law firm is the right one for your nonprofit.
4. Make Use Of Free Consultations
Most lawyers provide free consultations or case reviews for their potential clients.
While attending a free consultation, make sure you take an experienced person along who will give their opinion on the lawyer and decide whether he is a good fit for your nonprofit.
In the consultation process, the lawyer will go over the legal services your nonprofit requires and tell you how he will be able to help.
Depending upon the information he gives you, you can choose to hire a lawyer or not. You should ask your lawyer a few questions like,
- How much do you charge for your services?
- How many nonprofits have you worked with?
- Do you have experience representing cases in court?
- How long will a case take?
- What are the methods of communication you use?
- How many of your cases were successful?
5. Review Your Lawyer’s Performance
After you decide to hire a lawyer, review his performance to see whether he is performing his legal duties properly and if your nonprofit is benefitting from his partnership. If his services aren’t up to the mark, we recommend you start looking for another lawyer.
Doing thorough research, asking other nonprofits, and performing proper background checks will help you avoid hiring incompetent lawyers. You should also make sure the lawyer specializes in the kind of services your nonprofit requires.