Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits

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John Wiley & Sons, Dec 12, 2011 - Business & Economics - 352 pages
A concise overview of the legal needs of nonprofit organizations

Good Counsel is a compact and personable overview of the legal needs of nonprofits, crafted by one of America's most astute nonprofit general counsels. The book distills the legal needs of the 1.8 million tax-exempt organizations in the United States.Written in a clear and accessible style, with plenty of humor and storytelling as well as illustrative case studies, Good Counsel explains the basics of nonprofit corporate law, governance, and the tax exemption. It then takes a department-by-department look at legal topics relevant to program, fundraising, finance, communications, human resources, operations, contracts, government relations, and more. Good Counsel is designed help organizations fulfill their missions to do the public good.

Designed to impart confidence and demystify the issues, Good Counsel is a must-read for nonprofit professionals and board members as well as lawyers and law students. Using Good Counsel as their playbook, lawyers, executives, and trustees can get an overview of the most common legal, governance, and compliance issues facing their organization and together ramp up a top-notch legal function.

  • Contains practice pointers, checklists, and assessment tools
  • Features sample contracts, licenses, and other form documents
  • Filled with case studies and end-of-chapter focus questions, as well as available lesson plans for easy classroom use by educators in business, management, public policy, and law schools

Good Counsel is the first-of-its-kind guidebook written by the sitting General Counsel of a major nonprofit. Written by influential author, speaker, and Bar leader Lesley Rosenthal, the General Counsel of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Good Counsel shares the insights of a Harvard Law School graduate with years of in-house and business law experience as well as board service.


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Good Counsel about Corporate Governance
A Grand Tour of Nonprofits Business Law Needs
Legal Aspects of Raising Money
Laws That Matter to the Finance Department
Human Resources Law for Nonprofits
Counseling the Nonprofit
Legal Meets Operations Facilities Management
Political Activities and Governmental Lobbying
Taking Charge of the Legal Function
Finding Your Dream Job as InHouse Counsel at a Nonprofit
Mobilizing Other Legal Forces for the Good

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About the author (2011)

LESLEY ROSENTHAL 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 thirteen 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." Follow her on Twitter @GoodCounselBook.

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