We understand that area nonprofits may occasionally need legal support, but often have limited resources for outside legal counsel. CNE does not provide legal advice, but we have compiled what we hope is a short list of legal resources to help you find the answers you need:
For information on local attorneys who may be able to provide you with legal counsel, contact Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association or one of these CNE attorney members:
Boyd & Sipe
Carol Caesar Law
*Note that many attorneys will provide you with a free initial consult, and may be willing to provide legal services at a pro bono or discounted rate if asked.
Corporate ProBono.Org (http://www.corporateprobono.org) is a national initiative of the American Corporate Counsel Association and the Pro Bono Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. The Web site, launched in October 2000 and sponsored by numerous foundation and corporate funders, plays "matchmaker" by giving qualified nonprofits the opportunity to create a listing for their organization, which can then be searched and viewed by lawyers looking to volunteer their services. Volunteer lawyers can post their expertise and availability and there is a library of resources tailored to meet their needs.
A free legal guide: Legal Issues for Small Business and Nonprofit Agencies is available through Southern California Edison. This legal guide highlights important legal questions for nonprofits, and could help you better identify the issue you need to address.
Legal Health Check-Up Program
A legal health assessment is available for local nonprofits through the Nonprofit Clinic at the University of Virginia Law School in cooperation with the Legal Aid Justice Center and Center for Nonprofit Excellence.
Nonprofits may apply to be assigned to a law student for an academic year (September – May). Under attorney supervision, the law students review and provide confidential, written input regarding the organization’s organizational documents, bylaws, policies, charitable solicitation practices, tax exempt status and other legal matters of relevance to nonprofits. A check-up can help participating organizations confirm they are in compliance with applicable laws and identify areas where documents may need updating to reflect changes in the law or the organization’s practice.
Eligible organizations must serve low income, institutionalized or vulnerable people in Central Virginia or focus on remedying the underlying causes of poverty, and must agree to:
- Provide the Clinic certain background documents and information*
- Permit the assigned students to observe the operation of the entity by attending board/committee meetings and interviewing the executive director*
*All documents and observations shared will be kept in strict confidence.
Please note the UVA Nonprofit Clinic accepts a limited number of CNE member nonprofits to participate each school year. Registration for the 2011-12 year is closed. Check back this summer for 2012-13. For details and more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org