Jump to Navigation | Jump to Content
American Bar Association

ABA Section of Business Law

Business Law Today

Our mini-theme: Nonprofit Organizations

Do well by doing good. Lawyers have a strong tradition of providing legal services to nonprofit organizations, often on a pro bono basis. Given the current economic climate, nonprofits may need legal assistance now more than ever. Still, given the breadth of relevant practice area knowledge and necessary skills, it can be challenging to both "do good" for a nonprofit and ensure a job well done.

With the assistance of the Section's Nonprofit Organizations Committee, Business Law Today is pleased to present an issue that focuses on nonprofit organizations. In this issue, seven articles touch on a variety of issues to keep in mind when assisting a nonprofit organization including: how to determine if creating a new charitable organization is in the best interest of a client; common traps for lawyers who infrequently advise charities; and counseling a nonprofit facing financial problems.

Charitable organizations are governed by both federal and state law. The IRS has made significant changes to the Form 990, which most nonprofits must file. One of the articles highlights those changes. Another article covers the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, which states have started to adopt and which addresses rules relating to the investment and spending of endowment funds. Some issues particular to the representation of religious organizations are also outlined in this issue.

Officers and directors on nonprofit boards have fiduciary responsibilities and corresponding potential liabilities that will seem familiar to attorneys who work with for-profit boards. Thus, the need for proper directors and officers insurance is explored in another article in this issue. In a period of increased public scrutiny and fiscal strains, the board of directors is the focus of attention. Indeed, governance is an important issue in the nonprofit area and has become more regulated.

We hope the articles are helpful and inspire you to do good well.

-- Willard L. Boyd III
Chair, Nonprofit Organizations Committee
Des Moines, Iowa

-- Nicole Harris
San Francisco

For more information on the Nonprofit Organizations Committee, please click here.

Advising a charity?
Avoid common fumbles by the unwary pro bono lawyer
By Alice M. Anderson and Sheila Warren

Alternatives to forming a charitable nonprofit
A start-up may not be in your client's best interests
By Gene Takagi and Emily Chan

Counseling the nonprofit debtor in financial distress
Some practical pointers
By Shelly Crocker

The IRS's new regulation of nonprofit governance
The annual Form 990 is now much more than a tax return
By Lisa A. Runquist and Michael E. Malamut

Directors and officers liability insurance for nonprofits
Is your client adequately protected?
By Stephen M. Foxman

UPMIFA, three years later
What's a prudent director to do?
By Cynthia R. Rowland

The business of religion
Current legal issues facing religious organizations
By Patrick Sternal


So many privacy rules!
The developing standard of care for data security and identity theft protection
By Jonathan T. Rubens

Disclosing environmental liabilities
Recent developments in legal and accounting standards
By Bernie Hawkins, Cory Manning, and Mike Bryan


Snap Judgments
Notes on news items from the world of business and the law.
Keeping Current:
Concise up-to-the minute summaries of new cases and developments impacting specific business law practice areas.

In this Issue:
Fiduciary Duties -- Delaware Courts Set High Bar for Directors' Breach of Duty of Loyalty

Corporations -- Changes to Delaware General Corporation Law May Impact 2010 Proxy Season
Speaking Volumes:
Reviewing recent book releases of interest to the business lawyer.

In this Issue:
Corporate Governance: Promises Kept, Promises Broken

Back to Top