How to Work with Legal Counsel Affordably

10 things nonprofit organizations can do to save money on legal fees without short-changing their futures.

Proactive Nonprofits:

  1. Leverage free, available legal resources
  2. Use DIY as a cost-saving device, but not as a replacement for professional legal advice
  3. Share with counsel what they’ve learned already through research and in talking with other consultants
  4. Solicit ideas from counsel about how to approach matters in a cost-efficient manner
  5. Budget for legal counsel
  6. Work with legal counsel who specialize in representing nonprofit organizations
  7. Set time limits and check-in points, or flat fees, for projects
  8. Consult with legal counsel early and often
  9. Interview lawyers before handing them work to gauge experience levels (even for pro bono work)
  10. Work with general counsel to serve in a traditional advisory and fiduciary role, and to identify and make connections to other affordable legal counsel

See also Bruce D. Collins’ article in Inside Counsel (March 2012).  Bruce is Corporate Vice President and General Counsel of C-SPAN, based in Washington, D.C.

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