Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits – New Volume By Lesley Rosenthal

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 11:16

With her book Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits, Lesley Rosenthal, general counsel of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, has created an indispensable guide for the most common legal, governance and fundraising compliance issues facing nonprofits.  She distills to the essentials the legal context of a million public charities in the U.S. in a clear and accessible style, with humor and storytelling, and offers practical tools.  Written for organization professionals, board members, lawyers and students, Good Counsel has received advance praise from across the legal, nonprofit, academic, and cultural sectors.

Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits – the first-of-its-kind guidebook written by the sitting general counsel of a major nonprofit – takes a department-by-department look at legal topics relevant to programs, fundraising, finance, communications, human resources, operations, contracts, government relations, and more. The book imparts confidence, demystifies issues, and leverages legal resources to help organizations to do the public good. With illustrative examples from human services, higher education, cultural, and other organizations, Good Counsel contains focus questions, practice pointers, case studies, and work plans for educators, as well as sample documents.  Used, along with its companion website, the book shows readers how to

  • energize the boardroom with role clarity and trustee engagement;
  • boost fundraising activities;
  • negotiate contracts that serve the organization's best interests;
  • support a committed workforce with sound employment policies;
  • strengthen the organization's name and protect its good works;
  • understand the business model and applicable regulations;
  • find the sweet spot for entrepreneurial initiatives; and
  • start up or step up a network of legal supporters.

The book also reveals how good governance ties to mission and fundraising; how to protect the organization's name and monetize its original works; potent phrases that can turn gift pledges into enforceable contracts; and one thing NOT to say in a hire letter or employee handbook.  It also provides useful guidance on finding a coveted law job at a nonprofit.

Lesley Rosenthal leads the legal, governance, and compliance functions of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. 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.  Ms. Rosenthal has served in many roles throughout the nonprofit sector, including for the New York State Bar Association and its Foundation.  For 13 years, she was in private practice as a business, litigation, and technology lawyer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City.  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," and the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel has named her "Counsel of the Year" for excellence in arts law.  

Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits. Wiley, ISBN: 978-1-1180-8404-5; hardcover/352 pages/$80.00.