Full-Representation Assistance for Nonprofits

LegalCORPS recruits volunteer lawyers to provide free legal assistance in business law matters such as governance, maintaining tax-exempt status, lease review, employment advice, intellectual property (trademarks, patents, copyrights), contracts, debt issues, and general business advice.

LegalCORPS generally does not assist startup nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities metropolitan area with incorporation or with attaining tax-exempt status.   It refers such startup organizations to MAP for Nonprofits for such assistance, or to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for information about doing it on one’s own.

NOTE: LegalCORPS does not match organizations with pro bono attorneys for matters in litigation.

Organizations Served

LegalCORPS assists small nonprofit organizations whose mission includes supporting low income communities in ways that encourage economic development or improve the quality of life. The organization must be a legal entity and have an active board of directors.

Generally, LegalCORPS seeks to serve nonprofits with annual revenue below the state-required audit threshold (currently $750,000). LegalCORPS will consider applications from organizations with a larger annual budget if the organization can demonstrate that the payment of standard legal fees for the particular matter would significantly deplete its economic resources or would otherwise be inappropriate.

Application Procedure

To apply for services, complete the Application for Nonprofit Organizations and gather any documents requested.

Note:  To save and print  your completed form so you can transmit the information to LegalCORPS, you might need to install a program for producing PDF files in your computer.  Adobe Acrobat [see www.adobe.com] is a common application for this.   Another application is CutePDF [see cutepdf.com].

Although legal services will be provided at no cost, a $50 placement fee must be paid with the application.  However, it will be refunded if LegalCORPS cannot place the matter with an attorney.  Submit the form, additional documents and $50 placement fee to: LegalCORPS, 1000 LaSalle Ave. SCH317, Minneapolis, MN 55403. (One can submit an application form as an e-mail attachment to a message sent to info@legalcorps.org.)

LegalCORPS will review each request to determine eligibility and will notify the organization of its status promptly. LegalCORPS usually can place a client with an attorney within one week after it posts an applicant’s matter in a message to its volunteers.  However, sometimes the placement process may take longer. Although LegalCORPS will attempt to place all eligible clients, it cannot guarantee that all matters will be placed with an attorney.

Organizations will not be charged legal service fees or fees for attorneys’ time. They will, however, be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses such as filing fees and copying costs. If you have questions about the eligibility guidelines, the application form, or the referral process, please call 612-208-0780 or email us at info@legalcorps.org.