Lawyers Alliance for New York
|Founded||1969, New York, NY|
|Headquarters||171 Madison Avenue New York, NY|
Lawyers Alliance for New York (Lawyers Alliance) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides business and legal transactional services to nonprofit and community development organizations in New York State.
History and Mission Statement
Founded 45 years ago as the Council of New York Law Associates, Lawyers Alliance for New York is the leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations that are improving the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods. Along with direct representation, Lawyers Alliance undertakes educational activities including workshops, webinars, and publications. Annually, Lawyers Alliance represents more than 600 nonprofit organizations on more than 1,000 different legal matters.
The Council of New York Law Associates was originally founded in 1969 by a small group of young lawyers who were driven by a spirit of political activism and a desire to give something back to their city. It served as a clearinghouse for lawyers offering pro bono legal services, and its volunteers provided assistance in a diverse array of community action projects. As New York City changed, so did the organization. With the growing power of the nonprofit sector to create positive and enduring change, the Council developed new initiatives in the 1980s to advise nonprofit housing groups and other community-based organizations in corporate, real estate and tax law. It also established its expertise as a legal resource center and advocate for the nonprofit sector. With its evolution, the Council changed its name to Lawyers Alliance for New York in 1991.
Program Priority Areas
In order to provide legal assistance for a diverse and large group of clients, Lawyers Alliance utilizes the skills of its legal staff, which includes 14 experienced attorneys, joined by a network of more than 1,400 volunteer attorneys from 120 law firms and corporate legal departments. By connecting lawyers, nonprofits, and communities, Lawyers Alliance helps nonprofits to develop affordable housing, stimulate economic development, promote community arts, strengthen urban health, and operate and advocate for vital programs for children and young people, the elderly, and other low-income New Yorkers. Each priority is in an area where nonprofits have a critical role and both staff and volunteers have special expertise. Additionally, Lawyers Alliance has developed the following four special initiatives to address emerging legal needs of the nonprofit sector: nonprofit accountability, advocacy, disaster relief, and coping with the economic downturn.
Lawyers Alliance offers publications for nonprofit managers and attorneys. Researched and written by Lawyers Alliance's experienced staff and volunteers, these publications include practical tools such as model forms and checklists. Advising Nonprofits, Fifth Edition, and Charting the Course: Legal Help for Nonprofits in Troubled Times are the two most recently released publications.
The Nonprofit Revitalization Act
The Nonprofit Revitalization Act, effective as of July 1, 2014, makes comprehensive changes to New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law for the first time in forty years, affecting both established organizations and those that are newly forming. Lawyers Alliance for New York is supporting nonprofit managers and board members as they bring their organizations into compliance with the new law’s requirements and take advantage of its opportunities. Since the adoption of the Act in late December 2013, Lawyers Alliance has educated over 400 nonprofit leaders on the new law through webinars, clinics, and telephone resource calls.