Nonprofit board service is “a different way of bringing your legal talent to your volunteer work,” says Pursuing Justice podcast host Alicia Aiken. In this month’s episode, she interviews Judy Siegel of the Pro Bono Partnership, and Raphael Stern of Lawyers Alliance for New York, on what lawyers should know about the benefits of serving on a board.
This episode features the co-chairs of PLI’s program Serving on a Nonprofit Board 2022: Practical and Ethical Considerations for Attorneys
For more information about PLI’s programs on nonprofit organization law visit https://www.pli.edu/products/subjects/pro-bono/nonprofit-organizations
PLI is proud to offer programs, pro bono memberships, and scholarships to support the essential public service work of the legal profession.
FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE
For Judy Siegel, working at Pro Bono Partnership allows her to combine many of her loves – the law, teaching, and working with nonprofits – on a daily basis. After 25+ years working in the public and private sector, Judy decided that working with nonprofits in a professional capacity was how she wanted to spend her time and where her legal skills would best be utilized. A lifetime of volunteer activity and board service shaped this decision, and the practical advice she now offers her nonprofit clients.
As a Senior Staff Attorney at Pro Bono Partnership, Judy provides a wide variety of legal services to nonprofits in New York and Connecticut. In addition to incorporating nonprofits and helping them obtain their 501(c)(3) status, she provides direct legal service and guidance on nonprofit/tax-exempt law, charitable solicitation and fundraising, corporate governance, contract matters, and capacity building. Judy is a trusted counselor and advisor to clients on a variety of business legal needs, including intellectual property, employment law, real estate, lending/finance, mergers and collaboration, and volunteer activity.
Judy lectures frequently on topics relevant to nonprofit executives and board members, including the New York State Not-for-Profit Corporation law, Six Strategies to a Better Board, Effective and Efficient Boards and Board Meetings, Top 10 Legal Issues Facing Nonprofits and Lobbying and Political Activity for Nonprofits. Judy’s workshops are perennial favorites, and have been praised as instructive and accessible with lessons and practical tips that are easy to implement.
Prior to Pro Bono Partnership, Judy worked in private practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Tenzer Greenblatt (now Blank Rome LLP), and Kittay & Gershfeld, P.C. She also served as the Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Westchester Regional Office of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Judy graduated cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law. She has served on various boards and grants committees.
Judy has received numerous awards and recognition for her work. Most recently, she was honored by SPARC, Inc., a Westchester County nonprofit that offers recreational, arts, athletics, and wellness programs for members of the Westchester County special needs community and Tails of Hope Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit in the tristate area that, among other things, supports working and retired military and police dogs and the officers and soldiers they serve with. Judy often claims she has the world’s most coveted lawyer job because she gets to see the best in people each and every day.
Rafi Stern is the Staff Attorney responsible for Lawyers Alliance’s Economic Opportunity program area, assisting community development and nonprofits that are providing investment capital and credit services, pursuing earned revenue activities, stimulating and revitalizing commercial activity, and sponsoring job training and job placement programs in New York City.
Prior to joining Lawyers Alliance in 2019, Mr. Stern was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and a law clerk to the Honorable Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York. Before law school, he worked as program officer at the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation and as an NYC Civic Corps member at Phipps Community Development Corporation. Mr. Stern graduated from Brown University in 2010 and Cornell Law School in 2017.