Gene Takagi, the managing attorney at NEO Law Group, has become an influential voice in the nonprofit sector. In this podcast interview, Gene shares his views on when and how nonprofits should seek paid legal advice, legal risks nonprofits face, and how changes in the legal profession impact the nonprofit sector.
Gene graduated from UCLA Law School and has practiced law for more than 15 years, but he is not just an attorney. He is also a professor of nonprofit law, he has been a management consultant, and he was at one time the managing director of a private company. In addition to his law degree, Gene is also a graduate of the University of San Francisco’s Master of Nonprofit Administration program. He has been quoted and published in the New York Times, Nonprofit Quarterly, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Nonprofit Times, and many other places.
Why do lawyers usually want to profess that they are not giving legal advice during interviews or in articles? [1:28]
About NEO Law Group
You started NEO Law Group when? [5:08]
What led you to found Neo Law Group? [5:38]
Are most of your clients in California? [7:04]
You came to the law as a second career. How did that change the way you provide counsel? [7:32]
Problems Nonprofits Have With “Hiring” Lawyers
Nonprofits always have an incentive to spend every dollar on programs. What challenges does that present to a lawyer as a counselor to nonprofits? [11:02]
How do you respond to nonprofits that say they will rely on legal advice from board members? [14:04]
How do you respond to nonprofits who say that they will rely on pro bono legal advice? [17:42]
What are some indications that a nonprofit should seek paid legal advice? [20:08]
Changes in the Legal Services Market
How has the market for legal services been changing over the past decade? [29:30]
How do you see it changing over the next five years? [33:04]
Budgeting for Legal Advice?
Should a nonprofit have an annual budget item devoted to legal services? [35:42]