How Much Nonprofit Attorneys Cost & How to Afford Them

How much will you have to pay to hire a nonprofit attorney to form your 501c3 nonprofit for you? The answer is it depends. Different nonprofit attorneys have different rates based on their success rate, experience, and the benefits that are included in their packages.

At my firm, we offer flat fee packages for our nonprofit legal services. This means that our clients pay one fee and all of our services that we list in our package are included in that. This is different from some law firms that charge by the hour.

We prefer the flat-fee method because it gives us an incentive to work efficiently for our clients.

The best I can say is that at minimum, you will need to pay for filing fees and legal fees. Filing fees are the fees that go to the government to process your paperwork. Legal fees are the fee paid to the lawyer for spending time doing the work for you

Filing fees alone on the state level are on average around $100. Filing fees on the federal level, depending one which form you file, are on average $600. That means you will need at least $700 to cover the filing fees alone.

You should then budget above that fee for the legal fees for the attorney doing the work for you.

Hopefully, you’re now able to see at least some of the benefits of adding a nonprofit attorney to your team. Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. How do you afford a nonprofit attorney? I realize this may not be a concern for everyone, but in case it is, here are a few options:

  1. Find free consultations. Any nonprofit lawyers and law firms will offer a free consultation. They will listen to your situation and outline the steps they would take to assist you. They will also give you a quote for their legal services. 
  2. Ask for flat-fees. Ask the attorney if they are willing to charge a flat-fee to review or draft your contract. You could also ask them to meet with you instead of billing you by the hour. 
  3. Maximize your time. Make sure you have your specific questions written down in advance before you meet. Or call your attorney so that you can take advantage of the time you have with them. Some lawyers will even let you email your questions in advance, which means they will be able to answer them more efficiently.
  4. Hire for a legal consultation. If you just want to ask questions and do the work yourself, hiring a nonprofit attorney for only a legal consultation may be a good option for you. A legal consultation can cost you anywhere from $200-$400 depending on the attorney, their credentials, and the nature of what you want to discuss. 
  5. Share competing offers. If there is a law firm you want to work with, but you feel like you’ve found another company that appears to offer more value for a better price, gie the original firm the opportunity to compete. At my firm, we know that there isn’t anyone that will work harder and fight harder for our clients than we will. As such, we encourage anyone to do us the courtesy of allowing us the opportunity to match a competing offer they receive. In most cases, we’re able to very easily show them the differences in the service and still work with them to get them started in a package that meets their needs.

Nonprofit attorneys may seem expensive up front, but rest assured that the price is worth the experience. You don’t have to do it alone. At Chisholm Law Firm, we have a 100% success rate for our clients. You can rest assured that your nonprofit is in the best hands and that we’ll get everything done right the first time. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

And remember – it shouldn’t be this hard to be a superhero.


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