Over the past 20 years, we have served as general counsel to nearly 100 small businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, a municipal utility district, and a couple rock & roll bands. The role of general counsel varies depending on the organization that they serve. Minimally, the general counsel is responsible for trying to assure that the organization is acting within the law. However, businesses and nonprofits are turning more and more to the general counsel to provide advice that goes beyond legal compliance. A proposed course of action may raise reputational issues for the organization. The general counsel is expected to spot such issues and have a view about them.
The general counsel provides advice on the legal environment and legal responsibilities. Their knowledge of how the legal environment is developing should give the general counsel a basis on which to give valuable advice in planning transactions or taking other business initiatives. For the general counsel to be an effective counselor, the organization's managers must be sure that the general counsel is included early in the planning and decision-making process, and is viewed as a partner in the business process. General counsel should help mold these transactions or initiatives so that they meet legal requirements and do not transgress into areas that would damage the organization's reputation.
If you own a small business, manage a nonprofit organization, or serve on your church's governing body and your organization can benefit from having a lawyer to regularly provide advice, negotiate and draft contracts or policies, or help with other legal needs, give us a call at 253.858.5434 to see how we can be of service. We proudly serve clients throughout Washington and Idaho and are available to meet in person, by phone, or via Skype or FaceTime.