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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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This Wisdom of the Crowd (ACC member discussion) addresses legal department staff and structure. This resource was compiled from questions and responses posted on the forum of the Nonprofit Organizations ACC Network.*

*Permission was received from ACC members quoted below prior to publishing their forum comments in this Wisdom of the Crowd Resource.

 
 
Question
I am working on some research regarding the structure and composition of other non-profit legal departments ($15-$30million) to assist with determining the best way to build out our legal department. Could you please share the size of your organization and the composition of your department? How many attorneys do you employ? Support staff? The legal areas in which they work?
Wisdom of the Crowd

Response #1: We are a national lab not-for-profit ($1B revenues, 4000 employees). We have seven fulltime attorneys, six staff.1

Response #2: I work for a trade association with approximately 80 employees. Our legal department has two lawyers and an administrative assistant. We focus on contracts, trademarks, governance, and member advocacy.2
Response #3: We are a 501(c)(3) engaged in working primarily with state and local governments on cyber issues. We have 115 employees. We have a legal department of one full-time attorney, with legal interns and one paralegal; will probably be hiring a second attorney next year. The department focuses on governance, contracts, employment, and risk management issues.3
Response #4: I work for a national professional association with approximately 150 employees and two offices (headquarters in the Chicago area and a DC office). I am a solo in-house attorney with one half-time support staff. As the sole attorney, I am involved in everything from contracts, employment, IP, and governance issues to working on our certification program and Political Action Committee matters. Hiring another full time attorney would allow us to expand the legal services we provide, especially in the area of legal issues that face the profession as opposed to the association itself.4
 
1Response from: Linda Montgomery (8/9/2016)
2Response from: Anonymous (8/10/2016)
3Response from: Anonymous (8/10/2016)
4Response from: Anonymous (8/11/2016)
The information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.
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