Susan C. Hamsher
Susan Hamsher is an attorney with significant experience providing a broad range of legal advice to nonprofit organizations in private practice and in-house at one of the world’s largest charities. She excels at incorporating complex legal requirements into effective and practical solutions to advance the strategic business objectives of her clients.
Prior to joining the Tenenbaum Law Group, Susan was a senior associate at a boutique law firm in Washington, DC with a partial focus on the laws governing lobbying and election-related activity by tax-exempt organizations. Susan also advised the firm’s clients on establishing and securing federal tax exemption, governance, fundraising regulation, and the laws applicable to organizations engaged in public interest, policy advocacy, and political activities. In addition, she assisted the firm’s nonprofit clients with corporate partnerships, licensing agreements, and privacy policies, among many other legal issues.
Prior to that, Susan worked as a senior in-house attorney for over eight years at The Nature Conservancy. While at the Conservancy, Susan oversaw various risk management functions including lobbying, corporate marketing partnerships, and certain fundraising initiatives. She also led two practice teams – Marketing and Government Relations – comprised of attorneys from across the Conservancy. Susan advised the Conservancy’s divisions across geographies in the United States and globally on tax, fundraising, privacy, intellectual property, lobbying, government ethics, and campaign finance for ballot measures.
Susan also served as the primary attorney to the Conservancy’s program in India. In this role, she worked with local counsel to support a new and rapidly growing program on corporate formation and governance, anti-corruption, fundraising, employment, and contracts and grants review. She also advised the India team on U.S. tax issues such as private benefit and private inurement, how to work with for-profit companies, and conflicts of interest.
Susan has a broad understanding of nonprofit legal matters as well as business operations, governance, and development. She has developed multiple systems to ensure organizational compliance including lobbying expense tracking and timekeeping systems, filing schedules and calendars, and a wide range of policies and procedures. In addition, Susan served as Co-Chair of the Nonprofit Organizations Network for the National Capital Region of the Association of Corporate Counsel from 2017-19.
Before beginning her legal career, Susan held a range of positions in government and public interest organizations. She was the Operations Manager at charity: water and a Law Clerk at the U.S. Department of State and at the United Nations Environment Programme. While in law school, she was a Marshall-Brennan Fellow and taught constitutional law to high school students in Washington, DC.
Susan is passionate about advancing justice, equity, and diversity. At the Conservancy, she was a founding member of the employee resource group created for young professionals. She was also an active member of the women’s employee resource group. Susan currently volunteers with her son’s school to promote its diversity and equity initiative.
- J.D., Washington College of Law, American University, 2009
- B.A., Sociology, University of Virginia, 2001
- District of Columbia
- New York
- 2019-Present, Member, American Bar Association
- 2017-19, Co-Chair, Nonprofit Organizations Network, National Capital Region, Association of Corporate Counsel
- 2013-19, Member, National Capital Region, Association of Corporate Counsel
- 2010-11, Member, New York State Bar Association
- 2019-21, Senior Associate, Harmon, Curran, Spielberg, & Eisenberg, LLP, Washington, DC
- 2011-19, Attorney, The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA
- 2009-10, Operations Manager, charity: water, New York, NY
- 2009, Law Clerk, United Nations Environment Programme, Washington, DC
- 2007-08, Law Clerk, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
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March 20, 2023
Structuring Contracts: UBIT, Royalties, Sponsorships, Trade Shows, Advertising, and Events (Presentation), Air Force Association, Arlington, VA
September 16, 2022
Climate Advocacy: Yes, You Can! And Here’s How, Land Trust Alliance’s Rally 2022: The National Land Conservation Conference, New Orleans, LA
June 30, 2022
Advocacy: Understanding the Legal Rules of the Road, America’s Public Television Stations (Webinar)
In the Media
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TLG Once Again “Ranked” by the Prestigious U.S. Legal 500 in the 2023 National Not-for-Profit Category – One of Only 19 Law Firms Nationwide and the Only Boutique Firm
June 7, 2023
Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC has once again been “ranked” by the prestigious U.S. Legal 500 for 2023 in the national Not-for-Profit category. One of only 19 law firms ranked nationwide and the only boutique firm, this is a highly coveted, distinguished honor. TLG Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum is also one of only five members of the U.S. Legal 500 Not-for-Profit Hall of Fame. Details can be found here and here.
Here are some excerpts from the published client testimonials:
“Experienced managing partner and co-founder Jeffrey Tenenbaum is the ‘highly skillful, caring, and practical’ practice head leading the group at Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC in Washington DC. Tenenbaum, who is active in the nonprofit bar, is emblematic of the group’s ‘rich and deep understanding of the nonprofit and trade association ecosystem’, leveraged to act as outside general counsel for different types of clients such as charities, trade and professional associations, international NGOs, conservation groups, and educational and health care institutions, with Nisha Thakker, who co-founded the group, a key name for healthcare work.”
“Jeffrey has years of experience in the non-profit space. Since starting his own practice, we have found him to be extremely responsive, as well as realistic.”
“The group has a rich and deep understanding of the non-profit and trade association ecosystem and therefore has experience and understanding of any situation and issue that may arise for any particular organization. They are very responsive, respectful, genuine in their desire to do good for their clients. They have also responded very well to adapting to the changing office environments resulting from the pandemic.”
“Jeffrey Tenenbaum is very knowledgeable, fastidious, and personable. He is able to drill down to the very heart of the issue and articulate it so that my board and other stakeholders understand any issue from all angles and the options before us. He has been a great resource for a number of items, whether it’s launching a new foundation, templates for bylaws, employment contracts, or affiliate partnerships, Jeff is a great resource to go to.”
“Jeffrey Tenenbaum is exceptional. Highly skillful, caring, and practical.”
In addition to other honors and recognitions, in its first year of existence, TLG was awarded the (top) Tier 1 designation in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for Nonprofit/Charities Law for 2021 by Best Law Firms/U.S. News & World Report®, and then again for 2022 and 2023. The firm is one of only six law firms in the region to have been granted this distinguished Tier 1 honor (and one of only four “client-confirmed” firms) and the only boutique firm among them.
TLG “Ranked” by the Prestigious U.S. Legal 500 in the 2022 National Not-for-Profit Category – One of Only 19 Law Firms Nationwide and the Only Boutique Firm
June 8, 2022
Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC has been “ranked” by the prestigious U.S. Legal 500 for 2022 in the national Not-for-Profit category. One of only 19 law firms ranked nationwide and the only boutique firm, this is a highly coveted, distinguished honor. TLG Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum is also one of only five members of the U.S. Legal 500 Not-for-Profit Hall of Fame. Details can be found here and here.
Here are excerpts from the published client testimonials:
“This is the most responsive legal firm that I have worked with in my career. They are quick to respond and quick to provide work product. Some firms tend to ramble, but not the Tenenbaum Law Group. They listen to our concerns and provide clear, concise responses.”
“Jeff and Nisha are an incredible team – they get how their work impacts their clients – not just legally, but operationally and financially as well.”
“Jeff Tenenbaum is a leading expert in non-profit law. He is extremely knowledgeable and responsive to client questions and concerns.”
“Jeff Tenenbaum and his team are exceptional partners for associations in their legal and governance needs. Tenenbaum is smart, practical, and easy to work with.”
“TLG is extremely responsive and gets work done quickly. Jeff Tenenbaum has a very practical, real-world approach to solving problems, which makes him a pleasure to work with.”
“Tenenbaum Law Group didn’t miss a beat during COVID-19, despite an increased workload with event cancellation negotiations, PPP loan questions, and Employee Retention Tax credit questions. They provide expertise in the not-for-profit industry and during the last year have provided informed advice regarding a range of issues including COVID-19 specific issues, bylaws, and board governance, filing an Amicus Curiae Brief, and hotel negotiations.”
In addition to other honors and recognitions, in its first year of existence, TLG was awarded the (top) Tier 1 designation in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for Nonprofit/Charities Law for 2021 by Best Law Firms/U.S. News & World Report®, and then again for 2022. The firm is one of only six law firms in the region to have been granted this distinguished Tier 1 honor in 2021 and 2022, and the only boutique firm among them. The unsolicited testimonials received by Best Law Firms/U.S. News & World Report® from the firm’s clients can be read here.