Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC is a nationally recognized, boutique Washington, DC-based law firm – with offices in DC and Chicago – specializing in the representation of nonprofit organizations and related entities across the United States. Serving primarily as outside general counsel, the firm advises senior management and boards of directors of charities, trade and professional associations, international NGOs, arts and cultural institutions, foundations, and other nonprofits – as well as companies and executives that work with or provide services to nonprofits – on the broad array of legal issues and challenges they face. The firm brings decades of Big Law experience to bear with small firm cost-efficiency, responsiveness, and turnaround time. With a focus on workable, impactful solutions, spirited defense and advocacy, a practical understanding of the broader nonprofit context and best practices, and attorneys who take their work – but not themselves – very seriously, TLG prides itself on partnering with its clients in a strategic manner to help ensure maximum effectiveness and results, all while exercising great judgment.
Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum is widely recognized as one of the nation’s most accomplished nonprofit legal practitioners, a top leader in the nonprofit bar, a frequent media commentator and expert witness on nonprofit legal issues, and a distinguished thought leader and active participant in the nonprofit legal community. Partner Nisha Thakker has spent most of her 15-year legal career in-house in the nonprofit legal world, bringing a unique, invaluable perspective to the practice. Counsel Julie Kulovits spent six years as in-house general counsel of a North American professional medical association and prior to that was a commercial litigator in private practice for ten years. Counsel Susan Hamsher spent the majority of her 13-year legal career as an in-house attorney at The Nature Conservancy – one of the world’s largest charities – and most recently was a senior associate at a boutique Washington, DC law firm focused exclusively on the representation of nonprofit organizations. Nisha, Julie, and Susan are all very active in the nonprofit legal community.
At TLG, we don’t just respond to legal questions, issues and challenges. Our lawyers think strategically with our clients to understand what their underlying goals and concerns are, develop creative solutions and options, talk through the pros and cons of various approaches, and help them make the best decisions for their organizations. Because of our combined decades of nonprofit law practice, we rarely have to reinvent the wheel, which not only provides for much more cost efficiency, but also enables us to take our advice and counsel to the next, deeper level.
We don’t tell our clients, “No, you can’t do that,” because that is almost never the case. With a nuanced understanding of the many complex laws and regulations that govern nonprofit organizations – in wide and diverse areas of law that often overlap and sometimes even work at cross-purposes – we are virtually always able to come up with workable, innovative alternatives and structures while helping our clients navigate the potential pitfalls. Our extensive experience in the nonprofit arena also enables us to never give legal advice in a vacuum, but rather to take into account the broader, real-world political, financial, business, and governance context, providing more wholistic legal counsel to our clients.
Our lawyers are volunteer leaders in the nonprofit community – with industry groups such as the American Society of Association Executives, the American Bar Association, the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, the American Association of Medical Society Executives, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, Humentum, and the Finance & Administration Roundtable – helping to further our deep connection to and with the sector. We have and continue to chair and serve on key nonprofit legal industry panels, and we are frequent speakers and authors on nonprofit legal topics, delivering over 75 presentations per year and publishing over 25 articles per year on new developments and critical issues.
Our attorneys serve as a continual resource to others seeking nonprofit legal expertise – not only our clients, but to members of the print, television, radio, and online media, federal and state charity regulators, industry trade groups, academics, and nonprofit industry professionals in related fields, such as accounting, insurance, and consulting.
We take the greatest pride in the long-term relationships we have built with our clients – some over 15-20 years in duration – as well as the continuous stream of referrals we receive from our clients, nonprofit executives, professionals who practice in the sector, and many others. That is the ultimate testament to the work we do.
While awards and honors don’t make great lawyers, over 15 years of annual recognition from all of the leading bestowers of such awards and honors is acknowledgment in which our attorneys take humble gratification. TLG is very proud to have been awarded – in its first year of existence – 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 our clients – which can be read here – are very gratifying and speak well to the nature of our legal work.
TLG’s Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum is one of only six attorneys in the prestigious U.S. Legal 500’s Not-for-Profit Hall of Fame, is listed in the 2012-22 editions of The Best Lawyers in America®/U.S. News & World Report® for Nonprofit/Charities Law nationally, and was selected for inclusion in the 2014-21 editions of Washington, DC Super Lawyers in the Nonprofit Organizations category.