When Your Church Needs a Lawyer
What you should know about selecting an attorney to prevent legal risks.

The church usually begins looking for an attorney only when it is confronted with a crisis—such as being served with a lawsuit. However, the need for an attorney's advice actually arises during the planning stages of any activity or event. Common situations that call for an attorney's expertise are:

  1. If the church is revising its governing documents, it should always engage an attorney familiar with nonprofit law in its state.
  2. If the church is considering terminating a lay employee who is protected by law, it should always engage an attorney familiar with employment law in its state.
  3. If the church is revising its employee handbook, it should always engage an attorney familiar with employment law in its state.
  4. If the church is considering a new source or method of fundraising, it should engage an attorney familiar with nonprofit tax and fundraising rules and regulations.
  5. If the church is revising its policies and procedures, it should have an employment attorney and/or a risk management attorney review the revised policies and procedures.
  6. If the church is buying or selling land, it should engage a real estate attorney to review the transaction documents.
  7. If the church is entering into a contract that exposes the church financially, it should engage an attorney to review the contract.
  8. If the church is considering a new or different activity, it should engage an attorney to review the risks associated with that activity.
  9. If the church is contacted by any taxing agency, it should engage an attorney to respond to the contact.

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Posted:
March 1, 2013
View All
from our store
Church Governance

Church Governance

What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business.
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition

Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition

Learn which local, state, and federal laws apply to religious organizations.
Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws

State by state laws to report child abuse.
Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity

Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity

Richard Hammar reviews public accommodations laws.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.