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The content in this section is intended as a primer for those unfamiliar with nonprofit law. Sample materials are for illustrative purposes only, and are intended to provide a starting point. Faculty and students must consult the specific statutes in the states in which they work and draft their own documents to reflect the case-specific facts and legal requirements in their jurisdictions. Although there are myriad types of nonprofit organizations, most law school programs represent almost exclusively nonprofit corporations. Therefore, this section will be limited primarily to information regarding nonprofit corporations. 

Clicking on the hyperlinks will refer the reader to collections of illustrative materials on this Web site. There are many other resource materials related to the formation and operation of all manner of nonprofit entities, including forms, texts, guidebooks, law review articles, and business forms and articles. Students and faculty who wish to pursue these other resources can, of course, use their own law libraries, Westlaw and Lexis accounts, and search engines such as

Other source materials contained on this Web site include  Resource Links and Entrepreneurship Law Scholarship.

Some clinics may find it helpful to create an internal document and resource depository, or even a “wiki,” which is a type of Web site that permits authorized users to make changes to form documents and other internal resource material, as often forms need to be updated annually. 

The following outline is very basic and is intended only as a guide to highlight key issues faculty and students should consider when representing nonprofit corporations.  Much more detail can be found in numerous print sources that have been written, as well as some excellent website resources for nonprofits.  Most law school clinics serving nonprofits will be dealing with the formation and ongoing operations of a charity, and less frequently with mergers and dissolutions.  This Roadmap is divided into three main sections:  Starting a Nonprofit, Running the Business, and Merger and Dissolution. 

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The information appearing on the EshipLaw Site located at, including articles and other posted materials, and other resources to which links or citations are provided on the EshipLaw Site is being offered solely for educational purposes, and does not in any way substitute for advice and representation by a licensed attorney. Use of the EshipLaw Site does not create an attorney-client relationship with either the editors, creators or reviewers of the educational content presented on the EshipLaw Site.