Faith Based


Supporting Clients with a Mission

Religious institutions and faith-based organizations are valued, long-standing contributors to our society. These organizations face unique legal challenges due to volatile, divisive cultural dynamics. Many times, religious organizations are not fully prepared to address some of these legal challenges. A new approach is needed for legal counsel and risk management.

Michael Best has the depth and experience to help religious and faith-based organizations meet these new challenges. We’ve served as general counsel to hundreds of religious and faith-based organizations across the country, including churches, church-affiliated hospitals and senior living facilities, religious nonprofits, denominations, religious and educational camps, schools and universities, synagogues, missionary foundations and conferences, and social services entities.

Not only do faith-based organizations have to navigate applicable federal and state laws, with a religious freedom layer of analysis, but more importantly, faith-based organizations operate within statements of faith and religious governance structures (e.g., Constitution & Bylaws, Presbyterian Book of Church Order, Methodist Book of Discipline, etc.),. Practically, this layer of analysis is often at least as impactful to the situation as is the legal analysis. We appreciate and implement this analysis into our legal advice to bring you full solutions.

Beyond being excellent legal professionals, we are known for being both proactive and price predictable. Our approach has been well received by clients across the country—resulting in a growing client base for our firm and, in turn, long-term viability and sustainability for our clients. It is a privilege to partner with our religious and faith-based clients.

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Service Offerings to Faith-Based Orgs

Strategic Partner in Daily Operations & Growth Opportunities

Our team serves clients in all legal aspects of running a nonprofit business and a religious organization. We provide a customized mix of services, from periodic support to acting as outside general counsel.

  • Corporate governance and bylaws
  • Employment management and policies
  • Commercial Contracts
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Financial transactions/capital raises
  • Real state purchases and leasing
  • Succession planning

Counsel on Non-Profit Finance & Tax

Michael Best is deeply committed to meeting the unique legal needs of nonprofits. We offer strategic guidance designed to empower our nonprofit clients, ensuring the safeguarding of their invaluable tax-exempt privileges.

  • Endowment fund and restricted gifting issues
  • 501(3)(c) status, group tax exemption, and reclassification requests
  • Charitable solicitation registration
  • Tax controversy and litigation
  • Unrelated business taxable income issues
  • IRS and attorney general audits
  • Property tax exemption filings and appeals
  • Excess benefit transactions

Comprehensive Guidance for Child Protection and Response to Harm or Abuse 

A robust strategy to protect children. We will offer advice on every facet of child safety, from proactive measures to reactive strategies, thereby enhancing the safety and well-being of children.

  • Development of child protection policies and best practices.
  • Training in abuse identification, preventative measures, and reporting requirements.
  • Investigations of harm and abuse and recommendations for reporting to authorities, improving policies, and caring for those involved.

Create & Update Policies

Establishing alignment within your organization to ensure consistency and formulating a well-articulated plan to delineate approved and unapproved actions, helps set clear expectations. Regularly revising these policies allows your organization to keep pace with new laws, regulations, and best practices, adapting to changes effectively.

  • Security policies
  • Social media policies
  • Gun policies

Risk Mitigation

Our proactive strategy is designed to identify and mitigate potential issues before they arise, effectively reducing liability and ensuring that your attention remains undivided to focus on your faith-based mission.

  • Training on abuse allegations reporting
  • Insurance
  • Church-based counseling programs
  • Waivers of liability/terms and conditions
  • Constitutional / government issues
  • Privacy and information security
  • Document retention
  • Facility usage
  • General risk management

Develop and Protect Intellectual Property

We continuously strive to learn your business, coupled with the ability to strategically manage and protect your intellectual assets.

  • Trademarks & Policies

Establish Human Resource Compliance

Leveraging our counsel’s deep experience, we offer forward-thinking, comprehensive advice to ensure compliance and proactively implement HR best practices.

  • Employee benefits
  • Employee handbooks
  • Employment issues & disputes
  • Immigration
  • Internal investigations involving leader/staff wrongdoing

Manage Litigation & Disputes

Our litigators thoughtfully assess each case, utilizing our teams’ extensive sector-specific knowledge for precise and insightful management.

  • Litigation Matters
  • Allegations of abuse
  • Litigation involving defamation, abuse, internal member conflict, and internal leadership/governing board conflict
  • Breach of contract
  • Financial fraud and mismanagement
  • Land use/zoning and property disputes

Primary Contacts

Primary Contacts

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