Michigan Community Resources (MCR) presented a legal clinic on January 24,2019, to give pro bono financial and legal review services to Michigan nonprofit organizations. In honor of MLK Day, the services were provided to organizations that serve the needs of children, families, and other vulnerable populations. The legal advice from the clinics ensures that these organizations stay on top of reporting, governance, and legal compliance.
According to Kirsten Pederson, corporate counsel at General Motors, “lack of knowledge and lack of resources can be the two greatest barriers to nonprofits being legally compliant.” This clinic provided an extremely helpful resource to organizations that have tremendous value to their communities.
The Michigan event, presented by MCR, was part of Exponentum. Exponentum is a national network of business law pro bono providers that hosted the 2019 National Day of Service: Pro Bono Legal Help for Nonprofits Serving Children and Families on January 23 and 24th. In collaboration with more than 130 attorneys, volunteers provided over 500 hours of pro bono service. Representatives from 68 nonprofit organizations that are community-based and otherwise resource-constrained were advised on best practices to ensure legal compliance. Subject matter included financial reporting, management practices, proper fiscal transparency, board oversight, and regulatory compliance. Each organization received a customized assessment of its current financial reporting procedures and other legal needs.
This National Day of Service in Michigan was held at Co.Act Detroit, a new nonprofit collaboration center. Both the pro bono volunteers and representatives of the nonprofit organizations benefitted greatly from the consultations and day of collaboration. Michigan participants included Michigan Community Resources, Butzel Long, Dykema, General Motors Co., Ford Motor Company, and Miller Canfield PLC, along with financial services volunteers from Apparatus Solutions and UHY LLP.