Nonprofit Lawyers Give Advice to Students

Five people stand together by an event poster for a photo
November 06, 2019

On September 18, a group of nonprofit lawyers spoke to students about entering the sector and what a typical day is like for them.

Panelists included Rhonda Lees, Senior Counsel for the American Bankers Association, Kristalyn Loson, JD '09, Senior Attorney at the Nature Conservancy, and Christie Yang, General Counsel for The Brookings Institute. Jonathan Rotter, Attorney at the Nature Conservancy, moderated the panel.

"Getting into the nonprofit sector as an attorney is a career path that is not well illuminated," said Siobhan Madison, Senior Law Career Counselor. "Students got a chance to ask real, concrete questions from practitioners in the field."

The panelists came from the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Nonprofit Organizations Network. The network coordinates resources for the practice of law, facilitates education and knowledge-sharing, raises the profile and standards of the practice of law, and supports members in their professional growth in the nonprofit sector.

"The network reached out to law students who were interested in careers working for nonprofits," Mr. Rotter said. "The path to employment at a nonprofit as a lawyer can be tricky, so we wanted to give students tips and advice on how to land that job."

The panel at GW Law was the premier of the Nonprofit Organization Network's panel series. Mr. Rotter said he looks forward to coming back to give students tips on networking, different hiring tactics, and how wonderful it can be to work for an organization with a mission. 

"I encourage students to interact with and ask questions of the people who are doing the work they see themselves doing," Ms. Madison said. "The things students learned from this panel of professionals is not something they can glean from a book."