Our office motto is “Helping The People Who Change The World,” and that is how we view our job. We passionately believe in and support the vital work done by our nonprofit clients – who feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, help the sick and injured, eliminate poverty, protect the environment, work for worldwide peace and cooperation, support the rights of indigenous peoples, protect human and civil rights, prevent cruelty to animals, defend the innocent, protect human health and safety, enrich society with art and music, operate schools and educate the young, expand religion and spirituality, promote economic justice and economic opportunities, encourage socially responsible business, and provide opportunities for people to share and enjoy their social and recreational pursuits … and in all of these ways to make this a better world. We do everything we can to help each of our nonprofit clients accomplish its own unique and important mission.
We are uniquely specialized and trained to provide nonprofit organizations with high-quality legal advice and organizational guidance in an area of law often overlooked, or practiced as a “sideline” by other lawyers. It can be a costly mistake to assume that every attorney is familiar with the many different state and federal laws governing nonprofit corporations. Nonprofit corporations are governed by a wide variety of unusual laws and complex IRS regulations that are very different from those that govern for-profit corporations. Our office has the expertise and experience needed to give quick, affordable, and definitive answers to any questions or problems involving nonprofit law or nonprofit organizations.
We provide legal, organizational, and moral support to hundreds of nonprofit organizations located throughout Oregon, across the country, and around the world.
Director and Attorney for Center for Nonprofit Law
David Atkin is the Founder and Director of Center for Nonprofit Law. David has been deeply involved in the nonprofit sector for over 35 years and has worked with thousands of nonprofit organizations.
David is a recognized expert on nonprofit law and he regularly presents seminars and workshops on nonprofit law topics to a wide variety of audiences. David has been a planner and coordinator for the Oregon State Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Seminars on Advising Nonprofit Corporations in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. He also regularly gives specialized seminars for CPAs and other professionals who advise or lead nonprofit organizations, including seminars specifically for schools and churches.
In addition to his JD in Law, David has a BA in Biological and Environmental Sciences, an MA in Environmental Management, and a certificate of specialization in Environmental and Natural Resource Law. He was an adjunct Professor at the University of Oregon Law School for many years, where he taught Public Land Law, Indian Law, Water Law and a variety of other courses for the Environment and Natural Resource Law Department.
In addition to his legal work in the USA, David also works with many international nonprofit organizations in third world countries. He frequently works in Outer Mongolia, where he helped the government develop an entire new system of environmental laws following the collapse of their previous Soviet style government. When he can get away from the office, David likes to travel to Outer Mongolia to go riding across the Asian Steppes on the back of a horse or camel, sharing traditional life with Mongolian nomads.
David worked as a Smokejumper for the U.S. Forest Service for ten years, parachuting into remote mountainous areas to fight forest fires. He is a trained and experienced outdoorsman and loves camping, scuba diving and white-water rafting.
David also loves carpentry projects, and has designed and built two houses – doing virtually all of the design, carpentry, plumbing and electrical wiring work himself. David, his wife Lori and their two young sons share a passion for country life, and they love to spend time working and playing on their family farm in southern Oregon.
Attorney for Center for Nonprofit Law
David Williamson has been an associate attorney here at the Center for Nonprofit Law since May 2018. Prior to working at the Center for Nonprofit Law, David practiced business, real property, and tax law at one of the premier business law firms in Salem, Oregon. In an effort to find satisfaction in his work, and make a positive impact on the world, David transitioned from advising for-profit organizations to helping non-profit organizations here at the Center for Nonprofit law.
David’s life has always been rather non-traditional. David grew up as the third of six children in the small Eastern Oregon town of Boardman. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and became a paralegal. In the years that followed his enlistment, David worked in various blue color positions such as restaurant server and manager, shop hand, and as a security guard. Then the 2008 recession hit and David found himself unemployed and ready for new opportunities. Taking advantage of his difficult situation, David enrolled in the local community college and spent the next six and half years earning two Bachelor’s Degrees (political science and cognitive neuroscience) and a Jurist Doctorate from the University of Oregon.
David’s practice focuses on all aspects of business law concerning nonprofits including but not limited to entity formation, tax exemption and general tax law, employment law, and transactional law. With a specialization in contract drafting, David is uniquely equipped to assist with any type of contract your organization may need.
Client Support Coordinator
Jess works closely with the attorneys on everything involved in the initial establishment of nonprofit organizations, including, scheduling, helping with Articles of Incorporation, the preparation of Bylaws, the registration of new organizations with the Oregon Department of Justice, annual reports at the State level, the annual renewal of corporate status, and similar matters. Jess has lived in the Eugene area for most of her life and has worked in the nonprofit sector for many years. She enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering her time in the community, Oregon’s beautiful outdoors, cooking and all things comic book and sci-fi related.
Client Support Assistant
Audrey works hand in hand with Jess and staff in scheduling, bookkeeping, preparation of documents, and various other tasks to help nonprofits succeed. She has worked with nonprofits ranging from animal welfare to eliminating food waste and loves working with a variety of nonprofit organizations. Traveling and climbing is what you’ll find her doing when she’s not working. Audrey grew up in Kansas, where she got her degree from Kansas State University. She has also called Florida and New Mexico home before settling in Oregon with her husband and furry kids.
Judy Shaw, Tax Exemption Specialist
Judy has worked primarily with the process of helping organizations to gain tax exempt status. Before joining the Center for Nonprofit law staff, she worked for several well-run nonprofit organizations. She has also served as a board member and held significant volunteer roles in several additional nonprofits. Judy received a BA in Humanistic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, earned an ESL certificate from The School of Teaching English as a Second Language (affiliated with Seattle University), and completed significant paralegal coursework at Edmonds Community College. With her husband and two daughters, Judy enjoys camping, music, and trying out exotic recipes.
Elizabeth leads the client billing process, as well as staff training and other management tasks. She has worked for Center for Nonprofit Law for over 14 years. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon and worked for several well established nonprofit organizations before she came to Center for Nonprofit Law. Elizabeth grew up in Eugene, and raised her daughter here. She enjoys the outdoors, gardening, spending time with her family and friends, and all things Star Trek.
Right Hand Man
Joel is our office behind the scenes Jack of all trades. He works on aspects of all of our services including new nonprofit packages, tax exempt applications, Annual Reports, office marketing, and office IT support, and this very site! Joel also plays in a professional pop band, records music, and does some occasional acting. He began working for us temporarily—four years ago- We just couldn’t let him go!