Finding Happiness on a Not for Profit Board

Getting involved in your community, whether it be the legal community, your hometown or your law school’s alumni board, is important. While volunteering can provide you with an overall feeling of satisfaction and wholeness, it can also help your career. Being active on a volunteer board provides young attorneys the opportunity to network with senior attorneys as well as business executives and potential clients.

On April 9, the YLS will host its bi-annual Board Match Networking Fair. This program will give you an overview of how to get involved in public service, as well as expose you to the types of volunteer opportunities that are available now. During the introductory program, a panel of experienced volunteers will detail the opportunities that are available on not-for-profit volunteer boards, benefits of involvement, and educate you about the obligations, expectations, and potential liabilities of serving on a board.

Jody Adler of the Community Law Project will be among the speakers featured during the introductory panel. To preview some of her advice, below are Jody’s 10 steps to finding happiness on a board.  These 10 steps are useful to keep in mind as you seek out opportunities for board service, and evaluate available opportunities at the Board Match event.

10 Steps to Finding Happiness on a Board:

  • Step 1: Know yourself (passion, skills, interests, availability, etc.)
  • Step 2: Learn about the nonprofit market
  • Step 3: Identify 3-5 nonprofits of interest
  • Step 4: Talk to board members and the staff
  • Step 5: Volunteer and/or attend events
  • Step 6: Do your due diligence
  • Step 7: Participate fully as a board member but
  • Step 8: Understand your dual role and
  • Step 9: Don’t jeopardize your day job
  • Step 10: Periodically evaluate your experience

After the introductory presentation, you will have an opportunity to network with representatives from the following list of participating not for profit organizations:

  • American Cancer Society
  • Arts& Business Council of Chicago
  • Austin Community Family Center
  • Avenues to Independence
  • Brain Injury Association of Illinois
  • Care for Real
  • Catholic Lawyer’s Guild
  • Community Activism Law Alliance
  • Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
  • Covenant House
  • Domestic Violence Legal Clinic
  • Full Spectrum Features
  • Illinois Science Council
  • International Street Dog Foundation
  • Irish Community Services
  • Lawyers for the Creative Arts
  • Legal Prep Charter Academy
  • National Eagle Scout Association
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Project: VISION
  • Red Clay Dance Company
  • Redtwist Theatre
  • Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
  • Shriver Center
  • Voters of America Illinois

Click here to learn more and to register for the event.


Leave a Reply