Learning Legalese- Jean

So far my legal projects at Fund 17 are going great. I applied for legal assistance through the Pro Bono Project, and our application was accepted. Now we are just waiting to be matched with a lawyer. I am almost finished creating a legal resource for entrepreneurs, which will also double as a teaching material for Fund 17’s future fellows.

The area of my internship that is proving to be difficult is impact assessment. I first had to research it and try to learn the impact assessment best practices for micro-finance nonprofits. This is still an area where I need to improve. I surveyed two out of our three clients and the surveys went well. They both seemed to have benefited from working with us.

I’ve been trying to figure out our 501c3 application for the past few days, and have been frequenting the IRS website, something I wouldn’t normally do. The application is pretty hard to understand. The instructions alone for Form 1023, which has to be completed before you can begin the actual 501c3, are more than 10 pages long. Luckily, a lawyer contacted us about helping us with the application. The meeting is on Monday, and I hope she can give us some guidance because this is really complex material, and you don’t want to make any mistakes when it comes to the IRS!

I think that right now, I am most proud of the legal document that I have been creating. I’ve found some really informative, reliable resources online that I think will help entrepreneurs a lot. I also am happy to have found potential pro bono legal assistance within the first week, because I had just assumed that it would be much harder to find. I think that this internship is teaching me the complexity of different areas of the law. I’m learning tax law and business law. Because a lot of my work is self-directed, I’m learning the importance of being self-motivated. This is the most hands-on work I’ve ever done and it will directly affect people’s livelihoods, so I’m glad that I’m also learning about accountability.

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