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Strategic Non-Profit

There are many law firms that can provide basic legal help to a non-profit; however, the Duval & Stachenfeld Strategic Non-Profit Practice Group is unique in being able to truly guide a non-profit through the rapid (good and not-good) changes in the non-profit world.

Practice Group Leader: David G. Samuels


The non-profit world is changing - and changing dramatically.  Despite there generally being more money for non-profits, at the same time there are also more non-profits being created - and this gives rise to more competition for donations than there has ever been before. 

This may appear to be a problem, and it is for some non-profits, however, surface troubles often give rise to opportunities for other non-profits that are strategic, flexible and creative. 

We at Duval & Stachenfeld have created a Strategic Non-Profit Practice Group for this reason.  Our purpose is to assist not-for-profit companies in two ways:

  • By providing superb legal counsel for mission critical transactions

  • By providing strategic (business) guidance to non-profits in building their organizations

Our assistance is intended to be useful both for non-profits that are succeeding (and even capitalizing on the changing non-profit world) and those that are struggling.

The legal team consists of the following practitioners:

  • David Samuels chairs the Tax Exempt Organizations Practice Group at Duval & Stachenfeld.  David is a Harvard Law School graduate and the former Deputy Chief of the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.  David has over 30 years in the heart of the non-profit world and is one of the top non-profit lawyers in New York.  David’s background and experience as a top New York State regulator is invariably of great use and advantage to our clients. 

  • Stephen Land heads our versatile tax department.  Stephen is a Harvard College, Law School and Business School graduate and is the Chair of the New York State Bar Association Tax Section. He is able to guide non-profits in protecting and maximizing the benefits of their income and real property tax exemptions, and navigating ventures that have mixed private and public purposes.

  • Bruce Stachenfeld, another Harvard Law School graduate, founded Duval & Stachenfeld and is the firm’s managing partner.  Although a real estate lawyer by training, the fulcrum of Bruce’s practice is providing strategic guidance to clients in helping them build their businesses, monetize their assets, and make good strategic business decisions.  Of great importance to non-profits is Bruce’s marketing expertise and connectedness, which can be of great use for fundraising and strategic planning.  

  • Kirk Brett chairs our Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights and Business Reorganizations Practice Group and handles distressed situations and situations in which there is real trouble to be resolved. When our clients have truly impossible situations we call in Kirk to the rescue. 

Ultimately, Duval & Stachenfeld blends its expertise in multiple practice areas (Non-Profit – Corporate and Distress – Tax – Real Estate – Business Guidance and Building) to achieve excellent results for its clients.  

As a result of the accomplishments of the Tax Exempt Organizations Group, David Samuels was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers© 2015 in the field of Non-Profit/Charities Law. 

To get a little more specific, Duval & Stachenfeld’s Strategic Non-Profit Practice Group can guide a non-profit in:

  • Merging with or acquiring the assets of a non-profit (or for-profit) organization;

  • Acquiring, selling, leasing, subleasing, licensing or otherwise monetizing real property or air rights or other assets (whether alone, or in partnership with another group);

  • Entering into a joint venture with a third party or a management services agreement;

  • Restructuring ownership or management of its assets or properties;

  • Handling financial distress, including relationships with lenders, creditors, funding sources and employees;

  • Coming up with a revised strategic direction;

  • Marketing itself more creatively and successfully; and

  • Making connections with third parties in the real estate and non-profit world.

There are many law firms that can provide basic legal help to a non-profit; however, the Duval & Stachenfeld Strategic Non-Profit Practice Group is unique in being able to truly guide a non-profit through the rapid (good and not-good) changes in the non-profit world. 


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