5 Reasons Why a Church Needs a Lawyer

Church buildingConsidering that churches are designed for spiritual nourishment and growth, it can be hard to imagine why a church may need an attorney. However, there are many legal aspects involved in religious organizations. While most churches start out small, they grow in size, adding property, buildings, schools and other community services. That means in many ways, churches and pastors can benefit from legal counsel. Here are five reasons why a church needs an attorney.

When a church is hiring, laying off or terminating employees, they should consider their state’s laws concerning employment matters. Church law attorneys can help draft employment contracts and give advice on different types of employment situations. A church lawyer can advise the church on how employer and employee relationships need to be structured to help avoid issues that could arise in the future. Church lawyers can also assist churches in taking advantage of exceptions in the law that typically only apply to religious organization employers.

Governing Documents
Most churches are governed by certain documents that dictate how day to day operations are run. Over time, laws or rules may change, and these documents will need to be reviewed and updated. An attorney for the church can advise church leaders on what to include or remove from these documents to help ensure the smooth running of the church. Church lawyers will also make certain a church’s governing documents work together and do not conflict with each other.

Updating the Church on Current legal Affairs
Churches are governed by certain state laws the same as many businesses and other types of organizations. These laws can change, and the churches need to be aware of changes in the laws that may apply to them in order to remain in compliance. That is why churches may need to hire an attorney from a church law firm to keep them abreast of changes in the law.

Churches are not exempt from being sued. When a lawsuit is filed against a church, the church’s leadership should contact a lawyer for churches, who has experience in the particular area of law concerning the lawsuit. A skilled attorney who specializes in the applicable area of law will be able to give the church the best representation and the best advice for defending against the lawsuit.

Real Estate Issues
A church may need to acquire land for expansion, move to another location or engage in the construction of new church facilities. A church lawyer will go through the different transaction documents to ensure they are in order and the church’s interests are protected. They will also be knowledgeable in the laws regarding property in your state, and can confirm whether the purpose the church wants to use the land for, is allowed in that location.

These are just some of the ways a religious organization can benefit from retaining a lawyer. Unfortunately, many churches only consider employing an attorney when they are facing a legal crisis. A skilled church attorney can do much more than file and defend against lawsuits. Church lawyers can provide valuable advice specific to churches to help avoid legal issues and help the organization run effectively.

To find out more, contact Anthony | Kennedy, PLLC, the Church Law Group. We are here for you. Contact us today and ask about our services and how we can best help you and your organization. Call us at (972) 444-8777 or email us at info@amlawteam.com.

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