Gene Takagi is a San Francisco-based nonprofit and exempt organizations attorney; contributing editor and publisher of the Nonprofit Law Blog; and an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco. Prior to opening his independent office in 2005, he practiced in the corporate group of the AmLaw 100 firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, during which time he was awarded Outstanding Barrister of the Year from the Bar Association of San Francisco.
Gene holds a law degree from UCLA and a graduate degree in nonprofit administration from USF. Prior to becoming an attorney, Gene held various management positions both in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, and was responsible for annual budgets of up to $50 million and for the preparation of RFPs cumulatively worth over $500 million. He is a former director of the medical and behavior divisions of the San Francisco SPCA. Gene has been featured in several publications, including Equal Justice, San Francisco Attorney, The Recorder and Law.com.
Areas of Practice:
Gene's practice focuses on the representation of nonprofit organizations in the areas of incorporation, fiscal sponsorship, tax-exemption, governance, organizational structuring, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, unrelated business activities, charitable solicitations, lobbying, grantmaking (domestic and international), charitable giving, and dissolution.
Professional Qualifications and Activities:
Gene is a frequent speaker on legal issues affecting nonprofits. This fall, he is scheduled to speak at the annual BoardSource Leadership Forum (11/7-8), the Western Conference on Tax-Exempt Organizations (11/21-22), and the GWSCPA Nonprofit Finance and Accounting Symposium in DC (12/16-17). Previously, Gene has given presentations for dozens of groups including the American Bar Association (Annual Meeting), Bar Leadership Institute (ABA), Continuing Education of the Bar (State Bar of California), Bar Association of San Francisco, Santa Barbara County Bar Association, California Association of Nonprofits, CompassPoint, The Foundation Center, Social Media for Nonprofits, Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, Lawline, Law.com, Lorman Education Services, Nonprofit Webinars, Alliance for Community Media (National Conference), San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Western Museums Association, and local committees of the California Society of CPAs. Gene is also a regular contributor to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
A prolific writer, Gene has been published by Taxation of Exempts (Thomson Reuters), The Practical Lawyer (American Law Institute/American Bar Association), The Chronicle of Philanthropy, CalNonprofits, ABA BoardLink, ABA Business Law Today, and Blue Avocado. He has also edited articles appearing in Nonprofit Quarterly and About.com and served as technical editor of the Nonprofit Kit for Dummies.
Gene is a member of the State Bar of California, American Bar Association, Bar Association of San Francisco, and Net Impact. Gene currently serves on the board of directors of Community Initiatives (formerly CIF of The San Francisco Foundation), an industry-leading fiscal sponsor of charitable projects, including the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors. He is a former board member of Net Impact, JCYC, Barristers Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and Community Thrift Store, and a former advisory board member of the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs program of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Under Gene's tutelage, NEO Law Group associate Emily Chan was honored with the 2012 Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer - Young Lawyer Award by the American Bar Association Business Law Section, Nonprofit Organizations Committee.
Gene is committed not only to providing pro bono services but also to promoting the importance of pro bono work. He is a former Chair of the Pro Bono Issues Committee of the Barristers' Club and four-time recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service award by the Volunteer Legal Services Program. Gene's pro bono work is limited to organizations with which he has a deep connection, including VLSP, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, and Net Impact.
Juris Doctor, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Master of Nonprofit Administration, University of San Francisco
Bachelor of Science, University of British Columbia
You can learn more about my work here.