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About me

Gene Takagi is the managing attorney of NEO Law Group, contributing publisher of the Nonprofit Law Blog, and a regular contributor to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. At NEO, Gene has represented over 400 nonprofit organizations on corporate, tax, and charitable trust law matters. Gene is a popular writer on nonprofit legal topics and has been published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Nonprofit Times, The Nonprofit Quarterly, Taxation of Exempts, and ALI-ABA. He is also a popular speaker who has presented at conferences for Independent Sector, BoardSource, Net Impact, CalNonprofits, the American Bar Association, the Northern California Planned Giving Council, Social Media for Nonprofits, the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors, and numerous local and regional bar and CPA associations. 


Gene's professional experiences are diverse: corporate attorney for Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, professor of nonprofit law at the University of San Francisco, director of the medical and behavior divisions of the San Francisco SPCA, management consultant for Allders International (specialty retail), and managing director of Suki's International (beauty/education). This background helps him provide clear, understandable legal advice with an appreciation of the relevant business issues. Gene, a graduate of UCLA School of Law, is a recipient of multiple awards for his work, including Outstanding Barrister of the Year (Bar Association of San Francisco) and Northern California Super Lawyer (2015), and serves on the board of CompassPoint and the public policy committee of Independent Sector. 


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Tax: 50%
    14 years
  2. Corporate: 25%
    14 years
  3. Business: 15%
    14 years
  4. Contracts: 10%
    14 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check

Attorney endorsements

4 total 

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  • Lawrence Jeremiah Zerner

    Gene is one of the best lawyers you can hire when it comes to non-profits. He fully understands the industry and is easy to deal with. I recommend him highly.


    Lawrence Zerner Copyright infringement Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Joshua Adam Ridless

    I endorse this lawyer's work. Gene Takagi brings a great deal of expertise to any non-profits's legal and business challenges.


    Joshua Ridless Business Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

NEO Law Group

535 Mission St. - 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA, 94105


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Northern California Super LawyerSuper Lawyer2016
Outstanding Nonprofit LawyerAmerican Bar Association, Nonprofit Organizations Committee2016
Northern California Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2015
Fukkatsu (Resurrection) AwardNichi Bei Foundation2014
Outstanding Volunteer in Public ServiceBar Association of San Francisco2010
Outstanding Volunteer in Public ServiceBar Association of San Francisco2008
Outstanding Volunteer in Public ServiceBar Association of San Francisco2006
Mayor's CommendationMayor of Newark, California2003
Outstanding Volunteer in Public ServiceBar Association of San Francisco2003
Outstanding Barrister of the YearBar Association of San Francisco2003
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing AttorneyNEO Law Group2005 - Present
AssociateSheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP2001 - 2004
Association namePosition nameDuration
Western Conference on Tax-Exempt OrganizationsPlanning Committee Member2016 - Present
Independent SectorPublic Policy Committee Member2015 - Present
CompassPointDirector, Secretary2015 - Present
Bar Association of San FranciscoMember2002 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember2002 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember2001 - Present
Social Enterprise AllianceMember2009 - 2011
Community InitiativesDirector, Secretary2008 - 2014
Northern California Planned Giving CouncilMember2007 - 2011
Japanese Community Youth CouncilDirector2006 - 2010
Young Nonprofits Professional Network - SFBADirector2005 - 2005
California Association of NonprofitsMember2005 - 2007
Net ImpactDirector2005 - 2008
Bar Association of San Francisco's Barristers ClubDirector2004 - 2006
Publication nameTitleDate
The Nonprofit QuarterlyFiscal Sponsorship: A Balanced Overview2016
The Nonprofit QuarterlyUnderstanding Crowdfunding after a Tragedy2016
California Association of NonprofitsNew Law as of January 1, 2015: Non-voting Ex Officio Board Members Prohibited2014
The Nonprofit QuarterlyFair or Foul: A Review of Federal Tax Laws Governing Unfair Competition2014
The Nonprofit Quarterly12 Reasons Why You Should Gracefully Resign from a Nonprofit Board2014
The Nonprofit Times10 Issues To Address In Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Policy2014
BoardSourceSocial Enterprises: Nonprofit vs. For-Profit2013
Independent Sector BlogBreakout Session Recap: Key Issues in Tax Reform2013
California Association of NonprofitsStep by Step Guide for Starting a California Nonprofit2013
The Chronicle of PhilanthropyBasic Board Governance Failures Stand at the Center of the Penn State Debacle2012
American Bar Association publicationWhat Board Members Should Know About Reviewing a Form 9902012
The Chronicle of PhilanthropyAvoiding Trouble: What Nonprofits Can Learn From Sex-Abuse Scandal2011
The Chronicle of Philanthropy'Three Cups of Tea' Scandal Offers Lessons for Charities and Trustees2011
Business Law TodayAlternatives to Forming a Charitable Nonprofit2009
Blue AvocadoCan Nonprofit Boards Vote by Email?2009
Nonprofit ConversationThe Importance of Board Meeting Attendance2009
Taxation of ExemptsGroup Exemptions Demystified2008
The Practical LawyerCorporate Governance for Nonprofits2008
Nonprofit Law BlogVariousN/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California at Los Angeles School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2001
University of San FranciscoNonprofit AdministrationMA - Masters1998
University of British ColumbiaBiologyBS - Bachelor of Science1994
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
CEB Renewal Retreat: Reignite Your Passion for LawLegal Careers Outside the Box2016
Bar Association of San Francisco CLEDuties and Responsibilities of Serving on a Nonprofit Board2016
Western Conference on Tax-Exempt OrganizationsCurrent Developments in Nonprofit Law2015
Nonprofit Interest Group, South Bay MeetingNonprofit Legal Structures and Compliance Issues2015
National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting ProgramsDiverse Views on Social Impact Financing2015
National Network of Fiscal Sponsors Annual GatheringOpening - Hot Legal Issues2015
Independent Sector National ConferenceOpening Plenary - Threads2015
Hot Topic Call - NNFSRisk Assessment for Model A Fiscal Sponsors2015
CEB WebinarNonprofit Law: Hot Topics,2015
Annual Policy Convention10 Rules Your Nonprofit Needs to Know for 20162015
Section of Taxation - Midyear MeetingSmall Charities - Problems & Solutions2014
NNFS Hot Topic Conference CallLegal Topics for Fiscal Sponsors2014
New Grantmakers InstituteNavigating Legal and Ethical Issues2014
Meeting of the Nonprofit Organizations CommitteeHot Topics in Fiscal Sponsorship2014
Independent Sector Public Policy Action InstituteProfit for Good: How Social Enterprise Policy Affects You2014
GIA Annual ConferenceFiscal Sponsorship: New Practices, New Solutions2014
Finance Professionals & HR Networks MeetingBoard and Other Committees2014
CLEMastering Corporate Entity Formation2014
CalNonprofits Policy ConventionHot Topics in Nonprofit Law2014
Western Conference on Tax-Exempt OrganizationsUnrelated Business Income Tax2013
Social Media for Nonprofits - Silicon ValleySocial Media Policies2013
Nonprofit Finance and Accounting SymposiumNonprofit Social Enterprises2013
Net Impact Annual ConferenceHybrid Organizations2013
Chronicle Live DiscussionClever Ways to Thank Donors2013
BoardSource Leadership ForumNonprofit Social Enterprise2013
Alliance for Community Media National ConferenceNonprofits and Their People2013
Seminar - SF Conservatory of MusicNonprofit Organizations for Musicians2012
Nonprofit WebinarsEarned Income 101 for Nonprofits2012
Nonprofit WebinarsNonprofit Advocacy: Lobbying and Election-Related Activities for 501(c)(3)s2012
Continuing Education of the BarOrganizing and Advising Nonprofits2012
CLE - Lawline.comConsiderations in Selecting an Appropriate Legal Entity for a Social Enterprise2012
Briefing - CompassPointBenefit & Flexible Purpose Corporations2012
State Bar of California, Business Law Section, Nonprofit Organizations CommitteeHybrid Social Enterprises2011
Seminar - Foundation CenterLegal Issues for Nonprofit Startups2011
Seminar - CalCPALobbying and Advocacy Activities of Exempt Organizations2011
Seminar - CalCPALobbying and Advocacy Activities of Exempt Organizations2011
merging Leaders ProgramCompliance2011
ConferenceFiscal Sponsorship for Arts Organizations2011
CompassPoint Nonprofit DayAdopting Earned Revenue Strategies to Bolster Revenue2011
CLE - SBCBASocial Enterprises2011
CLE - BASFDuties and Responsibilities of Serving on a Nonprofit Board2011
CLE - BASFUnderstanding the L3C2011
CLE - BASFStarting & Representing a Nonprofit - Pro Bono Issues2011
Bar Leadership InstituteLegal Risks for Nonprofit Boards2011
Annual ConferenceSocial Enterprises2011
VLSPNonprofit Dissolutions, Mergers & Consolidations2010
USF MBA Nonprofit Management ClassNonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations Law2010
Stanford Poli Sci Civil Society ClassLegal Foundations of Civil Society2010
SeminarAlternatives to Starting a Nonprofit2010
ReVisioning ValueSocial Enterprise2010
NAMI-California Annual Meeting501(c)(3) Compliance2010
Marin Community Foundation Social Change GranteesNonprofit Advocacy Law2010
CVNL Emerging Leaders ProgramLegal Issues Affecting Nonprofits2010
CLE - Lawline.comDuties of Serving on the Board of a Nonprofit Corporation2010
Bar Association of San FranciscoNonprofit Governance2010
Stanislaus County Bar AssociationServing on a Nonprofit Board2009
Seizing the MomentNonprofit News Media and L3Cs2009
Northern California Planned Giving CouncilSocial Enterprises2009
National Network of Fiscal Sponsors Annual GatheringLegal Forum2009
Bar Association of San Francisco Continuing Legal EducationDuties & Responsibilities of Serving on a Nonprofit Board2009
American Bar Association, Business Law TodayResponsibilities & Duties of Directors of Nonprofits2009
Lawyers Committee for Civil RightsEffective Representation of Pro Bono Clients2008
Barristers Club - Tax & Pro BonoNonprofit Governance2008
Bar Association of San FranciscoTax & Employment Issues Affecting Charities2008
Western Museums Association Annual MeetingNonprofit Governance2007
Foundation CenterEarned Income & Nonprofits2007
CompassPointCharitable Solicitations2007
CBO CenterEarned Income & Nonprofits2007
Barristers Club Tax & Pro BonoNonprofit Governance2007
ABA Annual MeetingNonprofit Governance2007