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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Spotlight_2Evelyn Brody (Chicago-Kent)

      • B.A. 1976, Yale
      • J.D. 1981, Georgetown 

   

BrodyEvelyn has worked in all three sectors: private, public, and nonprofit. She practiced with Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. (1981-85), and Michael, Best & Friedrich in Madison, Wisconsin (1985-88); was an attorney/advisor in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury (1998-92); and has been teaching at Chicago-Kent College of Law (since 1992, with semesters at Penn, Duke, and NYU). Evelyn received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from Yale College.

Teaching a variety of income-tax courses, Evelyn makes sure to emphasize policy and politics, as well as doctrine. Of her basic tax class, she comments: “My favorite students are the ones with low expectations about studying tax law, which describes most of them. They come in thinking it’s about numbers and calculations and then they realize it’s about money, greed and power, and they really get into it. It’s a very funny course.”

Evelyn also teaches nonprofit law, her area of research. Her scholarly publications have examined the tax treatment of education; the economic and institutional similarities between nonprofit and for-profit organizations; charitable endowments; the direct and indirect effects of tax reform on charities; the limits of nonprofit fiduciary law; the constitutional bounds of the right of association; and the enforcement powers of the IRS and state attorneys general. (For a complete list of her publications, see here.)

Evelyn is the Reporter for the recently created American Law Institute project, “Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations.” So far, she has drafted Council Draft No. 1 (Oct. 2003), relating to charitable purposes and restricted gifts, and Council Draft No. 2 (Nov. 2004), covering fiduciary duties and other aspects of charity governance. She observes: “Nonprofit law raises different issues from those found in business law. The tension is not between managers and owners but among the generations (past, present, future), and between managers and beneficiaries. How can – and to what degree should – the living generation follow the intentions of donors? How can boards and managers be required to meet their duties to the intended beneficiaries? What is the proper role of the IRS and the State attorneys general in charity enforcement, and what is the role of the donor and other private parties? The challenge to the nonprofit law project has only increased with the recent governance failures on the business side – what does Enron, WorldCom and Tyco say about our reliance on corporate boards?”

Both multi-disciplinary nonprofit projects and tax-law professional projects claim Evelyn’s attention. Her chapter on “Accountability and Public Trust” appeared in Lester Salamon’s State of Nonprofit America (2002). She has drafted “The Legal Framework for Nonprofit Organizations” for the forthcoming second edition of The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook, edited by Walter W. Powell and Richard Steinberg. She is an associate scholar with The Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, for which she edited and contributed to a multi-disciplinary book, Property-Tax Exemption for Charities: Mapping the Battlefield (2002); co-hosted a seminar series on nonprofit advocacy; and helps organize semi-annual conferences on emerging issues in philanthropy, sponsored jointly with the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard. She is an At-Large member of board of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). Evelyn now serves on the expert advisory group to the Independent Sector’s Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, which is preparing a response at the invitation of the Senate Finance Committee for suggestions for nonprofit governance reforms.

Evelyn was an academic advisor to the Joint Committee on Taxation staff’s 2000-2001 simplification project, and in 1992 served on the Clinton/Gore Transition Team (Treasury/Tax Policy Cluster). A long-time member of the ABA’s Section of Taxation, she is currently serving as Secretary of the Section and Chair of the Teaching Taxation Committee.

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