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New England Legal Foundation

New England Legal Foundation
150 Lincoln Street
Boson, MA 02111

Founded in 1977, the New England Legal Foundation (NELF) is a non-profit 501 (c)3 based in Boston. Started as a regional venture of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, NELF focuses on free market principles and reduced government regulation. They have 6 staff, including 4 attorneys.

NELF litigates cases in the New England area on matters it considers precedent-setting on free-market issues. It also files amicus briefs, though confining this practice to cases where it contributes a unique perspective. In addition, NELF hosts a legal intern program. NELF also organizes a CEO forum, where they conduct panel discussions on pressing financial and policy issues. Lastly, NELF has launched a recent initiative to address emerging scientific issues such as biotechnology, e-commerce and energy deregulation and their impact on the business community, in order to inform the legal community about scientific questions.

The primary issues NELF litigates concern government regulation, property rights, taxation and employment issues. Since NELF is a smaller legal foundation, they are not as active as others, handling just over thirty cases in the past several years.

NELF has 40 members on their board of directors. The vast majority of board members are the general counsels or managing partners of corporations or law firms located in Massachusetts.

Funding: NELF's revenues in 2002 were $704,793, with $789,112 in expenses and $645,228 in assets. Funders include the Sarah Scaife Foundation ($60,000 in 2002, with consistent support for over two decades), the John M. Olin Foundation (grants targeted to specific programs, including takings clause, charter schools). Corporate contributors include Exxon ($7,500 since 1998) and Union Carbide ($4,000 in 1994).

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