Leah Cohen Chatinover

Of Counsel

About Leah

Leah focuses on helping nonprofit organizations with a full range of legal issues. She has a passion for religious organizations, and works with tax-exempt organizations of all types, including:

  • social services
  • education
  • arts & culture
  • community development
  • family and community foundations
  • trade associations

Leah is highly analytical, with a knack for helping clients grasp complex issues in understandable terms. She develops a deep understanding of an organization’s financial objectives and operational goals first and foremost. Then she applies creative thinking to devise the best legal solutions to help meet those business goals.

Areas of Practice

Leah offers tax exempt organizations comprehensive legal advice in areas including:

  • corporate governance
  • obtaining and maintaining tax exemption
  • mergers & other affiliations
  • federal & state taxation
  • directors’ & officers’ liability/fiduciary obligations
  • compliance
  • commercial contracts

Leah is also committed to serving as “outsourced general counsel” and trusted advisor to businesses and consultants. She is experienced in advising business clients at every stage, from business formation to winding down. Leah has assisted clients with ongoing business operations, supporting them in everything from intellectual property and non-compete agreements to obtaining financing and handling key employee matters.

Leah speaks regularly to professional and industry groups and volunteer boards of directors about issues facing nonprofit organizations, serving as both educator and advisor. Leah previously served as the Assistant Director of the Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center, in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Leah graduated from Yale Law School.  While Yale is famous for its scholarly bent, Leah takes a practical and business-oriented approach to finding and applying legal solutions.

On the Web


Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, 1985
  • Massachusetts, 2012
  • New York, 2013


Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut

  • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence – 1984

Barnard College, New York, New York

  • B.A., Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude – 1979
  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude

Published Works

  • E-Mail Voting: A Practical Approach to a Difficult Trap Business Law Today, American Bar Association, June 2014

Speaking Engagements

  • Presentation – Signs & Symptoms: How to Know When To Call Your Lawyer (2019 CT Non Profit Alliance)
  • Presentation – Non-Profit Nest Eggs: Hatching Great Ideas (2018 CT Non Profit Alliance)
  • Guest Lecturer – Legal Issues for Nonprofits , University of Connecticut, Bay Bath College
  • Presenter – Fiduciary Duty 101, International Management Association (IMA), NorthEast Regional Council Conference, September 2015
  • Training Seminar Presenter for National Business Institute and Lorman Education Services, Professional Groups, Religious Organizations, Community Foundations and Boards of Trustees. Representative topics:
    1. Fiduciary Duty 101
    2. The “10 Commandments” of Nonprofit Governance
    3. Tax and Business Answers for Nonprofits
    4. Exempt Organizations and Charitable Activities in Connecticut
    5. Public Charities and Private Foundations
    6. State and Federal Tax Considerations for Nonprofits
  • Former Chair & Presenter, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford/Commission on Jewish Education and Leadership, Leadership & Governance Institute

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, Former Chair, Legal and Tax Panel
  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Committee on Nonprofit Organizations, Former Vice-Chair, Religious Organizations Subcommittee

Past Employment Positions

  • Reid and Riege, PC, Senior Attorney, 2000 – 2010
  • Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center, Assistant Director, 1996 – 2000

Pro Bono and Volunteer Activities

  • Cut Out Cancer
  • Mikveh Bess Israel of Greater Hartford
  • Beth El Temple of West Hartford, CT
  • Beth David Synagogue, West Hartford, CT
  • United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Community Investment Volunteer
  • Active involvement in Jewish organizations and Jewish education throughout Greater Hartford