Thomas Jefferson School of Law, JD
Arizona State University, BA
Mary Dowling is the founder and Managing Attorney of Tovella Dowling, PC. Her practice focuses on providing counsel and guidance to tax exempt organization, donors, and entrepreneurs in the capacity of outside general counsel as they navigate the myriad legal issues facing modern tax-exempt entities and socially conscious businesses.
Her current nonprofit and tax-exempt clients include a wide variety of public charities, private foundations, and other nonprofit organizations—from scientific and research-based organization, journalism and local newsrooms, museums, religious and faith-based organizations, and social welfare organizations to sports-based organizations, business leagues, educational institutions, and social clubs. As a passionate advocate for her clients at all stages of the nonprofit life cycle, she places a particular emphasis on corporate compliance, governance and tax matters, under federal, state, and local tax laws, beginning with entity formation and applications for federal and state exemption, and including such issues as unrelated business income planning, compliance with public support tests, property tax exemption, nonprofit corporate governance, contract drafting and negotiation, fundraising compliance, corporate compliance, and joint ventures.
In addition to her representation of exempt organizations, Ms. Dowling represents social enterprises and other corporate clients in a wide variety of business pursuits and transactions, including business formation, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, dissolution, joint ventures, corporate compliance, and intellectual property.
Ms. Dowling also serves as a trusted advisor to professional and commercial fundraisers advising on the ever-changing regulatory compliance inherent in the fundraising sector, as well as, providing strategic and creative counsel with regard to business, tax and regulatory compliance structuring. Ms. Dowling instills creativity, passion and collaboration in her everyday practice and thrives on being an integral part of a her client’s growth.
From a litigation standpoint, Ms. Dowling has represented organizations, as well as donors, in various actions including labor and employment actions, governance and board disputes, enforcement of membership rights, wrongful removal and termination actions, breach of contract and misappropriation of charitable assets.
Professor Dowling teaches Professional Rules of Responsibility and is the Supervising Attorney in the Nonprofit + Business Law Clinic at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and is passionate about teaching and assisting students in providing pro-bono legal services to small business in Southern California.