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"I founded FPLG on the simple premise that there is more to life than just living. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once observed, ‘The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.’ These words frame my work, and they define my actions."


May L. Harris, Esq., MA

CEO | Managing Attorney

Ms. Harris is CEO and Managing Attorney of FPLG. She serves as chair of the firm’s transactional practice, working with an outstanding team of FPLG attorneys and professionals in service to clients of all sizes, including museums, schools, churches, medical organizations and other charitable tax-exempt entities.

Over her two decades of legal practice, Ms. Harris has developed widespread recognition of her expertise & knowledge specific to the challenges facing tax exempt organizations and social enterprises. She excels at advising growth-focused purpose-driven organizations, ensuring they receive practical, real-world advice they can apply immediately with staff, board members, stakeholders and donors to establish, protect and fulfill their mission, vision and values.


  • California Bar
  • Washington, DC Bar
  • California Supreme Court
  • US District Court for the Southern District of California


  • Juris Doctor, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Master of Arts, Nonprofit Leadership & Management, University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES)
  • Bachelor of Science, Geology / Mathematics, University of Utah

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Taxation Section; Member of the Tax-Exempt Organizations Standing Committee
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Nonprofit Organizations Committee
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Corporate Governance & Social Responsibility Committees
  • California Lawyers Association, Taxation Section, Nonprofit Organizations Committee
  • Washington, DC Bar Association, Taxation Section
  • Board Member, Advisors in Philanthropy, San Diego Chapter
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Wealth Counsel

Speaking Engagements

  • California Charitable Fundraising Platform Regulations, Lorman Education Live Webinar, March 2022
  • Nonprofit Governance Symposium, University of San Diego (2016 - 2021)
  • Cause Marketing: Building a (Legal) Framework for Success, Cause Conference, San Diego Chapter of the American Marketing Association, November 2020
  • Social Good Partnerships, Forming and Operating a Sports Based Nonprofit Organization, USA Rugby National Development Summit, January 2016
  • Regulatory Compliance for Nonprofit Organizations in California, Half Moon Bay Education, October 2020

Teaching Engagements

  • Nonprofit Legal Issues and Risk Management, University of San Diego, School of Leadership & Education Sciences, (2018 - Present)


  • Problems with Prozac: A Defective Product Responsible for Criminal Behavior?, 10 J. CONTEMP. LEG. ISSUES 359 (1999)
  • The Modern Lanham Act and the Death of Common Sense, 12 J. CONTEMP. LEG. ISSUES 32 (2001)
  • “Scandalous” or “Disparaging” Should Make a Difference, 12 J. CONTEMP. LEG. ISSUES 44 (2001)
  • RIPs: Historical Overview and Basic Principles, 12 J. CONTEMP. LEG. ISSUES 454 (2001)
Speaking Engagements

San Diego Cause Conference


The San Diego Cause Conference brings together executive leaders, marketers, donors, and social entrepreneurs of the region’s top purpose-driven businesses, organizations, and nonprofits. For over 20 years, Cause Conference™ has been a driving force for positive social impact through the sharing of ideas and strategies to build a more humanitarian community. It is a place for individuals and organizations from for-profit and nonprofit sectors to engage and collaborate. Founded and hosted by AMA San Diego, Cause Conference inspires for-profit businesses to become more community conscious, striving for social enhancement beyond the scope of traditional business transactions. We show businesses that promoting social good also improves profitability, employee morale, and public perception. We empower nonprofit organizations to become more self-sufficient by leveraging strategies typically used in the for-profit sector.

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