Nelson J. Lee


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California State Bar No. 83612

Practice Areas

Estate Planning
Nonprofit Law
Real Estate

Nelson Lee is an attorney specializing in the fields of estate planning, non-profit law, land conservation, and real estate. He has practiced in the San Francisco Bay Area for over forty years. Nelson served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, for many years. He has extensive experience in negotiating, documenting and closing complex real estate acquisitions and sales, and handling corporate and administrative matters.

Nelson started his career working for a large law firm in San Francisco (Morrison & Foerster), and later a boutique business law firm (Stein & Lubin), where he was exposed to a wide range of issues in business law, real estate law and corporate transactions.

Building on that foundation, Nelson became involved in land conservation law as an attorney for The Trust for Public Land, which acquires land for eventual public stewardship throughout the United States, and has completed over 5,000 projects since its founding.  After working as a transactional lawyer, Nelson became General Counsel of the organization, a role he occupied for over twenty years.  At one point TPL employed 25 full or part-time attorneys throughout the United States.

At the Trust for Public Land, Nelson helped establish a planned giving department, and became interested in charitable giving and related estate planning issues.  That interest led him to establish his own private practice, focusing on land conservation and estate planning.  Nelson currently represents numerous individuals and families on estate planning and probate and trust administration.  He has represented over twenty nonprofit conservation groups, including Sempervirens Fund, the Sonoma Land Trust, the Mendocino Land Trust and Marin Open Space Trust.

Nelson serves the Marin and San Rafael community through his involvement with the Canal Alliance, where he currently serves as President of the Board of Directors.  He is also pro bono general counsel for the Larkspur Community Foundation.  In his free time, he indulges his passions for sailing, hiking, and good literature.

Nelson is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, based on peer reviews, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

B.A., Oberlin College
M.A., Yale University
J.D., University of Iowa

AV Peer highest rating for Nelson J. Lee