In Memorium
Bruce R. Hopkins 

For more than 50 years, Bruce R. Hopkins practiced nonprofit law, as he worked with and advised tax-exempt and charitable organizations. On October 31, 2021, Bruce Richard Hopkins, J.D., LL.M., S.J.D., left this world with a failing heart and his beloved wife, Bonnie Buchele, Ph.D., by his side. 

This site remains active in honor of Bruce R Hopkins' legacy.

Bruce began practicing, studying and writing about the field of nonprofit following the passage of the first U.S. Congressional bill, passed in 1969, that established nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations in the United States of America.  As a practicing attorney, professor, mentor and scholar in the field, 
Bruce was often referred to as the "Dean of Nonprofit Law."


Bruce was a skilled and prolific writer. The ideas just kept flowing and his thinking and voice live on in the more than 45 books he wrote. His books range from scholarly books about nonprofit law, including the primary text used in law schools, "The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations," to "The Bruce R. Hopkins' Nonprofit Counsel" monthly newsletter. In this newsletter that Bruce wrote for 40 years, he tracked the changes laws related to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizatons, and wrote about key legal decisions in the field. Bruce also authored popular, practical guides about nonprofits for laypeople.  Bruce wrote memoirs and books of poetry, which shared his humor and personal experiences as a nonprofit lawyer.

Not only was Bruce a superb lawyer, but he also served a gracious mentor who shared his knowledge of nonprofit law with countless students at two law schools where he taught over the years. His teaching muscle was built over a period of 19 years when he was Professional Lecturer in Law at George Washington University National Law Center. 


Most recently, as Professor from Practice at the University of Kansas, School of Law, Bruce exercised his generative spirit teaching and mentoring younger colleagues. Always the legal scholar, he could brilliantly take complicated concepts and distill them down into easily understood principles for beginners, seasoned colleagues and those, like his wife, unfamiliar with the subject matter. To fulfill his own lifelong dream, Mr. Hopkins returned the University of Kansas Law School at the age of 72 as a graduate student to earn his SJD.  

He was a presenter and featured speaker, nationally and internationally, at numerous conferences throughout his career, among them Representing and Managing Tax-Exempt Organizations (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.) and The Private Foundations Tax Seminar (El Pomar Foundation, Colorado Springs, CO). He practiced law in Washington, D.C. and Kansas City, MO, for over 50 years, receiving numerous awards and forms of recognition for his efforts.


The Bruce R. Hopkins Law Firm represented nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations. Mr. Hopkins also served as Special Counsel to the law firm of Hamilton Vopelak PC. 

Following Mr. Hopkins' death,
Shane Hamilton now provides counsel to many organizations for which Bruce R. Hopkins had served as attorney or advisor.

Learn More About the 
Bruce R. Hopkins Legacy

As a lawyer, author teacher, mentor and scholar in the field of nonprofit, tax-exempt law,
Bruce R. Hopkins established an enduring legacy during his more than 50 years of legal practice, writing and teaching.

Visit Bruce R Hopkins Books to find an inventory of pertinent books about nonprofit law, written and co-written by Bruce R. Hopkins.

On that site, you also will find information about his monthly newsletter, The Bruce R. Hopkins Nonprofit Counsel,  which provided updates and insights about new  cases, developments and insights in the nonprofit law field. The newsletter offers a repository of important information about nonprofit law.


©  Bruce R. Hopkins, 2021