Molly Unterseher is a partner in the Tax, Employee Benefits and Trusts and Estates Practice Group in the firm's New York office.

Areas of Practice

Molly represents a variety of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations in various organizational, compliance, and operational matters.

Her practice is focused on advising tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, including corporate, independent, and family private foundations; public charities; and donor-advised funds in multiple sectors, as well as philanthropic high-net worth individuals and for-profit companies. Molly guides clients through the establishment of charitable organizations, including applying for, and maintaining, federal and state tax-exempt status, and helps them practically navigate ongoing compliance requirements. She provides outside general counsel advice for organizations and individuals with respect to governance structures and board composition, domestic and foreign grant making, charitable activities and investments, charitable donations, estate planning, and philanthropic giving vehicles.

Molly counsels clients to protect their tax-exempt status consistent with their organizational objectives, including regarding private benefit concerns, relationships and intercompany services with related taxable entities, grants to nonprofit and for-profit entities and programs, establishing endowment funds and restricted gifts, expansion of charitable activities, charitable programming and operations, and family dynamics in next generation board governance and succession planning. Molly specializes in the restrictions applicable to private foundations, including self-dealing transactions, conflicts of interest, termination taxes, excess business holdings, and program-related and mission-related investments.

Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Molly was a senior associate at a boutique law firm devoted exclusively to serving nonprofit organizations and philanthropic donors, and a tax associate in PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ National Tax Services Exempt Organizations Tax Services Group in Washington, DC, where she provided tax preparation, compliance, and consulting services to public charities and private foundations. Molly maintains an active pro bono practice at the firm, through which she is dedicated to serving charitable and educational clients in the areas of entrepreneurship, research and clinical care to better serve female athletes, and mentorship opportunities for women.



Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2017-2022

Recommended Lawyer - Tax: Not-for-profit, Legal 500, 2023

  • Legal500 US Recommended Attorney



American Bar Association – Member, Exempt Organizations Committee
Pennsylvania Bar Association – Member, Charitable Organizations Committee
Allegheny County Bar Association – Founding Member and Past Chair, Exempt Organizations Committee
American Health Lawyers Association -- Member



J.D., Georgetown University, 2011
B.A., Georgetown University, 2008


  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
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