Jonathan Robert Nelson

New York City, New York
Experience: 34 years
Claim Listing

About Jonathan Robert Nelson

I am a trial lawyer and litigator. I also provide corporate advice and representation to religious institutions and represent foreign nationals in applications for religious asylum. I have actively practiced as a lawyer since graduating from law school in 1983. After eight years of training in big firms in Chicago and New York, I established my own law office in New York City. In summer, 2016, I joined with two other experienced lawyers to form Nelson Madden Black LLP. Our firm focuses on the representation of churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other religious institutions, and individuals who have legal issues that relate to religion in some way. We have been featured on the Wall Street Journal's blog and in other publications. My law degree is from Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law, where I was managing editor of the Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business. I earned a master's degree in international relations from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Yale College. I have been listed as a Super Lawyer since 2012 and have been rated "AV Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell since 1998. Extensive information about my legal experience is available at my firm's website:

Language(s) Spoken by Jonathan Robert Nelson

  • French : Spoken
  • Spanish : Spoken

Practice Areas

  • Appeals & Appellate
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Business Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • General Civil
  • Immigration Law


  • Credit Cards AcceptedMasterCard, VISA, American Express
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional InformationMost matters billed on an hourly basis, with an initial retainer.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • New YorkSince 1988

Professional Experience

  • Founding partner Nelson Madden Black LLP 2016 - Current New York City lawyers representing churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other religious institutions. Advice and representation relating to governance, bylaws, construction, property, employment, constitutional and civil rights, free speech, free exercise, and other legal issues.
  • Attorney at Law JONATHAN ROBERT NELSON, P.C. 1991 - 2016 Sole practitioner since 1991; incorporated 2008.
  • Partner RAE & NELSON, LLP 1999 - 2000
  • Associate Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP 1987 - 1991 Litigation Department
  • Associate Chapman and Cutler 1983 - 1987 Municipal Finance and Litigation Departments


  • Northwestern University J.D. (1983) 1979 - 1983Activities: Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, Managing Editor
  • Tufts University M.A. (1984) | International Business Relations 1980 - 1981Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Yale University B.A. | American Studies 1974 - 1978

Professional Association

  • New York State Bar #925815 Member 1988 - Current

Articles & Publications

  • “Shaking the Pillars: An Asylum Applicant Shakes Loose Some Unusual Relief” (Interpreter Releases, January 3, 2006) Interpreter Releases January, 2006
  • “Judge-Made Law and the Presumption of Arbitrability: David L. Threlkeld & Co. v. Metallgesellschaft Ltd” (Brooklyn Law Review, 1992 – 1993) Brooklyn Law Review 1992
  • “The Implementation of the Refugee Act of 1980: A Decade of Experience” (Lawyers Committee for Human Rights Refugee Project, March 1990) Lawyers Committee for Human Rights March, 1990

Speaking Engagements

  • Risks for religious institutions in the management of real property "Managing Risk at Your Church", New York, NY October 24, 2016 Christian Legal Society, New York City Chapter


5 Bryant Park
27th Floor New York
New York City, NY 10018 USA

Telephone: (212) 382-4300
Fax: (212) 382-4319

Write a review

To write a review, you must login first.

Need ownership of this Business Profile?
Claim Listing