(Free) Legal Resource for Artists

May 26, 2016

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with local art attorney Jennifer Nelson. Not only is Jennifer extremely bright and fully committed to the growth and development of the arts here in San Diego (I think she has one of the coolest board service resumes I’ve seen), but she is also doing something to bring together lawyers for the benefit of local artists…

For those who are in the know or have scratched beneath the surface at all understand that there is a thriving art culture in San Diego that is constantly giving birth to phenomenal composed, performed, written, played, painted, sculpted, acted, shown and created works. San Francisco and Los Angeles have long enjoyed the benefit of hosting thriving chapters of an organization called CA Lawyers for the Arts.

In their own words: “CLA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization empowering California’s creative community with legal representation, education, and dispute resolution. CLA strongly believes that artists and arts organizations serve as agents of democratic involvement, innovation, and positive social change, and the growth of a strong arts sector is essential to healthy communities.”

Since 1974 CLA has been educating our communities about the arts and connecting artists in need of legal counsel with attorneys who can help. Even as Jennifer was telling me about the work she is doing on a steering committee focused on bringing CLA to San Diego, I didn’t fully understand the scope of CLA. I wrongly assumed that CLA only connected artists with able and willing attorneys who could help with contractual, licensing, copyright, and non-profit formation matters. CLA refers artists to attorneys for all kinds of issues; they help connect people with counsel on everything from the aforementioned issues to small landlord-tenant disputes. Additionally, CLA connects parties for paid, low-cost, and pro-bono legal service as the case may be.

Needless to say, I am more than a little excited about this organization making a home in San Diego. You should be too. Please let me know if I can get you more information or if you’re wanting to get involved. You can also check out the CLA website by clicking here.