Finding the right lawyer–someone well versed in artists’ professional practices and problems–can make a big difference. Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) and Legal Aid in your area are two great resources for artists in need of legal assistance. These organizations each help with distinct issues:
- If the legal issue relates to your studio or your creative business, the VLA is likely your best resource. National directory of VLA organizations
- If you have an issue relating to your home or family, the Legal Aid is probably better equipped to help you. National directory of Legal Aid offices
- Note that not all communities have a VLA. Here are some other tips for locating an artist-friendly attorney.
- Ask your artist friends for a referral. An artist in your network might know of an attorney who is willing to work for artists for barter or trade for artwork.
- Another place to go is your local arts council. National directory of state arts agencies
- Most local bar associations have lawyer referral programs. These often include a free consultation to determine if the attorney is a good fit before you run up any bills.