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San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles

Our Mission

California Lawyers for the Arts empowers the creative community by providing education, representation and dispute resolution.

Our Vision

Artists and arts organizations serve as agents of democratic involvement, innovation, and positive social change, and the growth of an empowered arts sector is essential to healthy communities. CLA’s leadership and services strengthen the arts for the benefit of communities throughout California.

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.


Resale Royalties for Visual Artists
In the lawsuit of Sam Francis Foundation and others against Christie's, Sotheby's and EBay for failure to pay royalties under the California Resale Royalty Act, the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals has held that the Act can be severed. In its recent decision, the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals found the CRRA constitutional for in-state resales of unique works of visual arts, but unconstitutional for out of state sales based on the "dormant" Commerce Clause theory.

In a law review article published in the Cybaris Intellectual Property Law Review, CLA Executive Director Alma Robinson makes the case for federal legislation, which would allow US artists to receive resale royalties in more than 70 countries around the world.

SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS, a program of California Lawyers for the Arts, provides exposure to the arts and employment for low income high school students ages 14-17 who reside in neighborhoods throughout San Francisco. In 2014-2015 our new cohort of youth have chosen to team up with the community focused art organization, 14 Black Poppies, to develop a collaborative art project:  an exhibition,You Belong Here, that showcases a transdisciplinary and cross-platform investigation into belonging. The project will culminate April 11 during an event that is open to the public. We have raised $2,200 and we are seeking to raise $5,000 more.

Here is the link:

In 2013, CLA's SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS program provided a platform for teens who were harassed by San Francisco police officers to describe their experiences in a short video, What If This Happened To You?. The teens in this program learned interviewing techniques, as well as sound and camera techniques, under the direction of CLA's Spotlight on the Arts program staff.  They also interviewed a knowledgeable attorney about how they should respond in such situations.

A short essay describing the background of the making of this video with links to descriptions of relevant research is posted on our blog HERE.

Upcoming events

Wednesday, December 02, 2015 7:00 PM • Ken Edwards Center 1527 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Friday, December 04, 2015 11:30 AM • CLA Sacramento, 2015 J Street Suite 204 Sacramento 95811
Wednesday, December 09, 2015 7:00 PM • Wells Fargo Building, 2140 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 (adjacent to the Downtown Berkeley BART Station)
Wednesday, December 09, 2015 7:00 PM • Ken Edwards Center 1527 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Thursday, January 07, 2016 6:00 PM • San Diego Art Institute 1439 El Prado San Diego, CA, 92101
Saturday, January 16, 2016 9:30 AM • Black Box Theater, 1075 W Capitol Ave, West Sacramento, California 95691
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:00 PM • Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, 1999 Harrison Street, 25th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612
Thursday, April 14, 2016 7:00 PM • Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, 1999 Harrison Street, 25th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612


In our 40th fiscal year:

982 persons were members of California Lawyers for the Arts

636 clients received legal assistance from our referral service

1,617 persons attended 81 CLA educational programs

277 attorneys received Continuing Legal Education credits

1,300 individuals and organizations participated in alternative dispute resolution services and 479 cases were resolved

43 persons received mediation training and 70 youth were trained as peer mediators

62 deserving teens were placed in arts internships and attended 18 job readiness workshops

Our website averaged 14,615 page views per month with visitors from 135 countries

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Call Toll-Free: 888-775-8995

Or visit the Lawyer Referral Service page, 
or use the online Lawyer Referral Request Form
[pro bono, modest means, and regular referrals available]
CLA is a State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral Services -- No. 0021

As a member of C.L.A., you are supporting and participating in a dynamic service organization, providing vital links to other community sectors and current issues affecting the arts as well as quality legal services and educational programs. 

© 2010-2015 California Lawyers for the Arts, All Rights Reserved.

California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization & your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law. 

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