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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.

Artistic License Awards a Success!
On Saturday, July 25th, 2015, California Lawyers for the Arts hosted its eighth annual Artistic License Awards at the University of San Francisco. The event was a great success with more than 100 guests joining in celebration of CLA’s 40 years of service to the arts community. Generous sponsors and donors contributed more than $98,500 for CLA's education, legal representation and advocacy services.

Award recipients from the evening include Steven Hirsch and Katherine Lloyd-Lovett as well as their law firm Keker & Van Nest; Dr. Lawrence Brewster and the William James Association; Deborah Santana and her Do A Little Fund; The Hancock Family Funds; as well as London Breed, Supervisor of District 5 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Breaking News:

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.

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.


Order "The Art of Deduction" workbook today!

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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

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. 

Upcoming events

Thursday, October 08, 2015 6:30 PM • CLA Sacramento 2015 J Street Suite 204 Sacramento 95811
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 7:00 PM • Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, 112 E 22nd St #10, San Pedro, CA 90731
Thursday, October 15, 2015 5:00 PM • Sacramento Location TBA
Thursday, October 15, 2015 7:00 PM • Wells Fargo Building, 2140 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 (adjacent to the Downtown Berkeley BART Station)
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 7:00 PM • Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 6:00 PM • Pro Arts Gallery, 150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, California 94612 (12th St. Oakland City Center BART Station)
Wednesday, November 04, 2015 7:00 PM • Wells Fargo Building, 2140 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704


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

© 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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