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California Lawyers for the Arts is a State Bar of California Certified Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS). If you're a creative artist, arts organization, independent inventor, or someone with a creative arts legal matter, CLA can match you with a qualified attorney. Call toll-free at (888) 775-8995, or apply online using our easy-to-use online intake form. If you need financial assistance, and want to apply for pro bono or modest means help, call CLA's LRIS toll-free at (888) 775-8995 or apply online using the Financial Screening Application Form.


The Arts Arbitration and Mediation Services (AAMS) has been providing alternative dispute resolution services for the creative arts community since 1980. AAMS was the first alternative dispute resolution service in the country created specifically for the creative arts community. AAMS provides counseling, conciliation, mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation and meeting facilitation. Call toll-free at 888-775-8995 or apply online using our easy-to-use Request AAMS Assistance Form.


California Lawyers for the Arts as a recognized MCLE Provider (#1248), offers in-person workshops, special events, and seminars throughout California - plus online educational programs, videos, and podcasts. CLA also provides links to useful resources, a glossary of terms, and FAQ's for the creative arts and innovation community. Visit CLA's education pages for more information.

CLA frequently partners with other arts and innovation organizations statewide to present workshops, seminars, and other legal programs and events. Please contact CLA at 888-775-8995 to learn more about partnering with CLA for your legal education needs

If you're an expert in your field, you can volunteer to join CLA's Speaker's Bureau and be referred to major media seeking expert commentary. Also, there are many opportunities to be a CLA speaker for in-person workshops, online programs, videos, podcasts, and more! Please contact CLA at 888-775-8995 to learn more about volunteering with CLA as a speaker

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2019 Artistic License Awards, coming soon - Click here to Register Now for the event on May 17th!

Save the Date California Lawyers for the Arts ALA 2019 Artistic License Awards

Confirmed speakers include: Beth Bienvenu, National Endowment for the Arts; Jessica BogicandJacqui Norton, De Montfort University, UK; Meagan Corrado, Storiez Trauma Narratives / Bryn Mawr College; Anne Bown-Crawford, California Arts Council; Larry Brewster, University of San Francisco; Dameion Brown and Lesley Currier, Marin Shakespeare Company; Annie Buckley, California State University - San Bernardino; Kathryn Carner, The Actors’ Gang; Laura Caulfield, University of Wolverhampton, UK; Mary Cohen, University of Iowa; Mandy Gardner and Grady Hillman, Southwest Correctional Arts Network / Prison Arts Resource Project; Allia Griffin, Santa Clara University; Cathy Harris and Dawan Williams, Philadelphia Mural Arts; Norris Henderson, Voice of the Experienced (VOTE); Beverly Iseghohi, Urban League of Greater Atlanta; Rhodessa Jones and Felicia Scaggs, The Medea Project; Ashley Lucas, Prison Creative Arts Project, University of Michigan; Lorraine Moller, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Charles Moore, Rehabilitation Through the Arts; Dorsey Nunn, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children / All of Us or None; Meade Palidofsky, StoryCatchers Theatre; Gregory Sale, Arizona State University; Kaile Schilling, Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network; Kyes Stevens, Auburn University; Curt L. Tofteland, Shakespeare Behind Bars; and Ella Turenne, Occidental College / Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.


For more information, please contact conference staff at: or (415) 775-7200 x 101

Early Bird Registration Open - Click Here to Register 

or download registration PDF form HERE 


     Linocut print by Samuel Marquez, Gary Harrell, and Katya McCulloch, San Quentin Printmakers

Help us launch a full-service YouTube channel. We would like to livestream more workshops, seminars and events to allow you to be a part of them, whether live in person or remotely.  Visit our YouTube channel  and subscribe (thank you!) or click on the red YouTube checkbox button above. Thank you for your valuable support for this education initiative!

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

Upcoming live events


NEW Pro Bono Clinic Pilot Program

California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA) is holding pro bono clinics for creative artists and independent inventors to quickly meet with an attorney to answer simple legal questions. Act fast as clinic slots are limited and quickly fill-up!

All applicants need to be financially screened to qualify for pro bono financial assistance. If your case is accepted to the clinic, an attorney and meeting time will be assigned. Sessions usually last 20-30 minutes and can take place either in person, by video-conference, or by phone.

A small admin fee is collected for most clinics (CLA members pay $5, non-members pay $15). If interested in the clinic, please apply online via CLA's pro bono financial screening application. Describe your legal question(s) and note your interest in the clinic. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018

In our 43rd Fiscal Year

641 Persons were members of CLA

424 Clients received legal assistance from the Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS)

789 persons attended 42 CLA statewide educational programs in-person 

5,526 persons viewed 8 livestreamed programs

52 attorneys received Mandatory Continuing Education Credits (MCLE)

2,469 individuals and organizations participated in alternative dispute resolution services (ADR)

1,169 cases were resolved

32 persons received mediation training

730 youth were trained as peer mediators

50 deserving teens were placed in arts internships and attended 12 job readiness workshops

77 persons confined in 5 county jails participated in demonstration art classes

CLA's website averaged 53,173 page views per month

People from 184 countries visited CLA's website


CA Resale Royalties Act Preempted by Copyright Act

On July 6, 2018, a panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that California’s Resale Royalties Act only applies to art sales conducted prior to 1978.

​See this 
article about the decision from The New York Times: California Tried to Give Artists a Cut. But the Judges Said No

See below a synopsis of the opinion. BYBEE, Circuit Judge:

The California Resale Royalties Act ("CRRA") grants artists an unwaivable right to 5% of the proceeds on any resale of their artwork under specified circumstances. To that end, the CRRA requires the seller of the artwork or the seller's agent to withhold 5% of the resale price and pay it to the artist or, if the artist cannot be found, to the California Arts Council. If the seller or the seller's agent fails to pay the 5% resale royalty, the artist may bring an action for damages.

Plaintiffs are artists and their successors in interest seeking resale royalties under the CRRA from the statute's effective date of January 1, 1977, to the present. The issue in this case is whether plaintiffs' claims are preempted by federal copyright law. The district court held that they are, as a matter of both express and conflict preemption.

We affirm in part and reverse in part. Plaintiffs' CRRA claims covered by the 1976 Copyright Act—i.e., those concerning sales postdating the 1976 Act's effective date of January 1, 1978—are expressly preempted by 17 U.S.C. § 301(a). We therefore affirm dismissal of those claims.

The 1909 Copyright Act, however, has no express preemption provision. As such, plaintiffs' CRRA claims covered only by the 1909 Act—i.e., those concerning sales that occurred between the CRRA's effective date of January 1, 1977, and the 1976 Act's effective date of January 1, 1978—cannot be expressly preempted. Nor are they preempted by conflict preemption. See Morseburg v. Balyon, 621 F.2d 972, 977-78 (9th Cir. 1980). Accordingly, we reverse dismissal of those claims and remand them to the district court for further proceedings.

National Resale Royalties for Visual Artists?

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.

11th annual artistic license awards

Thanks to everyone who supported CLA's 11th Annual Artistic License Awards (ALA) held on May 5th, 2018 at the University of San Francisco, California. Celebrating 40+ years of service throughout California, and 25 years of Spotlight on the Arts Youth Programs, the ALA recognizes individuals and organizations who have had an extraordinary impact on our communities by inspiring participation and increasing support for the creative arts community in California. This year, CLA was honored to present Artistic License Awards to Recology; Senator Lori Hancock; Donn K. Harris; and Lowenstein Sandler. CLA would also like to extend a special thank you to our 2018 ALA major sponsors, including: Carol and Merit Hancock Memorial Fund; The Quentin Hancock Fund; Fish & Richardson; Keker Van Nest & Peters; Lowenstein Sandler; Orrick; and Recology.

All photos by Kaz Tsuruta.


Support California Lawyers for the Arts and its many programs and services with a donation today! CLA is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law. 


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California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law.  State Bar LRS Certificate #0021.

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The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

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