Serving the Creative Arts Community Since 1974


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(888) 775-8995



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


Need legal Information?

CLA's Educational Program offers over 50 workshops, seminars and special events a year on a variety of legal and business topics that affect the creative community. 

Workshops topics include:

        • basic copyright
        • trademark 
        • licensing 
        • publishing 
        • mediation 
        • fashion
        • artists/gallery agreement
        • forming a non-profit
        • contract basics
        • music publishing

Other useful resources can be found HERE.


Are you a creative artistarts organization, or independent inventor and have a legal matter? 

CLA is a State Bar of California Certified  Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) and can match you with a qualified attorney.

 We also help inventors through our California Inventors Assistance Program (CIAP)Apply online HERE

Need financial assistance? Qualifying applicants may apply for pro bono or modest means low cost legal advice. Click  HERE begin a financial screening. 

Call (888) 775-8995 or apply online


Need help resolving a dispute?

CLA's Arts Arbitration and Mediation Services (AAMS) has been providing alternative dispute resolution services for the creative arts community since 1980. 

AAMS provides:

        • counseling 
        • conciliation 
        • mediation 
        • arbitration
        •  neutral evaluation 
        • meeting facilitation 

Call (510) 990-6030 or apply online AAMS Assistance Form

Thank You to the participants of the

2019 Arts in Corrections: Reframing the Landscape of Justice conference!

Over the five days, 337 artists, educators, arts administrators and advocates from 23 states in the US, as well as the UK, Canada, France, India and Mexico convened at Santa Clara University to participate in over over 75 presentations, workshops, panels, art classes and break-out sessions led by 130+ presenters. The conference culminated on Alcatraz Island for the Future IDs Exhibit and Prison Arts Collective workshop.

We were honored to have Jimmy Santiago Baca as the conference artist in residence who gave a keynote address and conducted two workshops. The week was also highlighted by keynote addresses from Nicole Fleetwood, Rutgers University; Damieon Brown, Marin Shakespeare Company; and Rhodessa Jones, Idris Ackamoor and Felicia Scaggs, The Medea Project and Cultural Odyssey. 


Conference workshops and classes facilitated the spread of teaching methods, program development, and best practices that illuminated the power of art in carceral settings and called on the participants to support arts in corrections alumni during re-entry. 




View the full conference photo gallery by Peter Merts here | View the Conference Agenda here

Thank you to our funders and sponsors!


Linocut print by Samuel MarquezGary Harrell, and Katya McCulloch, San Quentin Printmakers | photos by Peter Merts


Become a member and gain access to the online educational programs portal which features recorded webinars, podcasts, articles, videos, MCLE programs for attorneys, and other documents on legal topics for the creative arts and innovation community.

  CLA Members save $15 on every referral admin fee.

  Members save up to 50% or more on education programs.

  Members enjoy the results of CLA's advocacy.


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Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

We are launching a full-service YouTube channel to livestream more workshops, seminars and events.

Subscribe today!

Upcoming live events


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

12th annual

artistic license awards

CLA's 12th Annual Artistic License Awards (ALA) was held on May 17th, 2019 at Sierra 2 Center for the Arts & Community. Celebrating 43 years of service throughout California, 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 Buck Busfield, Dr. Sheree Meyer, The Royal Chicano Air Force, Supervisor Phil Serna and Daniel Yamshon. 

CLA would also like to extend a special thank you to our 2019 ALA major sponsors, including: Carol and Merit Hancock Memorial Fund; The Quentin Hancock Fund; Fish & Richardson; Keker Van Nest & Peters; Lowenstein Sandler; Orrick; Recology; Maria Gomez Rodriguez; Munger Tolles & Olson, LLP and Littlefund.  

photos by: Luke Cheng


Your contribution will support and expand CLA's many programs and services!


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. 



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.

MCLE Provider # 1248.

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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