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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.

CLA Featured in "Forty Stories, Forty Years"
The California Arts Council has published a commemorative book profiling stories of forty grantees, past and present, celebrating 40 years of the California Arts Council, California's state arts agency. The publication, "Forty Stories, Forty Years", features photos and a narrative profile for forty featured individuals or organizations, all of whom have a rich history and connection with the California Arts Council. The online publication can be viewed HERE.

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and The United States Conference of Mayors presented the 2016 Public Arts Leadership Awards at the mayors’ Winter Meeting on January 22, 2016

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.

Order "The Art of Deduction" workbook today!

$19.99 + tax + shipping.

Also available online soon as 
an ebook!

Upcoming events

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 5:30 PM (PST) • Kirkland and Ellis LLP-333 South Hope Street Los Angeles, CA 90071
Friday, February 12, 2016 11:00 AM (PST) • The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:00 PM (PST) • Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, 1999 Harrison Street, 25th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:00 PM (PST) • Ken Edwards Center - 1527 4th Street Rm. 100A Santa Monica, CA 90401
Thursday, February 18, 2016 6:00 PM (PST) • California Lawyers for the Arts, 2015 J Street, Suite 204, Sacramento, CA 95811
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 6:30 PM (PST) • Ft. Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd., Bldg. C, San Francisco, CA 94123
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 7:00 PM (PST) • Wells Fargo Building, 2140 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Saturday, February 27, 2016 10:00 AM (PST) • 4911 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
Wednesday, March 02, 2016 6:30 PM (PST) • Wells Fargo Building, 2140 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Tuesday, March 08, 2016 6:00 PM (PST) • San Diego Art Institute 1439 El Prado San Diego, CA, 92101
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 7:00 PM (PDT) • Wells Fargo Building, 2140 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 (adjacent to the Downtown Berkeley BART Station)
Thursday, April 14, 2016 7:00 PM (PDT) • 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

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. 

© 2010-2016 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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