Log in



Serving the Creative Arts Community Since 1974


Work with creative arts & innovation clients across California!

CLA is a State Bar of California Certified Legal Referral & Information Service (LRIS) and has been serving the creative arts community in California since 1974. CLA matches well-screened clients with highly qualified attorneys selected from its LRIS panel. Individual attorneys, law firms, in-house legal teams, and government lawyers can join CLA's LRIS panel by applying for membership and by meeting the LRIS membership requirements which adhere to the State Bar of California's certification standards as described in the California Business & Professions Code.

​​Individual artists, attorneys, law firms, in-house legal teams, and government lawyers can also serve on CLA's Arts Arbitration & Mediation Services [AAMS] panel by applying for membership and by meeting the AAMS membership requirements which include satisfactory completion of a CLA Mediator Training Program.

Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS)

Individual attorneys, law firms, in-house legal teams, and government lawyers can join CLA's LRIS panel and agree to accept regular legal referrals. CLA's LRIS handles four types of legal referrals: (1) Regular, (2) Pro Bono, (3) Modest Means, and (4) California Inventors Assistance Program (CIAP). Apply online to join the LRIS panel serving the creative arts community. Some examples of law firms and in-house legal teams working with CLA's LRIS programs:

Arts Arbitration & Mediation

Prospective AAMS panelists are required to complete a questionnaire which can be completed online. Applicants can work independently with each CLA office in the San Francisco Bay Area; Sacramento Area; and/or Los Angeles Area.

MCLE Programs

California Lawyers for the Arts is a State Bar Certified Referral Service — and is also licensed by the State Bar of California as a Multiple Activity MCLE Provider (#1248). CLA offers educational programs at least two-times per month in all of our locations, including many programs certified for MCLE. Sign-up for our weekly email newsletter to keep apprised of upcoming events and MCLE programs or check our calendar of workshops and events. 

MCLE Presenters
Also, if you're an expert in your field, you may wish to volunteer to present MCLE programs for CLA. There are many opportunities to serve as an MCLE presenter:

  • in-person workshops
  • seminars
  • online educational programming (including livestreaming)
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • and more!
If you have questions about participating as a CLA MCLE presenter, contact us at: 888-775-8995.

Speaker's Bureau
CLA also receives requests from the media and outside organizations seeking experts to comment and present on a wide range of topics. Consider also registering with CLA's Speaker's Bureau so we can connect you with media requests and outside organizations seeking your expertise. If you have questions about participating in CLA's speaker's bureau, contact us at: 888-775-8995

The California Inventors Assistance Referral Program (CIAP)

Under the new “America Invents Act,” the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) established a pro bono program designed to assist financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses. CLA was selected as the statewide Administrator to manage pro bono intakes and placements throughout California.

This program is called the California Inventors Assistance Program [CIAP]. The CIAP assists independent inventors and small start-ups with pro bono legal help for their inventions. A detailed Inventor’s Questionnaire is required to screen the invention.
To be provided with a pro bono referral, clients must start by completing a detailed financial screening application. The CIAP financial screening includes a review of adjusted gross income not to exceed 400% of the current federal poverty guidelines.  

If, after the initial free 30-minute consultation, the attorney does not wish to proceed with representation, the attorney must send the client back to CLA for a possible re-referral (if appropriate).

USPTO Pro Bono Recognition Certificate Program for Attorneys
The USPTO has announced a new certificate to recognize practitioners who provide at least 50 hours of patent pro bono service to their local pro bono program during calendar year 2019.  The personalized certificates will be signed by Commissioner of Patents

Andrew Hirshfeld and William Covey, Director for the Office of Enrollment and Discipline.  

The USPTO recognizes that patent professionals are oftentimes engaged in a very busy practice assisting paying clients with their intellectual property need. That makes the commitment of the volunteers in this program all the more meaningful. The USPTO is grateful to all those who have dedicated their professional expertise to making the Patent Pro Bono Program a success!

The USPTO is proud to announce a USPTO Patent Pro Bono Service Certificate (see sample on the left). The Certificate will be issued annually to registered patent practitioners who have contributed at least 50 hours of pro bono service. Practitioners registered with the CIAP will have the option of having their names displayed here.

Check out these LRIS and CIAP-dedicated pages that describe the pro bono programs available to participating attorneys.

Success Story: IP Watchdog: The Bill Carpenter Story: The Path to a Granted United States Patent -- a patent granted with the assistance of the CIAP.

Law360: USPTO Pro Bono Program Lifts Up Struggling Inventors



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.

Copyright © 2022. California Lawyers for the Arts. All Rights Reserved. 

Terms of Service

Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software