Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Our Mission

VLA provides pro bono arts-related legal representation and education to low-income artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. To do so, we offer legal counseling, educational programs, advocacy, and alternative dispute resolution. We believe that artists should understand certain legal and business matters to protect themselves and their creative endeavors.



Request Legal Assistance

We now offer online intake forms to request legal assistance on arts-related legal matters. Please click on the right form for you:


VLA serves every discipline, including:

  • Acting
  • Animation
  • Architecture
  • Book Making
  • Choreography
  • Composition
  • Costume Design
  • Craft and Folk Arts
  • Dance
  • Directing
  • Fashion
  • Film
  • Graphic Design
  • Installation Art
  • Interactive Art
  • Literary Arts
  • Modeling
  • Multi-media
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry
  • Printmaking
  • Screenwriting
  • Sculpture
  • Songwriting
  • Theater
  • Three-dimensional Design
  • Video Arts
  • Video Game Design
  • Visual Arts
  • Web Design

Access to our pro bono legal services is available solely to low-income artists and nonprofit arts organizations. Other services and programs are open to the entire arts community.

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VLA Testimonial: Paul Mcclure

I created The Love Bench, an artwork on Greenwich and 7th Avenues, in response to the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 and The Tiles for America project. VLA has provided me with many legal and business services that I never could have afforded as a struggling artist. VLA and its volunteers have helped me with Love Bench as well as other matters over the years. I am truly grateful for VLA’s assistance!

VLA Testimonial: Joan Lengel

I am an artist and wanted to establish a business. I joined VLA, and they helped me enormously. The staff was supportive and sincerely interested in providing the great legal advice. VLA helped me to understand the legal aspects of my endeavors. I encourage all artists who need legal and business advice to see the help of VLA. It is a wonderful organization!

VLA Testimonial: Ben Henderson

VLA helped steer me in the right direction with one very perplexing problem: my will. Every artists wonders, “What will happen to my art when I die?” Years ago, I hired a law firm to draw up a will, but I found it insufficient and unsatisfactory.

Many artists, perhaps most famously Mark Rothko, leave no will or a weak will. Their estates can be left to manage lengthy trials, and I did not want that to happen to my art. VLA’s Artists Over Sixty program met my legal needs perfectly. VLA connected me with a professional, patient lawyer who represented me for free. The saying goes, “You get what you pay for,” but this could not be further from the truth in my dealings with VLA. I am now confident that my art will be protected after my death and I have VLA to thank for that.


Would you like to help us offer more VLA legal services and educational programming?

Please show your support by making a secure online donation today:



Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

1 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
1 (212) 319-2787 ext. 1

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