Our Mission

Established in 1969, VLA is the pioneer in arts-related legal aid and educational programs about the legal and business issues that affect artists and arts organizations.

VLA believes that individual artists and arts organizations deserve access to dedicated legal representation and advocacy to ensure that their voices are heard and that their interests are protected. VLA also believes that the arts community should understand certain legal and business matters to protect themselves and their work. To achieve these goals, VLA serves the arts community through 3 program areas: Legal Services with MediateArt; Education; and Advocacy.

 

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.

Kathryn E. Wagner, Esq.

Kathryn E. Wagner, Esq. Executive Director | 212.319.2787 ext. 25 BIOGRAPHY: Katie Wagner is the Executive Director of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA), which provides legal and education services […]

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Amy A. Lehman, Esq.

Amy A. Lehman, Esq. Director of Legal Services | 212.319.2787 ext. 14   BIOGRAPHY: Amy comes to the practice of law after a career in the arts.  She was a […]

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Betsy Dale, Esq.

Betsy Dale, Esq. Staff Attorney | 212.319.2787 ext. 18   BIOGRAPHY: Betsy Dale is the Staff Attorney at VLA, where she advises clients on a range of issues including disputes, […]

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Jesús López

Jesús López Office Manager | 212.319.2787 ext. 10   BIOGRAPHY: Jesús López is VLA’s Office Manager. He tracks the financial and operational needs along with assisting in VLA’s current programming. […]

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Laura Levin-Dando, Esq.

Laura Levin-Dando, Esq. Legal Services Coordinator | 212.319.2787 ext. 20   BIOGRAPHY: Laura Levin-Dando, VLA’s Legal Services Coordinator, oversees VLA’s intake process, working with artists on legal issues such as […]

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Debbie Moore

Debbie Moore Development Manager | 212.319.2787 ext. 13   BIOGRAPHY: Debbie Moore oversees fundraising efforts for VLA, which include special events, corporate membership, foundation and government grants and donor relations. […]

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Luis Nieto Dickens

Luis Nieto Dickens Marketing Director | 212.319.2787 ext. 12   BIOGRAPHY: Luis Nieto Dickens is a designer of Mexican nationality who lives and works in New York. Luis received his […]

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CAREERS

We offer legal and non-legal jobs and internships to law students, recently admitted attorneys, artists, and individuals interested in arts-related legal work.

Current Openings


Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is committed to a policy against discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, race, color, religious creed, national origin, age, or handicap.

CHAIRMAN

David Leichtman, Esq. | Leichtman Law PLLC BIOGRAPHY: David is a Partner in Leichtman Law PLLC. He founded the New York office of Robins, Kaplan LLP in 2010 in order […]

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SECRETARY

Michael E. Salzman, Esq. | Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP BIOGRAPHY: Michael Salzman is chair of Hughes Hubbard’s Copyrights Practice and Co-Chair of both its Antitrust Practice and Art Law […]

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TREASURER

Cynthia S. Arato, Esq. | Shapiro, Arato LLP BIOGRAPHY: Cynthia Arato is an experienced litigator with a practice focusing on intellectual property, media and entertainment, and commercial litigation. Cynthia has […]

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CHAIRMAN EMERITUS

Peter R. Stern, Esq. | McLaughlin & Stern, LLP BIOGRAPHY: Peter R. Stern maintains a general practice and has been involved with legal matters in many areas, including corporate, estate, […]

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FOUNDING DIRECTOR

Paul H. Epstein, Esq.  |  Artsmart, Inc. BIOGRAPHY: Paul H. Epstein, a Consultant with the firm of Artsmart, Inc., which he founded, devotes his career to improving the situation of […]

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Harry Ballan, Esq.

Harry Ballan, Esq. Davis Polk & Wardell LLP BIOGRAPHY: Mr. Harry Ballan is a Partner and member in Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Tax Department. Mr. Ballan joined Davis Polk in […]

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Andrew H. Bart, Esq.

Andrew H. Bart, Esq. Jenner & Block LLP BIOGRAPHY: For the past five years, Chambers USA has named Mr. Bart as one of the country’s leading lawyers in Media & […]

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June Besek, Esq.

June Besek, Esq. The Kernochan Center for Law, Media & the Arts, Columbia University School of Law BIOGRAPHY: June M. Besek is the Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for […]

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Adam I. Cohen, Esq.

Adam I. Cohen, Esq. Berkeley Research Group, LLC BIOGRAPHY: Adam Cohen is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and former practicing attorney who for more than 20 years has […]

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Jay Cohen, Esq.

Jay Cohen, Esq. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP BIOGRAPHY: Jay Cohen is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and corporate counselor, particularly with regard to his comprehensive expertise in […]

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Edward Copeland, Esq.

Edward Copeland, Esq. Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C.   BIOGRAPHY: Edward Copeland is a member of Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C. concentrating on employment law, media law, First Amendment law and complex […]

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Margaret A. Dale, Esq.

Margaret A. Dale, Esq. Proskauer Rose LLP   BIOGRAPHY: Margaret Dale is a partner in the Litigation Department at Proskauer Rose LLP. Margaret is a very experienced commercial litigator, and has […]

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Timothy J. DeBaets, Esq.

Timothy J. DeBaets, Esq. Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP BIOGRAPHY: Timothy DeBaets has extensive transactional experience in all fields referenced above. He represents artists, producers and entertainment organizations: previously […]

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John F. Delaney, Esq.

John F. Delaney, Esq. Morrison & Foerster LLP BIOGRAPHY: John F. Delaney is a partner in the New York office of Morrison & Foerster, where he formerly served as Co-Chair […]

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Eric J. Friedman, Esq.

Eric J. Friedman, Esq. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP BIOGRAPHY: Eric J. Friedman has served as Skadden’s Executive Partner since 2009, furthering the firm’s mission to provide the […]

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Laura Goldbard George, Esq.

Laura Goldbard George, Esq. Stroock Stroock & Lavan LLP   BIOGRAPHY: Laura Goldbard George concentrates in trademark, copyright and unfair competition law, with particular expertise in consumer product-related matters. With […]

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Gary Glaser, Esq.

Gary Glaser, Esq. Seyfarth Shaw LLP   BIOGRAPHY: Mr. Glaser has over 25 years of experience litigating cases in federal and state court and before both federal and state administrative […]

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Kevin W. Goering, Esq.

Kevin W. Goering, Esq. Norwick, Schad & Goering   BIOGRAPHY: .

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Wendy J. Halley, Esq.

Wendy J. Halley, Esq. Assistant General Counsel, Head of Media & Marketing Legal for Yahoo! Inc. BIOGRAPHY: I lead the US legal team for Yahoo media’s premium content brands, including […]

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Mark P. Hannafey

Mark Hannafey Moore Capital Management LP   BIOGRAPHY: Mark Hannafey is Compliance and Legal Counsel at Moore Capital Management, LP.

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Daniel Ilan, Esq.

Daniel Ilan, Esq. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP   BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Ilan is a partner based in the New York Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP office. Mr. Ilan’s practice focuses on […]

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Michael C. Lasky, Esq.

Michael C. Lasky, Esq. Davis & Gilbert LLP BIOGRAPHY: Michael C. Lasky is co-chair of the Litigation Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert. He has over 35 years of complex […]

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Frank K. Lord, Esq.

Frank K. Lord, Esq. Herrick, Feinstein LLP BIOGRAPHY: Frank K. Lord IV is a member of Herrick’s Art Law practice group and represents collectors, art dealers, claimants, auction houses, and […]

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Lorraine D. Mandel

Lorraine D. Mandel BIOGRAPHY: Lorraine D. Mandel is a legal consultant, specializing in structuring a wide range of capital markets and alternative risk products for insurance and reinsurance companies. Before […]

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Deirdre M. McDonald, Esq.

Deirdre M. McDonald, Esq. SONY Music Entertainment BIOGRAPHY: .

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Patrick McMullan

Patrick McMullan Artist BIOGRAPHY: Patrick McMullan was born in New York and raised in Huntington, Long Island. Educated at New York University, McMullan majored in business and “minored in Studio […]

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Marie Noble, Esq.

Marie Noble, Esq. Partner, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, SkyBridge Capital II, LLC BIOGRAPHY: Marie Noble is a Partner, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at SkyBridge. Prior to joining […]

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Peter R. Rienecker, Esq.

Peter R. Rienecker, Esq. Home Box Office, Inc. BIOGRAPHY: Vice President and Senior Counsel, Original Programming, Home Box Office

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Michael Schaper, Esq.

Michael Schaper, Esq. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP BIOGRAPHY: Michael Schaper is a litigation partner who focuses on various types of complex civil litigation, including in the areas of antitrust and […]

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Andres Serrano

Andres Serrano Artist BIOGRAPHY: Andres Serrano (American, b.1950) is a New York-born Conceptual artist known for his provocative and often controversial works. After studying at the Brooklyn Museum Art School […]

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Barry I. Slotnick, Esq.

Barry I. Slotnick, Esq. Chair, Intellectual Property and Entertainment Litigation, Loeb & Loeb LLP BIOGRAPHY: Barry Slotnick is a nationally recognized copyright litigator who has represented clients in the entertainment, […]

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Joseph C. Tedeschi, Esq.

Joseph C. Tedeschi, Esq. Citigroup BIOGRAPHY: Joseph Tedeschi has been a lawyer in the Citigroup legal department for approximately eight years. In his current roles, he is the Legal Head […]

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Jedd H. Wider, Esq.

Jedd H. Wider, Esq. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP BIOGRAPHY: Members of the international media often seek out Jedd for his views on the hedge fund and private equity fund […]

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Damian Woetzel

Damian Woetzel Artist BIOGRAPHY: Damian Woetzel is a retired Principal Dancer, formerly with the New York City Ballet where he performed from 1985 until 2008. In addition to his work […]

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Directors Emeriti

Directors Emeriti Robert Anthoine, Esq. Robert Batterman, Esq. Jenny Holzer Harvey Horowitz, Esq. Jane Gregory Rubin, Esq. Richard A. Rothman, Esq. Paul Sperry D. Scott Wise, Esq. Beverly Wolff, Esq.

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Olena V. Ripnick-O’Farrell

Olena V. Ripnick-O’Farrell is a litigation associate based in the Debevoise & Plimpton LLP New York office. Her practice focuses on intellectual property and media, including copyright, trademark, rights of publicity and related matters. Ms. Ripnick-O’Farrell joined Debevoise in 2014. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent Scholar. Ms. Ripnick-O’Farrell was the recipient of the Carroll G. Harper Prize for Excellence in Intellectual Property and also received the distinction of being named Best in Class in Copyright Law. Ms. Ripnick-O’Farrell received a B.S. from Boston University summa cum laude in 2007 and an M.A. Hons from Dublin City University in 2009. Prior to coming to the firm, Ms. Ripnick-O’Farrell worked in the film industry. In addition to serving serving on the Associate Board of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Ms. Ripnick-O’Farrell is currently serving on the Copyright & Literary Property Committee of the New York City Bar Association and is an active member of the Copyright Society of the USA. She is a member of the Bar of the State of New York and is admitted to practice before the Southern District of New York.

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Amy F. Altman

Amy F. Altman is an Associate in the Firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group. Amy focuses on estate and trust administration, estate planning, and probate litigation. She prepares wills, durable powers of attorney, and health care proxies and various types of trusts, including supplemental needs trusts. Amy understands, from personal experience, that the loss of a loved one can be a tumultuous time for any family. Amy is sensitive to the needs of each individual client and provides them with the time and attention they need to ensure that they understand the probate or administration process. Amy advises executors, trustees and beneficiaries in contested probate and contested administration proceedings. She has been appointed as a guardian ad litem, by various Surrogates in multiple counties. Amy counsels families and individuals, who are in need of estate planning with the understanding that every family dynamic is different. Amy has a personal interest in planning for families with special needs children, as Amy had the privilege of growing up with her older sister Carol, who was born with cerebral palsy. Amy is a contributor to law.com, the New York Law Journal and the New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estates newsletter. Amy has an interest in writing about cutting edge topics in trusts and estates, including art law—such as the new ban on ivory, New York’s law on posthumously conceived children and ideas for new legislation. Some of Amy’s recent publications include: Art Law Part 2: The Legal Entanglement of Modern Art from Degenerate Art to Cornelius Gurlitt, published, September 30, 2014 Lost Trusts in New York—the Case for Statutory Intervention, NYSBA Trusts and Estates newsletter, Summer 2014 Art Law Part 1: From Eagles to Ivory, The Art of Lost Value, published May 12, 2014, and republished in the NYSBA Trusts and Estates Section newsletter, Fall 2014 Inheritance Issues Abound for Children Conceived After Death, published March 10, 2014. Amy is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey. Amy speaks conversational Hebrew and Polish. Prior to joining Meltzer Lippe, Amy obtained estate administration and estate planning experience as an associate at Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C. Amy, a Brooklyn native, now lives on Long Island with her husband Erik, a cardiologist with a specialty in electrophysiology, and their two lovely daughters, Evelyn and Naomi.

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Lara Aryani

Lara Aryani is an associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group of the Shearman & Sterling LLP New York office.

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