Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Providing the opportunity for lawyers to assist artists and cultural organizations throughout the greater Philadelphia area via legal representation, publications, advocacy, education and counseling.

Philadelphia Bar Foundation Grant Impact

The support of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation allows Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (PVLA) to continue providings legal services to a specific sector of the community that would otherwise have no access to the legal system. The creative community is essential to Philadelphia’s identity, and draws people to the city. The Philadelphia Bar Foundation allows PVLA to make sure that Philadelphia’s identity can be sustained and helps bridge the gap between low income creatives and the legal community.

Summary List of Programs and Services

A Legal-Line is a one-time-only telephone conversation between any artist or arts or cultural organization client and an attorney in a given practice area to discuss a particular arts-related legal issue.

An ArtFax is a one-time-only telephone conversation between any artist or arts or cultural organization client and an attorney in a given practice area to discuss a particular short (no more than three-page) arts-related legal document.

In a Full Service referral, PVLA volunteer attorneys provide free legal representation for qualifying artists and arts and cultural organizations.

PVLA’s Patent Pro Bono program provides restricted legal assistance (patent counseling and prosecution) to qualifying inventors under a partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), following the implementation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011.

PVLA provides many Educational Programs, both for arts professionals and as Continuing Legal Education programs for attorneys. PVLA also maintains a large Library of pamphlets on a wide range of legal issues. 

PVLA’s Speaker’s Bureau program provides volunteer attorneys to speak to students and arts and cultural organizations on a wide variety of arts-related legal issues.

PVLA provides substantive and ethical training for new volunteer attorneys throughout the year.

Summary List of Priorities for Client Intake

Legal services and educational programs for individual artists and arts and cultural organizations. PVLA volunteer attorneys provide legal assistance on a wide range of arts-related legal issues, including

Administrative/Municipal Law; Arbitration/Mediation; Art and Entertainment Law; Bankruptcy; Censorship/Artistic Expression; Collections; Computer/Technology/Internet Law; Copyright/Licensing; Defamation; General and Management Agreements; Immigration; Insurance; Intellectual Property; International Law; Labor and Employment; Landlord-Tenant; Litigation; Nonprofit Law; Patent Law; Real Estate; Right of Publicity; Small Business Start-Up; Small Claims; Tax; Trademark; Trusts and Estates.