The International Alliance of Composers is now a member of CLA - California Lawyers for the Arts. This will allow the hundreds of IAC members to personally enjoy the benefits of this association.
The Legal Referral Service of California Lawyers for the Arts [CLA] operates as a lawyer referral service under the authority of the State Bar of California. They use their informational resources to match artists, arts organizations and others in the arts community with lawyers who have a special interest and the necessary expertise to work with those clients.
One of the biggest issues with finding legal help is choosing a lawyer who you can trust - someone professional and dependable, with a great track record and knowledge in the specifics of your case, whether it is a questionable section of a contract you were handed to sign, or a legal dispute about a job you performed. For a fee of $20, the Legal Referral Service will provide every IAC member with a 30 minute consultation with an attorney who is familiar with the specific legal issues that the client is confronting. That consultation may take the form of a face-to-face meeting or a telephone conversation, if convenient for the client. If the client needs assistance beyond the thirty minute consultation, he or she must negotiate the fees for those additional services with the attorney at that time.
The process begins with a brief (usually about 10 minutes or less) intake interview with a C.L.A. Intern. During this interview, the Intern takes the client's contact information and the client describes the relevant facts, circumstances, parties involved and general reasons for which she seeks legal assistance, and any other additional information the client considers important.
CLA handles all arts related issues, including:
Contract drafting, review and negotiation
Nonprofit Organization Issues
Organizational Tax (not individual tax)
Mediation and Arbitration
Where appropriate, a client may apply for referral assistance under C.L.A.'s Pro Bono Program, in which case the legal fees are waived. (Be advised that due to the high demand for free legal assistance and the State Bar's stringent income reporting requirements, pro bono referrals require an extended placement period).
This referral service is registered with the State Bar and conforms with the Minimum Standards for a Lawyer Referral Service in California Business and Professions Code Section 6155, both effective January 1, 1995 Certificate #0021.
Sometimes self-education can help you get more out of this referral process. You may want to consider the CLA's educational programs. The IACs membership with CLA allows our members to attend CLA educational programs for a significant discount (in the upcoming series IAC member pay $20 instead of $40. See our events calendar).