California Lawyers for the Arts is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 to provide legal services to artists and members of the creative arts community. In 1987, Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts joined forces with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts-Los Angeles to form California Lawyers for the Arts as a statewide organization. CLA is part of an informal network of “Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts” programs that serve artists through state-based organizations throughout the United States.
California Lawyers for the Arts empowers the creative community by providing education, representation and dispute resolution.
Artists and arts organizations serve as agents of democratic involvement, innovation, and positive social change, and the growth of an empowered arts sector is essential to healthy communities. CLA’s leadership and services strengthen the arts for the benefit of communities throughout California.
California Lawyers for the Arts’ work led to the re-instatement of state funding for arts programs in California prisons, an inter-agency agreement between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Arts Council which provides support for arts programs in all 35 state prisons. California Lawyers for the Arts is now working with local and state arts councils in other states to replicate California’s successful evidence-based demonstration project, with the goal of persuading city and state governments to financially support the critical role played by art and artists in prisoners’ rehabilitation and re-entry to the workforce post-incarceration