The EASL Section and its Pro Bono Steering Committee
have a mission of making pro bono resources available to all EASL members and
to make pro bono resources available to artists and entertainers who cannot
otherwise afford legal counsel.
For almost a decade, the EASL Pro Bono Steering
Committee has regularly provided general advice and legal information to
struggling artists and not-for-profit artistic organizations through legal
clinics. Topics covered during the Clinics include, among other things
licensing issues, copyright, trademarks, collaboration agreements, for profit
and not-for-profit incorporation issues, and contract law issues. The Steering Committee aspires to conduct a
minimum of three Clinics each year. Each Clinic consists of half hour
attorney-client meetings which often resolve the legal issues that are raised
or point the clients towards further helpful resources.
The Pro Bono Steering Committee also tries to assist
those struggling artists whose issues are not resolvable in the Clinics by
matching them with experienced attorneys who may be willing to accept their
issues on either a pro bono or reduced fee basis. In order to match clients, we are designing
and planning to maintain a centralized database of attorneys interested in
volunteering for pro bono and low cost litigation assistance. Referrals for
such matters will be offered to the attorneys on the list first and then
circulated to the greater EASL membership.
Recognizing that the lack of malpractice insurance
coverage was a barrier to attorneys becoming involved with pro bono, the EASL
Section partnered with the Intellectual Property Law Section to purchase
inexpensive malpractice insurance coverage for up to 20 volunteer attorneys
annually. Malpractice coverage is provided for each Clinic and expires at the
conclusion of the Clinic session.
The Pro Bono Steering Committee also hosts a Speakers’
Bureau through which members can volunteer to speak on entertainment, art, and
sports law issues for not-for-profit organizations, arts organizations, art
schools, local high schools, and other groups. Members of the Speakers Bureau participate in programs that consist of
general educational components on various issues relating to entertainment, art
and sports law topics. We have produced
such panels as “Protecting Your Creative Ideas” and “Setting Up Your Arts Business”, and plan to
offer more on various topics on a continuous basis.
The Pro Bono Committee joined forces with the New
York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and has been providing speakers for NYFA
programs across the state, organizing and coordinating programs, and offering
clinics as part of the development of a productive relationship that should
last long into the future. Together with
NYFA and other arts-related organizations, the EASL Section’s members will help
countless New York artists and entertainers to do what it is that they do best
For your information, should you have any questions
or wish to volunteer for our pro bono programs and initiatives, please contact
the Pro Bono Steering Committee member who best fits your interests as follows:
D. Hecker ([email protected]) is coordinating walk-in legal clinics with various organizations.
Steinberg ([email protected])
Litigations: Irina Tarsis ([email protected]) is coordinating pro bono litigations.
are looking forward to working with all of you, and to making pro bono
resources available to all EASL members.