LegalArt recently hosted its Free Legal Clinic Night for Artists and Arts Organizations at the law firm of Morgan Lewis in downtown Miami. The purpose of the March 31st clinic was to provide LegalArt artist members with practical legal advice in a fee-free environment. Visual artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers gathered at Morgan Lewis to seek advice on issues such as corporate structuring, gallery contracts, protecting their intellectual property and nonprofit formation.
Artists were paired with local attorneys who volunteered their time to provide advice during thirty to sixty minute consultations. Student volunteers from the University of Miami, School of Law helped with client intake and sat in on the sessions to experience the practical side of law in a non-classroom setting. Between appointments, the artists, attorneys, and students networked and enjoyed refreshments that were generously provided by Morgan Lewis.
“I am honored to be a part of LegalArt’s legal clinic,” said Jaime Rich-Vining, an intellectual property attorney with Friedland Vining and an adjunct professor at UM Law. “Attorneys at the clinic do everything they can to ensure that the artists leave in a better position than when they came in. The clinic night is a great way to educate.” Natalia Napoleon, General Counsel and Vice President for Emerging Partners Group, liked that the event expressed to artists that their community cares about them. “We are invested in their success and we believe that their contribution to the future of this city is important.” Morgan Lewis host attorney David Hill noted that the clinic not only provides assistance to the artists, but also a unique opportunity for attorneys to exchange ideas with them.
Multimedia artist Diane Arrieta attended the event to address trademark concerns related to her business. She was grateful for the advice she received, and said her consultation was a success. “The lawyer was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I was also impressed at the number of law students in attendance; their interest and enthusiasm were refreshing.”
From the students’ perspective, “it helps us understand what kind of questions clients will ask,” said first-year law student Kwame Kandekore. First-year student Joe Bucciero attended the fall clinic and enjoyed it so much that he returned to volunteer in the spring. He noted that it was a good way to see attorneys interact with individuals in a natural setting.
Legal Art looks forward to its continuing collaboration with Morgan Lewis and looks forward to hosting another Free Legal Clinic Night for Artists and Arts Organizations in the Fall. For more information about LegalArt or its LegalLink program, please contact LegalLink Coordinator, Jared Kalmanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Candice Lazar, 1L University of Miami, School of Law
Founded in 2003, LegalArt has dedicated itself to providing artists with affordable legal services, grants and educational opportunities. By empowering artists with access to legal and professional support, resources and information, LegalArt creates opportunities and protections for Miami’s art community; fostering a generation armed with the skills to legally protect their creations. All LegalArt programming helps artists by creating a community both dedicated to and invested in their success.