Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA) exists to serve the legal needs of artists and arts organizations, to promote closer contact and understanding among members of the legal profession and the arts community, and to educate artists about their legal rights and responsibilities.
Georgia Lawyers for the Arts was founded in 1975 by Benjamin T. White and Robert C. Lower, attorneys with the law firm of Alston & Bird. For over 39 years, GLA, through its network of volunteer attorneys, has provided legal assistance, free of charge, to musicians, songwriters, photographers, sculptors, dancers, filmmakers, painters, actors and artists from many other disciplines who would not otherwise be able to afford legal representation and counseling respecting their rights and interests in their works. Over 700 lawyers volunteer their time for GLA. Common legal issues involve securing copyright protection, cases involving idea misappropriation, artists negotiating with galleries, and reviewing recording, publishing and licensing agreements. Many attorneys also volunteer through GLA’s Georgia PATENTS program to assist inventors with the patent filing process. Each year, GLA provides more than $1,000,000 in pro bono legal services to artists and arts organizations. GLA also makes referrals to experienced attorneys for artists and arts organizations that do not qualify for free legal services. GLA has helped hundreds of nonprofit arts organizations obtain tax-exempt status. Since our inception, GLA has served several thousands of artists and arts organizations across the state of Georgia. GLA provides access to its extensive research library and can provide free mediation services to members as a means of resolving artists’ legal disputes. In addition to providing pro bono legal services to limited-income artists, GLA conducts dozens of free or low-cost educational seminars and workshops for artists and arts organizations on numerous legal and business-related topics.