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Free/Low Cost Legal Resources

The forms and requirements of legal instruments vary from state to state. Therefore, it’s critical to find a lawyer in your state who understands your state’s requirements and writer-specific intellectual property matters.

National Directory of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts:

A listing assembled by New York State’s Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

Lawyers for the Arts Committee of the Virginia Bar Association (VBA):

The VBA does not provide free legal aid to creatives. However, it uses the form on this webpage to help connect Virginia-based creatives seeking legal aid with attorneys willing to offer pro bono legal assistance.

Dwij Magazine:

Dwij Magazine hosts an older list of legal service providers in the US, which includes an additional Canadian listing.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts:

Writers and other creative professionals located in states not covered by the lists in the previous two entries can obtain help through the Illinois-based Lawyers for the Creative Arts. Although the organization’s website focuses on assistance with court cases, they also handle routine matters such as wills, trusts, et cetera. Apply using their online form.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts also offers seminars on intellectual property-related issues throughout the year. Upcoming seminars are listed under Upcoming Events. In 2017 alone, they sponsored roughly sixty such events. Videos of past seminars can be found under the Resources menu under “Seminars.”

Authors Guild:

Authors Guild members can obtain some legal services through the Guild, but not for wills or trusts (e.g., assistance with contract reviews, intervention in disputes, copyright advice, trademark advice, first amendment advice, and advice on domestic publishing agreements and agency agreements). The Guild can provide referrals to specialists in these areas. However, it has no control over the costs these specialists might charge their members.