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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Crime & Law, Legal Services

Mission: WALA was created in 1983 to serve the many legal needs of the cultural community, from advice on incorporation to negotiation of contracts and arts mediation. The organization offers one-to-one pro-bono services for non-profit arts organizations and low-income individuals. Its education program provides seminars in arts law for artists and the attorneys who represent them.

Programs: Wala currently has active members who have access to client legal referral services and legal educational programs. Referred several hundred artists to attorneys for pro-bono assistance.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

WALA does a fantastic work and I would like to share my story about WALA with others. I am an artist who was seeking legal advice about an innovative product I designed. I had consulted 3 lawyers on my own, one more expensive than the other. Just as I was resigned to the fact that I could not afford to protect my invention, I heard about WALA through an art gallery. The very same day I became a WALA member and told them about my case, their Legal Services Director got in touch with me. Within 2 weeks I was assigned to a very helpful and knowledgeable lawyer who worked hard and passionately on my case. I joined WALA on September 9, 2009, my patent application was submitted to the Patent Office on November 3, 2009, less than 60 days! Throughout this time I never had the feeling that this was being done Pro Bono, on the contrary I was given the red carpet treatment, the lawyer was on top of things, he went out of his way to meet with me (even after normal working hours) and constantly communicated with me explaining all the process. I was always treated with an incredible amount of respect and professionalism by WALA and by the lawyers they work with. I am very grateful to WALA and their team because it is almost economically impossible for an artist to get a patent, particularly in rough economic times like this. Fortunately for artists WALA is here to help us and educate us. Bravo for WALA! Thank you so much!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

WALA provided me with badly needed advice through one of its member attorneys. The issue involved an intellectual property dispute and the counselor took a passionate and constructive stance. The issue was resolved without a protracted and destructive legal process.

7

Client Served

Rating: 2

WALA can be helpful is you have the patience to wait for the turnaround time, sometimes over a month. It may be that they are understaffed and perhaps underfunded. The concept is a good one.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have nothing but glowing things to say about WALA. I am so thankful for not only the lawyers who donate their time to help those of us in the arts but also all of those who are behind the scenes making it all happen. I am in the process of incorporating an arts outreach company in DC and within a few weeks of asking WALA for help they had found us 2 amazing lawyers who have been nothing but giving, kind and all around great people to work with. We are so close...and when I think of where we would have been on our own...I am incredibly thankful.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

WALA's educational programs were very helpful in understanding what we needed to do to become a 501c3, then to prepare the materials our attorney would need to help us. The attorney WALA found us has been very helpful and encouraging through the whole process.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a GREAT organization. It was recommended to me by Ken Kaufman of Manatt Philips and the non-profit has delivered ten-fold. I'm having some questions about our music in our film score, and both WALA and the law firm Manatt have been professional, kind, expedient, and supportive in all of their phone calls, emails, and letters to me. If there were an Olympic gold medal competition in the category of legal assistance to non-profits, they would win a gold medal every time. Go team WALA

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I sought WALA's help when I had a confusing tax question regarding my art business income. WALA responded quickly with a lawyer who went above and beyond to provide the right advice for an outcome that was successful and satisfactory to all. I consider WALA a DC resource for the arts community of the highest professional caliber.