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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts

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Volunteering Oportunities

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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

WALA provides unique and greatly needed services for the arts community. Throughout the years WALA has provided expert legal guidance during my business transitions, and with my creative projects. I have learned a great deal in attending various workshops. Everyone associated with the WALA team, staff and lawyers, have always been very helpful, kind and professional. The organization is constantly exploring ways to support members in networking with peers and fulfilling their goals. Thank you WALA!


General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Events such as seminars and workshops are extremely infrequent. The group engages in very little outreach and/or collaboration with area arts organizations in film, music and art. There is no regularity to newsletters, and event confirmations are not centralized thus resulting in sometimes never getting them (depending on who is organizing the event) or finding ambiguities with regard to start time/location. There is no apparent relationship with DC government. Finally, the so-called "income qualification" criteria for making use of WALA's primary mission is indeterminate, probably discriminatory and (because of privacy reasons) simply unadministerable. It should be done away with like in other major cities' parallel programs.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

WALA lawyers generously donate their time and expertise to help advance the goals of artists in the DC area. The workshops and clinics are a very valuable resource for artists and authors who have legal questions, need guidance, or just want more information about a variety of topics that impact their work. WALA welcomes all artists, maintains very organized communications channels, and holds networking events.