To Obtain Legal Services
The process begins with an Application. Please submit an on-line Application telling us about yourself and your legal needs. Financial information is required to determine eligibility for pro bono (free) legal assistance. Both our volunteer attorneys and our funders require that we provide pro bono services only to those clients who qualify financially. We will consider special financial circumstances.
If you qualify for pro bono assistance, any attorney who volunteers to help you will not charge you legal fees. You will, however, be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses such as registration fees and all court costs and filing fees.If you do not qualify for pro bono legal service, we can still help you find an attorney who specializes in the type of legal service which you seek. We are in contact with many attorneys who are willing to reduce their rates in order to assist those in the arts.
There is a processing fee for all applicants, which is $50 for individuals and $100 for businesses and groups of two or more individuals payable by cash, check, Visa, Mastercard or Discover.
What Happens Next
Once we review your application, if we require additional information, we will call you to arrange an appointment to assess your legal needs. In some cases we will have enough information from your application to start the referral process without the need for an appointment.
LCA is essentially an informational resource and a referral service to those in the arts, and we do not represent you as your legal counsel. We will, however, gather facts and review your legal matter/s to help you find legal representation through our referral program. Occasionally, we can handle legal matters in-house with our own staff attorneys. If so, we will discuss and confirm this with you.
Occasionally, both sides of a dispute, contract or other legal relationship may independently contact LCA for legal representation. In these cases, our role is limited to obtaining legal counsel for each party. As in all cases, we will not disclose any confidential information provided to us without the permission of the party providing that information.
Once our initial intake is complete, and your file is ready for referral, LCA staff will add your matter to our case list, which we ordinarily distribute to our volunteer network at the beginning of each month. Volunteers then select matters based upon their interest, experience and time availability.
Our volunteer attorneys are busy professionals who donate their time to LCA clients. We cannot assign or require any attorney to represent you. We work with dedicated volunteer attorneys and will do our best to refer you to an attorney for help. It often takes at least one month to find an attorney, sometimes longer, to exchange paperwork and obtain pro bono approval from law firms. Some matters, such as disputes or litigation, which are open-ended as to time, are harder to place than other matters.
When an attorney agrees to handle your matter, we will notify you and provide the attorney’s name and contact information. It is your obligation to contact the attorney. You will establish a professional attorney-client relationship, and LCA will not be a part of the relationship. We will, however, follow up with you to determine if your legal work has been completed and to obtain feedback about working with LCA and our volunteers. Of course, if any problems arise, we are pleased to consult with you to see if we can help.
The attorney who accepts your matter agrees to handle only the particular matter that you discuss with us. He or she does not become your “general counsel” to handle other matters. The attorney is not obligated to perform further services, nor are you obligated to work with any particular attorney. If a new matter arises, you may discuss further work with your attorney or return to LCA and open a new file.
Communicating with LCA Staff
In the event that new information arises that changes your situation in any way, please inform LCA staff promptly. Please also inform us of any change of address, email, or phone. Note that if we request additional information, your file will be placed on reserve until such time as the information is received.
The contact information you provide will be added to our mailing list unless you indicate otherwise. You will then receive notices of upcoming programs, events and news. You can opt out at any time if you choose.
We are not able to provide emergency legal service, because we are not a law firm and do not have staff available to meet pressing demands. We will do our best to refer urgent matters to practicing attorneys but cannot guarantee representation.
LCA provides many educational workshops throughout the year. Please check our calendar for upcoming programs.
We also offer an Arts Mediation Service to help artists resolve legal disputes outside of the difficult and costly litigation environment.