low-cost legal assistance for artists & organizations

Over the next few months, Washington Lawyers for the Arts (WLA) and Washington Attorneys Assisting Community Organizations (WAACO) will be offering a great array of workshops for artists and/or organizations. Check out these opportunities: 


Fundamentals of Intellectual Property for Artists
Wednesday, August 10, 2011, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Perkins Coie, 1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4800, Seattle, WA 98101
In advance: $10 Artists/Students; At the door: $15 Artists/Students

As an artist or person working in a creative field, it’s important to understand the law as it relates to your work. An understanding of the fundamentals of intellectual property law will help you to protect your work and avoid disputes with others. Perhaps you’ve attended seminars in the past where the issues were too complex and you felt lost? Or perhaps you just haven’t given it much thought until now? In either case, this workshop is for you.


Know Your Rights: Fundamentals of Landlord-Tenant Law for Artists
Wednesday, August 24, 2011, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Merchant & Gould, 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4100, Seattle, WA 98104
Fee in advance: $10 Artists/Students; At the door: $15 Artists/Students

As the recent developments at the 619 Western Ave Building have shown, the space used by artists is critical to their work and can be vulnerable to disruption. Whether it is a workshop, studio, gallery or performance space, as an artist it is likely that you are leasing space that is essential to your work.  There are many myths out there about what landlords can and can’t do, so as a tenant, it’s crucial to know your rights and how to exercise them.  Whether you are an artist or an attorney who represents landlords or tenants, this Workshop will be an excellent introductory seminar for learning how to understand and resolve landlord-tenant issues.


Nonprofit Turnarounds: A Legal Perspective
Thursday, September 22, 2011, 9am – 12 noon
Stoel Rives, 600 University Avenue, Suite 3200, Seattle
Fee: $80 for WAACO volunteers and nonprofit leaders; $100 for all others

This seminar will be a panel discussion with Nonprofit Consultant Jan Glick, and Attorneys Judith Andrews and Keelin Curran.  This workshop will provide a research-based perspective to help guide attorneys who work with struggling nonprofit organizations. The seminar emphasizes methods attorneys can use to provide legal advice for nonprofit clients and/or organizations on whose boards of directors they may serve.


Nuts & Bolts of Representing Nonprofits, Part 2: Maintaining Nonprofits
Thursday, October 27, 2011, 9 am – 12 noon
Davis Wright Tremaine, 1201 Third Avenue, Seattle
Fee: $80 for WAACO volunteers and nonprofit leaders; $100 for all others

This seminar will cover corporate, state and federal tax exemption status requirements and issues.  Topics will include: fiduciary duties of directors and officers, Charitable Solicitation Act, governance policies, Form 990 reporting, private inurement and private benefit (executive compensation), lobbying and political activities, charitable contribution issues, unrelated business income and other issues.


Microenterprise 101: Representing Microenterprise Businesses
Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 9am – 12 noon
Stoel Rives, 600 University Avenue, Suite 3200, Seattle
Fee: $80 for WAACO volunteers and nonprofit leaders; $100 for all others

This seminar is designed to help attorneys who are new to representing low-income microenterprise clients.  Topics will include business start-up, including formation and choice of entity; customer relations including business contracts; employment, including employee vs. independent contractor issues, employment regulations; taxes, and I-9 compliance; intellectual property, including trademark, and patents; nondisclosure and noncompete agreements.


Leveraging Social Media For Your Nonprofit
Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 9-10:30 am
Fee: $25 registration

This seminar will cover what social media is and how to leverage it for your nonprofit. We will cover how to connect with key constituents like volunteers and donors and share tools that help protect you and your organization while using social media.  Specifically, we will talk about the benefits of different social media tools including Facebook and Twitter and the legal issues that arise when businesses and nonprofits use social media.  The legal issues include terms of use, privacy, protecting brand identity, and employee policies.  We will also discuss how to minimize risks of participating in social media.

© 2011, Eric Constantineau, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms