Legal Advice Guidelines & Common Questions

1. Am I eligible for advice from Arts Law?

You are eligible for advice from Arts Law if you are an artist or an arts organisation and your query relates to your arts practice. 

Arts Law provides assistance, in so far as practicable, to Australian or Australia based artists and arts organisations in relation to arts-related matters. The designation “arts-related” matter covers a wide range of legal issues including copyright, trademarks, and designs. It also involves diverse operational issues such as business structures and related internal constitutional issues, insurance, employment and leases.

When determining whether to advise you on a matter, Arts Law exercises discretion by giving consideration to at least three factors:

  • Is the matter arts-related?
  • Does the matter fall within one of Arts Law’s areas of expertise? and
  • Are you in a financial situation which would preclude you from obtaining legal advice elsewhere?

In addition Arts Law must ensure that it is not precluded from giving legal advice because of a conflict of interest and must decline to advise you if there is such a conflict.

You can read our full Charter of Service here.

2. How can I request advice from Arts Law?

As the only national legal community centre for the arts, we do have a large amount of legal queries that come through to us each day. In order to be fair to all artists who seek our services we operate on a queue system.

To receive legal advice from Arts Law you will need to fill out our online form here. You’ll also find links to our info sheets at that page which might be helpful in the meantime.

Once we have received your query, it will be placed in the queue and a volunteer will endeavour to contact you within 2-3 days to discuss your matter, although in periods of high demand it may take up to 10 working days.

If your query is urgent, we can provide you with a private referral. However, please be aware that private referrals are not pro bono and you will need to negotiate fees with the lawyer privately.

Please note Arts Law does not accept requests for legal advice over by post or direct email.

Find out more about what types of legal advice we can provide, and the legal advice process here.

3. How long does it normally take to receive advice?

Arts Law will endeavour to return any telephone message or email within 3 working days, although in periods of high demand it may take up to 10 working days. You will speak to an Arts Law administrative officer or volunteer who will record the relevant information in relation to your query.

If you are requesting legal advice which does not involve a document, your request will be placed in a queue. You should receive telephone legal advice from an Arts Law lawyer within 7 – 15 working days. If your legal query requires a document to be reviewed this will usually be organised within 10 - 20 working days once both your document/s and subscription have been received and confirmed.

4. Is my information confidential?

Yes, Arts Law respects your rights to privacy and confidentiality. All information you provide to Arts Law will be kept confidential unless you give us permission to disclose information about you to a third party or we have a legal obligation to do so. You can read our privacy policy here.

5. Why is it sometimes difficult to reach Arts Law via telephone?

Arts Law experiences a huge demand for its services. If you call and reach the answering service please leave a message and we will endeavour to return your call within 2-3 working days.

6. Will Arts Law represent me or draft documents for me?

Arts Law does not provide representation or drafting services.

We do, however, operate a document review service for subscribers: where a solicitor can review and provide you advice on an existing document. If you require preliminary advice prior to drafting a document we may be able to assist you via our telephone legal advice service.

We also have a range of sample agreements available for purchase online. Arts Law's sample agreements are produced with explanatory notes and sample wording for each clause. They have been created to assist low income creators and organisations in drafting contracts suitable for their needs.

If your query is about working permits or visas whether for foreign nationals coming to Australia or Australians working overseas click here.

7. What are the benefits of subscription to Arts Law and how much does it cost?

Compared to the cost of seeking private legal advice, subscribing to Arts Law is a drastically subsidised cost, which also gives you access to some of the best and highly sought after arts law solicitors in Australia. A 12 month subscription to Arts Law gives you access to:

  • generous discounts on Arts Law's publications including checklists and guidessample agreementsseminar papers and books;
  • access to Arts Law's document review service (two document reviews in a 12 month period);
  • access to Arts Law's telephone legal advice service (five telephone legal advices in a 12 month period);
  • our enewsletter art+LAW which includes updates on recent issues affecting creators;
  • discounts on admission to Arts Law's seminars;

and, where appropriate:

Subsciption costs:

 Individuals: Artist/Student - 12 month Subscription $160
 Arts Organisations - 12 month Subscription $320
 Bands - 12 month Subscription $230
 Lawyers/Councils/Non Arts Organisations - 12 month Subscription $500

8. How can I subscribe?

The quickest and easiest way to subscribe is online. You can also call Arts Law on 02 9356 2566 if you would prefer to subscribe over the phone.

9. How is Arts Law funded?

Arts Law is a not-for-profit organisation. It receives funding for its services from a range of sources, including grants from government and non-government organisations, donations and earned income.

10. How can I support Arts Law?

Arts Law would not be able to provide the range of services it offers possible without the support of many individuals. You can support us in many ways:

  • Donate to Arts Law - any amount can make a huge difference! You could also consider becoming an Arts Law Guardian Angel with a tax-deductible donation over $1000.
  • Subscribe to Arts Law - protect your legal interests by subscribing and help Australia's art community thrive.
  • Volunteer your skills and time as a volunteer lawyer on our Document Review Service Panel, as a volunteer note-taker at a document review consultation or as a daytime volunteer administration/research assistant.