Submit Your Query: Legal Query Form
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. Please note our online form is closed over the weekends from 5pm Friday and re-opens 9am Monday. During periods of high demand for our services we may have to temporarily close the queue during the week.
If your query is related to copyright you may wish to contact the Australian Copyright Council for assistance. If you have already lodged a query, we are dealing with all queries in the order we received them. Please be aware that we are currently experiencing lengthy delays in the turnaround time for legal advice but we will keep you posted via email as to the status of your query.
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.
Types of Legal Advice
Arts Law gives free or low-cost legal advice to artists and arts organisations all over Australia on a wide range of arts-related legal and business issues. Such matters include contracts, copyright, moral rights, trade marks, business names and structures, defamation, insurance and employment.
Please note Arts Law can only accept legal queries through our legal query form. Arts Law does not accept requests for legal advice over the phone, by post or direct email. For more information you can read our eligibility guidelines and common questions about our legal services here.
Arts Law usually deals with your enquiry by providing either a telephone legal advice or a document review.
1. Telephone Legal Advice Service
If your legal query does not require Arts Law to review any documentation, Arts Law lawyers can provide a “one off” telephone legal advice on a given matter. Telephone legal advice can take between 15-45 minutes. The telephone legal advice service (TLA) is free for individual artists on arts related matters provided they satisfy our means test (this will be established after we have received your legal query).
The TLA service is also available to arts organisations and individuals earning above our means test if they are subscribed to Arts Law. Subscription requires you to pay an extremely low cost fee for legal services, and additionally entitles you to two (2) Document Review sessions (DRS) and five (5) TLA sessions in a twelve month subscription period. Subscription also contributes to continuing Arts Law’s delivery of legal and business services to Australian arts practitioners and keeping the TLA service free for artists who are below our means test. You can subscribe online here.
2. Document Review Service
If your enquiry requires Arts Law to review any documentation, we will process your enquiry as a document review. In general, this means that Arts Law will outsource your enquiry to one of our excellent volunteer lawyers who will provide you a review consultation on behalf of Arts Law. Alternatively, one of Arts Law’s lawyers will review your enquiry depending on the agreement sent in for review and the capacity of the lawyers at Arts Law.
All clients must be subscribed to Arts Law to access the document review service. As a subscriber you are entitled to two (2) Document Review sessions and five (5) Telephone Legal Advice sessions. Arts Law only advises once on a document or matter but may exercise discretion to re-advise where amendments are made to the document or the matter changes. You can subscribe online here to access this service.
As Arts Law’s volunteer lawyers provide their time on a pro-bono basis, we do not guarantee that we can source a lawyer to advise you at all times. Your relationship with this lawyer is not independent of Arts Law and you must not contact them directly to request further assistance unless this has first been agreed with Arts Law. The volunteer lawyer is not expected to draft any document for you or provide you ongoing assistance.
If your enquiry involves documents and you do not wish to use Arts Law’s document review service, any telephone legal advice an Arts Law lawyer gives you will be limited to general principles as it will not be possible to determine how the law operates in your specific situation.
In specific circumstances Arts Law can also provide you with Alternative Dispute Resolution services and private referrals, as well as providing Best Practice advice to arts organisations, local councils or other agencies who work with artists about making their artist contracts fairer. All these queries must also be first submitted through our legal query form below.
Eligibility and Common Questions
You can read our eligibility guidelines and commonly asked questions regarding our legal services (including how long it will take to provide advice, the costs involved in subscribing and whether you will be eligible to receive advice) here.
You can also read our Charter of Service here.
Services for Indigenous artists and arts organisations
Arts Law’s Artists in the Black service is dedicated to Indigenous artists and arts organisations. Artists in the Black has Aboriginal staff to assist you and provides specific resources.
If you are an Indigenous artist or arts organisation, visit the Artists in the Black website for information on legal advice services.
Our Info Hub has plenty of useful information sheets, sample contracts and guides which may help you in the meantime. Here are some of the most popular topics