At the Revealed Conference in Perth on 15 April 2013, the Arts Law Centre of Australia launched its “Adopt a Lawyer” pro bono program which will partner Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Community Arts Centres with a single law firm for a three year partnership. This program is designed to streamline the existing Artists in the Black support of art centres by facilitating a strengthened relationship between an art centre and a single law firm. The art centre can contact pro bono lawyers at one firm directly for advice on issues and lawyers will develop a more detailed understanding of the art centre’s operations which will position it to provide relevant commercial and timely advice.
The main features of the program are as follows;
1. Arts Law
- Will partner a participating law firm with a participating Indigenous art centre
- Will provide mentoring and support to the law firm and art centre as needed
- Will provide the law firm with annual cultural awareness training and workshops on best practice issues, Indigenous cultural Intellectual Property and our sample agreements
- Will continue to provide independent legal advice to the art centre’s member artists
- Will endeavour (funding permitting) to provide face to face workshops to the art centre at least once every three years.
2. Participating Law firms
- Must have expertise in employment law, corporate governance, intellectual property, contract, lease and debt
- Will commit to provide pro bono legal services to the art centre for at least 3 years (excluding litigation, criminal law, wills and estates)
- Understand that this partnership does not entitle it or its lawyers to discounts or other benefits on art purchased from the art centre
Agree to provide legal services consistent with the AITB art centre best practice charter and principles of respect for Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property
- recognise that artists should be paid for the use of their artwork and attributed wherever possible and commercially practicable
3. Art Centres
- Must be a current ALCA subscriber and maintain that subscription during the term of the partnership
- Acknowledge that the law firm is not required to represent it pro bono in any litigation, criminal matters, or wills and estates matters
- Acknowledge that this is advice for the art centre not the artists as individuals
- Acknowledge that the partnership is for an initial term of 3 years and renewal or extension is at the discretion of the law firm and AITB
Agree to deal with its member artists consistent with the AITB art centre best practice charter
- undertake to recommend that artists have access to independent legal advice through the AITB DRS service or otherwise in connection with any matters concerning the respective rights of art centre and its member artists
- will seek to apply best practice standards to contractual dealings between the art centre and the artists unless that is clearly not in the interests of the art centre
- will endeavour to incorporate respect for ICIP wherever practicable
- recognise that artists should be paid for the use of their artwork and attributed wherever possible
Agree to provide Arts Law each year with:
- a report on the outcomes of the program
- at least three photographs of art centre operations (excluding photos depicting substantial reproductions of any finished member artworks) by way of an ongoing non-exclusive royalty free licence for use in the Artist in the Black website and educational and promotional materials
Will provide the law firm each year with the following opportunities which it may accept or not:
- A choice of three images of member artworks for use in its promotional activities (Christmas cards, invitations etc) on the terms of the ALCA template copyright licence at a cost of $150 per image per annum to be paid to the artist
- Invitations to openings of its exhibitions
- At least three photographs of art centre operations (excluding photos depicting substantial reproductions of any finished member artworks) by way of a royalty free non-exclusive 12 month licence for use in the law firm’s promotional materials
- The loan of a significant artwork to the law firm for exhibition in its offices, the artwork to framed or stretched at the cost of the law firm, the artwork to be insured by the law firm, transport costs to be borne equally by the law firm and the art centre. The law firm will display the artwork prominently in its offices accompanied by artist biography, artwork story and an explanation of the nature of the Adopt a Lawyer partnership the sale price. The artwork will be available for sale – if sold during the first 12 months, the art centre will provide a further work for exhibition on the same terms.
The Adopt a Lawyer partnership program will be promoted on the websites of Arts Law, the law firm and the Art Centre.
If your art centre is interested in participating in this program, please contact the Arts Law Centre of Australia by 1 May 2013 to register your interest.