Welcome

Welcome to Lawyers for the Creative Arts!

Here you can learn about LCA and the services and educational programs we provide, and you can apply for them. We have provided numerous links and resources for you to pursue. If you are an attorney seeking to volunteer, all the information and forms are here. And we have made it easy for you to support the arts by donating to our cause.

Legal advice is a necessity for all businesses, and the arts are no exception. However, most artists cannot afford market rate legal services. That’s where LCA comes in. LCA is the only pro bono legal service organization in Illinois that is expert in all areas of the arts. Now in our 49th year, we have assisted thousands of artists and arts organizations of all kinds with their legal issues. Click on Legal Help for more detailed information and to apply for help.

The dedicated members of our Board of Directors and our several hundred volunteer attorneys are the soul of LCA. With their assistance, artists of all kinds are free to do what it is they do – bring color, texture and wondrous sights and sounds to all of our lives.

We constantly hear from our clients praising our staff and volunteer attorneys. LCA has been called "An angel to the arts," and we are proud of our role in taking care of the legal concerns of artists. Our goal, like yours, is to enable artists to concentrate on creating and delving deep into their hearts to produce the most provocative, most beautiful, most audacious art they can find within themselves.

 

History

In 1972, a group of young lawyers formed what they called the "Creative City Committee" to determine ways to work more closely with the life of the city. They targeted the artistic community, and created a pro bono art and law organization, Lawyers for the Creative Arts. Its mission: to provide legal assistance to artists and arts organizations financially unable to retain legal counsel. We are proud that forty-two years later, many of those founders are still active with LCA.

Under the leadership of its first president, James N. Alexander, and first full-time executive director, Thomas R. Leavens (both still actively work with us), LCA soon boasted a $38,000 budget. Fifty-three volunteer attorneys processed 100 matters.

Since that start, LCA has mushroomed, enlisting more than 1800 lawyers to provide pro bono assistance to our thousands of clients. LCA conducts workshops on not-for-profit incorporation and tax exemption, seminars on the law of music, publishing, film, copyright and more, and mentors young attorneys. In the past twelve months, LCA has provided service, in one form or another, to over 2000 people and organizations in all areas of the arts. Our phones and e-mail continue to buzz with artists in dire need of legal help, and nowhere else to obtain it. No wonder we’ve been called "An Angel to the Arts."