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Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts



Who are the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts?

The Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (PVLA) program provides pro-bono and low cost legal assistance, educational programs and business counseling to artists and arts and cultural organizations.

PVLA was founded in 1978 as a nonprofit legal services organization. In March 2008 to broaden the legal assistance available to the cultural community, the services of PVLA were integrated into the Arts & Business Council.

Over the years the PVLA program has recruited hundreds of attorneys from Philadelphia and the surrounding region to serve the arts.

Volunteer attorneys work on projects such as negotiating performing contracts for actors, dancers and musicians; protecting copyrights and trademarks; preparing by-laws for newly formed nonprofits; negotiating short- and long-term workspace leases and exhibition agreements; securing protection of artwork; and setting up new community-wide arts initiatives, to name a few.

Benefits of involvement

  • Arts and cultural organizations receive access to affordable expertise and solutions that address challenging legal issues.
  • Artists receive legal assistance that is specifically tailored to their needs.
  • Lawyers help address the arts community's legal issues by lending critical expertise and support.


In FY15, our legal volunteers donated 4,352 hours of service with an estimated value of $1,771,000. These hours were spent with 139 individual artists, 41 arts and culture nonprofits and 10 arts collectives on 217 projects.


Contact Rachael Nave, Esq., Director, Legal Services at 215.790.3822 or


Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is presented
with Producer Circle Support by:

The Bancorp

200 South Broad Street, Suite 700 | Philadelphia, PA 19102-3896 | Tel: 215.790.3620 | PVLA: 215.790.3836 x1