Sep 112013

In the Fall of 2013, the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA) will team up with the American University Washington College of Law and George Washington University College of Law to present a LIVE LAW CLINIC for the CREATIVE ECONOMY.  The creative economy is generally defined as the set of businesses and organizations in a community that focuses on creating unique, new property, content, or design.  The WALA Live Law Clinic for the Creative Economy will afford participating student attorneys with an opportunity to advise creative artists, non-profit organizations, creative entrepreneurs, and others who otherwise would not have access to high-quality intellectual property law and business legal services.  This unique collaboration will not only provide law students with an opportunity to gain practical exposure to a variety of legal issues but will also provide arts communities in DC with access to pro bono legal services to help DC’s creative communities grow creative businesses.

The Creative Economy is vital to the District of Columbia because it represents a significant portion of the city’s general economy.  Americans for the Arts, a non-profit organization devoted to advancing the arts in America, asserts that in the United States “the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences.”  This economic activity accounts for 5.7 million jobs and over $100 billion in household income.  The Creative Economy is even more important to DC. Statistics show that private employment linked to the Creative Economy in DC is 12 percent of total private employment, compared to 8 percent for the United States as a whole .

The WALA Live Creative Economy Legal Clinic will provide legal consultations to selective businesses that register on the WALA website ( American Law School student attorneys will provide creative with assistance in the areas of copyright, patent and trademark. George Washington University Law School student attorneys will provide start-up legal assistance in the area of small business development.  The WALA Live Creative Economy Legal Clinic will not handle litigation, draft business plans, engage in financial negotiations, develop loan packages, prepare tax returns or engage in complex business transactions. Additionally, the Clinic will not assist in matters related to Immigration, Public Offerings or Corporate Work.

Applicants will be required to register at the WALA website. All student attorneys will be supervised by American University and George Washington University Law School attorneys and faculty. The Commission of the Arts and Humanities in their ongoing mission to support the Creative Economy has generously offered to provide space for clinics at their offices.

The WALA Live Creative Economy Legal Clinic will be held on Wednesday, September 25th and Wednesday, October 16th from 5-7pm at the SBCED Clinic’s offices at GW.  The offices are located at 2000 G Street NW.  The entrance is on 20th Street.  Two conference rooms are reserved for the event, Room 113 and Room 114, just off the lobby on the first floor.