Maybe you have an artistic side that you’ve bent towards lawyering, or maybe you are a total contract geek with a musician cousin - you know that a lot of artists can’t afford help with the paperwork to help them protect their Intellectual Property rights, form business entities, or apply for arts-related visas. Enter volunteer lawyers for the arts! VLA programs in many jurisdictions, including New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, Philadelphia and more will provide an orientation and pair you with eligible artists.
Unlike defendants in criminal court, people facing removal from the United States have no right to an attorney. This means most people in immigration proceedings - including children - end up representing themselves. With processing delays at crisis levels, having an attorney can be the difference between being held at a detention center or being released, or being able to navigate the complex asylum process with limited English. Luckily there are many organizations training and deploying volunteer lawyers, both at home and at the border.