Looking for Legal Help?

Volume CVII, No. 7/8July, 2007

If you need a music lawyer, sometimes Local 802 can help. It depends on the problem.

If your situation has to do with a union gig, then we can clearly assist you; it’s our job.

But if you have a question that involves something about your personal music business, a dispute between bandmembers, a problem with getting paid, a copyright question, or other music questions that aren’t strictly about union gigs, we may or may not be able to give you free legal advice, depending on our current workload.

So if you need legal help, first try calling Local 802’s law office at (212) 765-4300 or e-mail counselor Harvey Mars at

If it turns out that the union can’t help you, there is a nonprofit arts service organization in town that you may call. It’s called Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

VLA offers services in four program areas — legal, education, mediation and advocacy — including pro bono legal representation for low income individuals, a legal hotline, legal clinics for members, mediation services, and in-person appointments with attorneys.

There’s no guarantee that VLA will be able help you, but the first step is to make contact.

A major grant from the New York State Music Fund has allowed VLA to start a new program, called “Ask The Music Lawyer.”

Send an e-mail to Include your legal question, your name, and your phone number.

Your question may be answered on the VLA’s Web site, or you’ll receive a call back from an attorney.

Not every question may be answered.

Your legal question must pertain to the arts.

You can also call the VLA legal hotline at (212) 319-2787, ext. 1.

Check out for more information, including a schedule of upcoming clinics.