Volunteer Corner: Colorado Attorneys for the Arts

By Meredith Badler and Dave Ratner

Colorado Attorneys for the Arts (CAFTA) is a new program from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) that connects artists and creative businesses with volunteer lawyers providing pro bono services.

CAFTA offers a unique opportunity for attorneys to work directly with Colorado’s creative community by providing legal assistance to artists, cultural nonprofits and creative businesses that are unable to pay. Examples of these arts-related matters include:

  • Copyright and Trademark Protection.
  • Artist Contracts (e.g., with Agents, Managers, Exhibitors, etc.).
  • Landlord/Tenant for Creative and Studio Space.
  • Formation of Nonprofit Arts Organizations.
  • Employment and Labor Related to Creative Work.
  • Corporate, Governance and Business Issues.

The creative industries are shaping the culture and commerce of our state. A thriving professional arts community results in increased economic development, job creation, tourism and higher quality of life for Coloradans.

However, artists constantly face barriers to professionalize their work and grow their careers. These creative professionals are often incapable of navigating legal hurdles and unable to afford market-rate counsel.

The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct suggest that every lawyer provide at least 50 hours of pro bono services each year. CAFTA offers a meaningful way to fulfill your pro bono aspirations. By volunteering with CAFTA, you can contribute to Colorado’s creative renaissance. CAFTA provides opportunities for every type of attorney:

  • Work with new, interesting and exciting clients.
  • Apply your practice to different and thought-provoking matters.
  • Perform meaningful work that makes a difference in the lives of artists and/or arts organizations.
  • Provide for the pro bono hours you always aspire to achieve.
  • Learn about the Colorado arts sector and its distinct legal needs.


MeredithMeredith Badler is a program manager at CBCA. She oversees and administers CAFTA and can be reached at mbadler@cbca.org.




Dave RatnerDave Ratner is the Principal of Creative Law Network, a Denver law firm serving the needs of creative individuals and businesses nationwide. He is also Co-Chair of the CBA Entertainment & Sports Section and Chair of the CAFTA Advisory Committee. He can be reached at dave@creativelawnetwork.com.



Originally published in The Docket.