Eligibility Requirements for Organizations

Generally:

1.         The organization must be directly associated with the arts.

2.         The applicant’s legal problem must be closely related to the organization’s function as an arts organization, that is, the problem must be closely related to the organization’s artistic status.

3.         Determination of art-relatedness depends on the particular facts of each case.  Applications which are borderline or questionable will be referred to the attention of the MdVLA officer in charge of operations who will render a final decision on the case as to eligibility.

Financially:

4.         The organization must be, or intend to be a non-profit corporation.

5.         The organization should have an operating budget of $150,000 per year or less.  If an organization’s budget indicates that the organization can afford to obtain private counsel, the organization will be expected to do so.

6.         Changes in Financial Circumstances:  As stated on the application form, any changes in financial status that may affect eligibility must be reported to MdVLA during the course of MdVLA service.

            If a client becomes ineligible during the course of representation due to substantial changes in circumstances, the client will be considered ineligible for further assistance.  However, exceptions may be made where immediate termination of services would result in undue hardship on the client (e.g. litigation).  The MdVLA attorney representing the client will be contacted to discuss the possibility of further pro bono representation only until such time as private counsel could reasonably be obtained by the client.

7.         Fee Generating Cases:  If the applicant’s legal matter is likely to generate substantial attorney’s fees, MdVLA has the discretion to refer the case to Lawyer Referral and Information Services.

8.         Administrative Fee:  There is a non-refundable administrative fee of $300 for 501(c)(3) non-profit incorporation and/or $100 for other matters payable to Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.  This fee may be waived in certain situations. You may also submit payment through the PayPal Donation button located on our website.  If you submit payment in this way, please put your name and the words “Application Fee” in the Purpose box before submitting your donation.

            Where the applicant’s case is incapable of being handled through the MdVLA for any reason, the case may be referred to Lawyer Referral and Information Services.