If you ask any attorney about art-related cases, chances he or she has handled at least one matter related to disposition of a collection, title dispute, tax valuation or theft of an artwork. Nevertheless, not every attorney purports to specialize in art law. How many firms in the United States (small, large and in-between) have art law groups or advertise their art law practice areas? The number is not available, or at least known to the author. My theory is that there are many more firms that recognize value in featuring art law than one would expect. One of the new sections of this website is a List of Firms that have openly declared that they do have Art Law expertise. The list is not all-inclusive and it will grow. If there is a firms that you believe we should add to the list, please let us know. Currently, the list does not include solo practitioners or newly created first. The focus is on established larger organizations. In the future, we will add solo practitioners to the mix.
What should potential clients do with a list such as this? Rejoice. There are clearly options available for those in need of art law services. Potential clients should read reviews as well as promotional materials produced by the firms, such as PBLT’s The Legal Canvas and Herrick’s Art & Advocacy, ask for recommendations and may be a price list. What about students seeking art law experience? Some legwork and homework is inevitable. Art Law Groups notoriously do not hire recent graduates to handle coveted art matters but they may be open to taking interns. Law students should find out whether these firms employ alums from their school and ask for informational interviews (not jobs). If the law firm route is for you, strive to secure a position with one of the firms that has an Art, Cultural Property or Museum Law practice area and partners. Being on the inside may in time lead to assisting with art cases, 10-20% of your working/waking time is better than nothing.