For Artists and Creative Organizations

CAFTA seeks to connect limited-income artists and creative entities with volunteer attorneys who are willing to provide pro bono legal assistance for arts-related matters.

Application for Legal Referral – Individual (Click to Download)
Application for Legal Referral – Organization (Click to Download)
Client Legal Referral Agreement (Click to Download)
Evaluation Survey to be completed at the conclusion of each referral and client/attorney engagement. 

Read carefully through this information before submitting an Application for Legal Referral.

Who does CAFTA serve?
CAFTA serves professional artists, cultural nonprofits and creative businesses across Colorado. Our definitions of “arts” and “creative” are open and inclusive. Potential clients may include filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, photographers, actors, craft artisans, writers, designers, creative entrepreneurs and nonprofit cultural organizations.

Existing small nonprofit organizations may seek pro bono legal support through the Colorado Nonprofit Pro Bono Legal Group (PBLG). The PBLG is an initiative of the Colorado Nonprofit Association and the Colorado Lawyers Committee to effectively match nonprofit organizations in need of legal assistance with volunteer lawyers who can help. Learn more and submit a request here.

If you are looking for assistance with a patent, please visit The Pro Bono Patent program (ProBoPat).  ProBoPat, administered by Mi Casa, seeks to connect low-income inventors who are residents of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming with patent professionals for patent preparation and legal services on a pro bono or significantly reduced fee basis.

Who is eligible for a legal referral?
If applying as an individual, you must be a Colorado resident. If applying as a group/entity, you must be registered, or planning to register in the state of Colorado.

You must demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for a pro bono legal referral.  CAFTA is available to individual artists with an annual adjusted gross income of less than $29,425 (with an additional allowance of $10,400 for a spouse or domestic partner and each dependent) and nonprofit arts organizations with annual operating budgets of up to $250,000. For profit creative businesses will be evaluated for financial eligibility on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration individual owner/partner/shareholder income, annual revenue and assets associated with the legal business entity.

Applications for Legal Referral will not be considered without adequate and accurate proof of financial need that meets these criteria.

What types of legal matters does CAFTA accept?
CAFTA’s volunteer attorneys offer pro bono legal services on specific, arts-related matters. CAFTA addresses the following general legal areas:

  • Corporate and general business
  • Intellectual property (copyright, trademark and licensing)
  • Contract drafting, review, and negotiation
  • Dispute resolution (mediation and negotiation)
  • Nonprofit formation and tax exemption
  • Employment and labor
  • Landlord/tenant

Legal referrals are only provided for matters related to your or your business’ work in the creative industries. For example, a CAFTA volunteer attorney can help with a landlord/tenant issue but only if it is related to a studio or business space (not a personal residence). Other examples of CAFTA matters include: performance contracts, licensing agreements and negotiations between artist and gallery.

CAFTA does not provide referrals for some legal matters, such as traffic, criminal, divorce/domestic/family, or personal injury. For disputes and adversarial situations, CAFTA attorneys can assist with negotiation and settlement but not with litigation or arbitration.

CAFTA will only consider one legal matter per application at a time.

What happens once I submit my application?
Fully completed Applications for Legal Referral can be sent to CAFTA@cbca.org. They will be assessed for initial eligibility, such as the nature of the matter and financial eligibility. If deemed eligible for a legal referral, you will be contacted by a CAFTA representative to discuss next steps, signature of the Client Referral Agreement and payment of the administrative fee.

The entire process from application to referral may take several weeks and CAFTA cannot guarantee a referral for pro bono legal assistance. As such, CAFTA cannot accept “rush” or “imminent” legal matters.

CAFTA will make its best effort to find a volunteer attorney for every qualified and eligible applicant, but cannot guarantee that one will volunteer.

How much will this cost me?
If you are referred to a volunteer attorney and he/she agrees to take on your matter, the legal services will be provided pro bono or free of charge.  Given today’s market rate for legal services, we are very grateful to our volunteer attorneys and their generosity in this capacity. The terms of your work with a volunteer attorney will be negotiated and agreed to you between you and the volunteer attorney directly. CAFTA is a referral service only.

You may be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses including filing fees, long-distance phone calls, charges for copying, messengers, etc. that may be required in relation to your matter.  It is your responsibility to discuss potential expenses with your volunteer attorney.

CAFTA requires a non-refundable administration fee for all eligible applications.  CBCA members and employees of CBCA member companies receive a discount on this administration fee. Find out if you’re a member of CBCA.

  • Administration Fee – Individual Artist: $50.00
  • CBCA Member Administration Fee – Individual Artist: $35
  • Administration Fee – For Profit Organization: $100
  • CBCA Member Administration Fee – For Profit Organization: $75
  • Administration Fee – Nonprofit Organization: $75
  • CBCA Member Administration Fee – Nonprofit Organization: $50

If you submit an application and are eligible for a legal referral, we will contact you regarding next steps and require that you submit the non-refundable administration fee.

CAFTA is not a law firm, does not provide any legal advice or services, and will not represent you as your attorney. CAFTA is an informational resource and referral service for those in the arts.

Still have questions? Contact Meredith Badler, CBCA Program Manager, at 720-428-6720 or email CAFTA@cbca.org.