Choosing the Right Art Law Specialist: 5 Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. Identify your specific needs
  2. Research the Specialist's experience
  3. Review the Specialist's credentials
  4. Schedule a consultation
  5. Ask the right questions

Finding the right art law specialist can feel like trying to locate a single brushstroke in a grand masterpiece. But don't fret! These 5 handy tips will guide you towards finding the perfect art law specialists and consultants that align with your unique needs.

Identify your specific needs

Before you start your search for an art law specialist, it's important to have a clear picture of your specific needs. This involves understanding the type of support you're looking for, the art-related legal issues you're dealing with, and how a specialist can assist. Let's break this down a bit:

Art law covers a broad spectrum, from copyright issues to auction disputes. So, the first step is to identify your legal needs. Are you an artist dealing with copyright concerns? Or perhaps a collector involved in a sales dispute? Be specific. This will help you narrow down your search for art law specialists and consultants.

Type of Support

  • Advisory: This involves getting advice on legal matters. For example, you might need an art law specialist to advise you on how to protect your artwork from copyright infringement.
  • Representation: In some cases, you might need a specialist to represent you in court, if you're involved in a legal dispute related to art.
  • Contract creation: If you're an artist or a collector, you might need assistance in drafting contracts, such as sales agreements or commission contracts.

Knowing the type of support you need can help you find the right specialist who offers those services.

Finding the Right Fit

Finally, remember that you'll be working closely with your chosen specialist. So, it's important to find someone you feel comfortable with, who understands your needs, and communicates clearly. You wouldn't pick a frame that clashes with your painting, would you? The same principle applies when choosing your art law specialist.

Research the Specialist's experience

Once you've defined your needs, your focus should be to find art law specialists and consultants with the right experience. Not all law is the same, and the same goes for the specialists who practice it. So, let's explore how to research their experience:

Specialization in Art Law

Just like you wouldn't commission a landscape artist to create a portrait, it's important to find a legal specialist who focuses on art law. They will possess the necessary expertise in the unique legal aspects related to art, and will be up-to-date on the latest legal trends and cases in the art world.

Relevant Case Experience

When you're researching potential specialists, look for those who have handled cases similar to yours. If you're dealing with a copyright issue, for example, you want a specialist who's successfully navigated those waters before. This gives you confidence that they understand the nuances of your situation and can provide effective solutions.

Years in Practice

While a newer art law specialist might be eager and innovative, there's something to be said for experience. A specialist who has been in the field for a number of years has had time to hone their skills, deepen their understanding of the law, and build a network of contacts that could be beneficial to your case.

Remember, an experienced guide can lead you through the art law labyrinth with fewer detours and dead ends. So, take the time to do your research!

Review the Specialist's credentials

After looking into the experience of potential art law specialists and consultants, it's time to check their credentials. Just as you would scrutinize a piece of art before purchasing it, you need to be thorough in your inspection of a specialist's qualifications. Here's how:


Look at where the specialist earned their law degree. Was it from a well-respected institution? Additionally, did they focus their studies on art law or have they taken supplemental courses in the field? This information can provide insight into their foundational knowledge of art law.

Licenses and Certifications

Ensure the specialist is licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. This is a basic but crucial step. Moreover, check if they have any additional certifications related to art law. These can indicate a higher level of dedication and expertise in their field.

Professional Associations

Membership in professional associations, like the Art Law Section of the American Bar Association, can also be a positive sign. These organizations often provide their members with opportunities for ongoing learning and networking, which can benefit your case.

Remember, credentials can be a strong indicator of a specialist's competence and commitment to their field. It's worth your time to review them carefully!

Schedule a consultation

Now that you have a shortlist of art law specialists and consultants with solid credentials, it's time to meet them in person or virtually. Here's a little guide on how to proceed:

Set up the Meeting

Reach out to each of the specialists or their offices to schedule a consultation. Most offer a preliminary consultation, which can be a golden opportunity to gauge if they'd be a good fit for your needs. Keep in mind that it may take a few days to a couple of weeks to get an appointment, so plan accordingly.

Prepare for the Consultation

Before the consultation, gather all relevant documents and jot down any questions you might have. Remember, this is your chance to understand how they can help you. So, preparation is key!

Assess the Interaction

During the consultation, pay attention to how the specialist communicates. Are they attentive? Do they explain complex art law terms in a way you can understand? Assessing these factors can help you decide if they're the right choice.

In conclusion, scheduling a consultation with potential art law specialists and consultants is an important step in choosing the right one for your needs. Make the most of this opportunity!

Ask the right questions

Once you have your consultation scheduled with the art law specialists and consultants, it’s time to know what to ask. Remember, information is power, and the more you know, the better decision you can make. Here are a few pointers:

Expertise in Your Area

Ask the specialist about their experience in your specific area of need. If you’re dealing with a copyright issue, you want someone who has handled similar cases before. You wouldn’t hire a baker to fix your plumbing, right?

Cost and Billing

Art law can be a complex field, and you want to ensure you understand what you're paying for. Ask questions about their fee structure and billing practices. Is it hourly, or do they offer a flat fee for certain services? Remember, surprises are great for birthday parties, not so much for bills.

Communication Style

Find out how they prefer to communicate with clients. Do they respond promptly to emails, or is a phone call more their style? Knowing this upfront can save you some potential frustration down the line.

In the end, asking the right questions will help you choose the right art law specialist or consultant. Be sure to note down their answers — these notes will be helpful when it comes time to make your decision.

While understanding the legal aspects of the art world is essential, it's also crucial to focus on building a sustainable and successful career. If you're a multidisciplinary artist looking for guidance on how to navigate the challenges of the creative industry, check out Rosa van Iterson's workshop, 'Building A Sustainable Career As A Multidisciplinary Artist.' This workshop will help you create a solid foundation for your creative career while also touching upon the importance of working with the right professionals, including art law specialists.