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Former Arnall Golden Gregory associate Lisa M. Kincheloe has taken a hefty pay cut to follow her dream of running a nonprofit organization. Kincheloe, 28, is the new executive director of Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA). A painter and occasional actor in community theater herself, Kincheloe says she always has wanted to run a legal group that helps artists. She joined the board of Georgia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts 18 months before it merged with the Southern Entertainment and Art Law Center (formerly Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts), forming GLA in June. At Arnall Golden, Kincheloe was a third-year associate in the general litigation group but also assisted AGG partner Frank N. White with entertainment work. Her move to GLA meant a pay cut from $106,000 to $50,000. She calls the GLA a “tremendous resource for the arts and art organizations” that not only helps artists but also assists young law firm associates in gaining experience with clients in the arts. “It’s been a little scary from an economic standpoint, but being able to help creative people, particularly those in underserved communities, such as African-American artists or gay and lesbian artists, is extremely rewarding,” says Kincheloe. “I go home every day being fulfilled by this work, and I wake up every morning anxious to get to the office.” R. Mark Williamson, partner at Atlanta-based Alston & Bird and president and chairman of the GLA board, says Kincheloe was picked from 15 to 20 applicants. The board interviewed five, he says. “Lisa, in addition to being a very strong candidate, was always one of our shining stars,” says Williamson. “She’s a great fund-raiser and is not afraid to ask people for money.” Kincheloe also was chosen because of her law firm experience and her work with tax-exempt organizations, Williamson says. Elise M. Witt, a recording artist and voice teacher, says Kincheloe drafted a contract for her when a nonprofit approached Witt about using her music on a video soundtrack. Kincheloe, says Witt, strikes “a great balance between being very qualified technically in her field and [being] very personable. … She really understands artists’ needs.” More than 300 lawyers assist GLA’s volunteer network, providing free legal assistance to Georgia musicians, songwriters, photographers, filmmakers, painters, actors and other artists. Common legal issues for the artists include securing copyright protection, resolving idea misappropriation, negotiating with galleries, and reviewing recording, publishing or licensing agreements. GLA provides more than $500,000 a year in pro bono services to artists and art organizations and also refers artists who can afford to pay for legal services to other attorneys. In addition to helping artists resolve legal disputes through free or low-cost mediation services, the organization conducts 50 to 60 educational seminars and workshops for artists each year and maintains a research library. Besides Kincheloe, the GLA’s only other paid employee is a director of volunteer services. Tammy L. Imhoff, a student at Emory University School of Law, devotes about 10 hours each week to supervising 12 law student interns from Emory, Georgia State and the University of Georgia. Kincheloe replaces Henry W. Kimmel, the first attorney to serve as the organization’s executive director.

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