Janet Fries

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and WALA Board of Director

Janet Fries

Janet Fries is of counsel at the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and has been on the WALA Board of Directors since 2004. She has represented numerous authors, artists, collectors, estates, art organizations, musicians, producers and internet companies in connection with issues involving contract negotiation and preparation, website review, copyright and trademark protection and enforcement and related matters. She counsels clients on copyright and trademark law, entertainment law and internet law.

Janet first became involved with WALA in 1992, when she was an intern developing publications including “Answers to Common Legal Questions of Photographers” while attending law school. More than 20 years later, Janet is now vice president of the WALA board. She regularly speaks at WALA events and workshops and continues to represent artists pro bono. In 2000, Janet was given the WALA Arts Resolution Service Award for her work as a mediator through WALA’s dispute resolution project.

Janet has remained involved with WALA for many reasons, not least her love of the arts, but she finds the pro bono referral work particularly important: “These cases are great opportunities for lawyers to expand their skillset and learn about art law while helping artists — a win-win for everyone.”

If you asked her, Janet would say law is her second career. She is an experienced editorial and fine art photographer. Her work has been published and exhibited widely and has been acquired for the permanent collections of museums including the National Portrait Gallery and the Oakland Museum of California. Her work has been included in several of WALA’s art exhibitions entitled “Frame the Lawyers” and “Hang the Lawyers.”

Janet is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, where she teaches a seminar titled “Art, Cultural Heritage and the Law,” and an adjunct faculty member at George Mason Graduate School of Arts Management, where she co-teaches “Legal Issues in Arts Management,” a graduate seminar. Janet is a frequent guest lecturer on Art Law including at other local universities, such as University of Maryland and Georgetown University.

Janet earned her B.A. from Smith College, M.A. from San Francisco State University, and J.D. from George Washington University. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an Advisor to the American Law Institute on the Restatement of the Law, Copyright, a member of the American Bar Association IP Law Council and the ABA Copyright Reform Task Force. In addition to being Vice President of WALA, Janet sits on the Legal Advisory Board of the Copyright Alliance, and is a member of ArtTable.