Art Law

Cultural Heritage

Artists and Creatives

Museums & Nonprofits

The Hoffman Law Firm is a preeminent art law boutique, recognized globally by artists, galleries, collectors, museums, creatives, and explorers as the leader in the field of art, copyright and cultural heritage law. A pioneer in the field of art law, Barbara T. Hoffman has passionately counseled, mentored and defended the interests and vision of her clients globally.

Peer Acknowledgments:

The Chair of the New York City Bar Association and International Bar Association, Committees on Art Law, selected to Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in New York, Best Lawyers in the United States from 2010 to the present, and by her clients receiving the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Award for Contributions Made to American Visual Artists.


Art and Auction 2016: 51 High Wattage Women in the Art World

“As an attorney who has specialized in art law for more than three decades, Hoffman advises artists, their estates, and foundations; museums; collectors; galleries; auction houses; and even foreign governments on matters related to intellectual property, copyright, artists’ rights, and cultural heritage. Working with renowned artists such as Maya Lin and Faith Ringgold, she has litigated precedent-setting cases involving copyright and fair use, establishing copyright protection for visual images on par with that for music used in film and television. She has also been instrumental in drafting contractual guidelines for public art projects around the world.”

Dread Scott, Artist

“I make art to radically change the world. A friend once told me that while most artists need dealers and collectors, I also need lawyers. Barbara is one of my go to attorneys. She does a range of things that most artists need. But her love of art and artists has enabled her to help in ways that others might not be so adept. She has enabled me to understand the laws so that I can make and present the art I want to make and she has had my back when the police have tried to put me in jail.”

“Art world insider, Barbara Hoffman, is my go to choice for any artist or collector to develop a long range vision and successful legal strategy. She has consistently combined creative out of the box thinking with incomparable knowledge and decades of experience to assist me and all those that I have referred to her.”

David Raymond
Philanthropist, Collector, Artist, & Film

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Recent News

The Art Lawyer’s Diary March 2023

The Art Lawyer’s Diary September 2020

Cerebral Women: A Conversation with Barbara T. Hoffman

The Art Lawyer’s Diary June 2020

The Art Lawyer’s Diary April 2020

Barbara Hoffman has been honored as a 2019 “Super Lawyer”® in the New York metropolitan area for the seventh year. The list of Super Lawyers is compiled each year by the Thompson Reuters Company. Up to 5% of lawyers in the state are honored as Super Lawyers. She was one of fewer than 130 lawyers in Copyright Law in New York recognized by this award, and one of even fewer lawyers in Art Law.

Barbara has an article published in The Explorers Journal this fall, discussing a unique intersection of law and cultural heritage, and titled “Mongolia in New Light: A Case Study in Preserving Ancient Nomadic Traditions in a Modern World”. A version of the article will be a feature of the December Art Lawyers Diary.

A “Member’s Spotlight” profile of Barbara’s lifetime involvement with the College Art Association came out in November.

Barbara was profiled and interviewed on a podcast “Entering the Bar“, discussing in particular issues of copyright.

Learn About Attorney Barbara T. Hoffman

Barbara T. Hoffman started her legal career as assistant corporation counsel for the City of New York. From 1975 to 1985 she was a full-time associate professor of law teaching constitutional law, land use and property, art law and intellectual property. She returned to full-time legal practice and founded The Hoffman Law Firm in 1986 in New York City.


During her years of practice, she has developed a broad range of knowledge and experience in all art law issues and related legal practice areas. Because of her prominence, positions in international legal organizations and speaking engagements at international art fairs and conferences, she has developed an international network of legal scholars and practitioners able to work with her and consult on cross-border transactions. She is often consulted by the media and is invited frequently to lecture on art law and copyright, particularly involving art, film and TV and the Internet. To learn more about her education, experience and reputation in the international art community, read Ms. Hoffman’s profile.

Portrait of Barbara Hoffman
Philip Pearlstein © 2009