Our Mission

The Online Media Legal Network (OMLN) is a free legal referral service that connects qualifying online journalism ventures and digital media creators with lawyers willing to provide legal services on a pro bono or reduced-fee basis. OMLN supports promising ventures and innovative thinkers in online and digital media by providing access to legal help that would otherwise be unavailable.

Lawyers participating in the network can assist qualifying clients with a broad range of legal issues, including business formation and governance, copyright licensing and fair use, access to government information, pre-publication review of content, and representation in litigation.

The network currently comprises nearly 300 members, practicing in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia.  These lawyers come from more than 100 law firms and media companies, as well as over a dozen law school clinics and nonprofit legal services organizations.  Many of our members are pro bono coordinators at large national law firms, which allows us to tap into a base of thousands of lawyers.

If you're an attorney interested in joining the network, you can download the application here. If you want to learn more about OMLN and digital media, check out out our conference page to see when we'll be in your neck of the woods.

You can follow us on Twitter, or "like" us on Facebook. Information on how to contact us is available here.

Our Collaborators

The OMLN is an initiative of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Digital Media Law Project: The Digital Media Law Project's mission is to provide legal assistance, training, research, and other resources for individuals and organizations involved in independent online publishing and journalism. The DMLP publishes a comprehensive online legal guide that covers topics ranging from how to form a business to how to use freedom of information and open meetings laws to get access to information, meetings, and governmental records, as well as other legal subjects such as risks associated with online publication, legal issues related to newsgathering and the use of copyrighted and trademarked materials. The DMLP also serves as a catalyst for creative thinking about the intersection of law and journalism on the Internet.

berkman center for internet and societyBerkman Center for Internet & Society: The Berkman Center is a research center founded at Harvard Law School in 1997 to explore and understand cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. It serves as the locus for a network of Harvard and other faculty, students, fellows, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and others working to identify and engage with the challenges and opportunities presented by the Internet. The Center investigates the real and possible boundaries in cyberspace between open and closed systems of speech, of commerce, of governance, and of education, and the relationship of law to each.

We also work with a number of legal, journalism, and citizen media organizations.  See our list of partners here.

Our Supporters

We are grateful for the generous financial support of the Open Society FoundationsJohn S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The Harnisch Foundation.

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, the Open Society Foundations implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.

knight foundationThe John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950 the foundation has granted more than $300 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression. The Knight Foundation supports ideas and projects that create transformational change.

The Harnisch Foundation: Since 1998, The Harnisch Foundation has been a catalyst for sustainable social change, funding and implementing innovation in the fields of philanthropy, coaching and journalism. The Foundation's belief is that philanthropy, coaching and journalism are ways of making a powerful difference in the world through the lives of individuals.

We are also grateful for the generous financial support of the many law firms and organizations that have sponsored or otherwise contributed to our work.  A list of these sponsors is available here.