Sharon Erwin

Law Office of Sharon M. Erwin LLC

Erwin Legal is a firm dedicated to providing legal services to both the arts and culture sector and the nonprofit sector.

Sharon Erwin, through her boutique firm, works collaboratively with clients to meet their business, nonprofit and arts-related needs in a professional and cost-effective manner. 

Sharon established the Law Office of Sharon M. Erwin LLC in 1998 as a professional limited liability company based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sharon has forty years of legal experience, beginning at a large law firm (Dechert), followed by ten years as a partner of the litigation boutique firm, Gollatz, Griffin & Ewing, to her practice as a principal of her own firm for twenty years. She has an AV Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review rating, reflecting the highest possible ratings in both Legal Abilities and General Ethical Standards.

Sharon is an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honorary organization of attorneys, judges and law professors “whose professional, public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession”.

– Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

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Legal experience for the art and nonprofit world

While Sharon’s experience is broad-based, she has remained focused throughout her career on supporting the arts and culture sector.

General legal services include reviewing and drafting contracts, advising on transactions, developing risk management strategies, addressing governance issues, and resolving pre-litigation disputes. Employment legal services include drafting executive contracts and severance agreements, as well as key company policies. 

Nonprofit legal services include entity formation and governance advice, board training, resolution of board disputes, crisis management, and policy creation. For certain clients, Sharon serves as outside general counsel to provide a consistent advisor on day-to-day business decisions.

Sharon’s art-related practice includes copyright advice and protection, counseling on copyright issues, public and private art commissioning agreements, and teaching legal and ethical issues in arts and culture. Sharon is a long-term volunteer lawyer for the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and is currently an officer and member of its Board of Directors.  She has served on the Boards of several theaters and historical organizations. Sharon also serves on the Editorial Board of Public Art Dialogue, a scholarly journal, which serves as a forum for critical discourse and commentary about the practice of public art, and as a volunteer to the Manship Artists Residency in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Education and Teaching


Temple University School of Law, J.D. with Honors

  •   Member and Associate Articles Editor of the Law Review   

Pennsylvania State University,  (B.A. in Comparative Literature, Cum Laude) 

Institute d’Études Françaises under the auspices of Bryn Mawr College, Avignon, France


Adjunct Professor, Legal and Ethical Issues in Arts and Culture, Drexel University Arts Administration and Museum Leadership Graduate Program, Department of Arts & Entertainment Enterprise, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, 2002 to date (originally on campus; designed and continues teaching the course online) 

Member, Drexel University Graduate College Diversity Advisory Council

Selected Continuing Education Programs (for Lawyers and for Arts Professionals)