Sarah Conley Odenkirk

Sarah Conley Odenkirk

Partner, Los Angeles

Sarah Conley Odenkirk is a Partner at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, and Co-Head of the Art Law practice group, with a core practice in fine art, public art, blockchain technology, A.I., and other emerging technologies.  She is based in Beverly Hills where she Co-Heads the LA office, and is also licensed in New York, the District of Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. 

Sarah provides advice to a wide range of clients including artists and artists’ estates; municipalities; art advisors; digital platforms and marketplaces; collectors; dealers; museums and educational institutions; arts organizations; and other creative innovators.  She guides them in matters pertaining to fine art and navigating the art market; the application of new technologies; business affairs and strategic planning; public art and policy; and copyright and intellectual property.   

Sarah is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Law School teaching Art Law.  Previously, Sarah served as Associate Director and Professor for the Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s Art Business and Arts Management Masters Programs at CGU. 

In addition to her practice, Sarah serves on the Board of Directors for The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; as co-president of the Board of Directors for Fulcrum Arts; and sits on the Advisory Council for the Arts at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. 

Sarah is a frequent speaker and has published widely.  She is the author of the book A Surprisingly Interesting Book About Contracts for Artists and Other Creatives; and co-authored GM! Time to Wake Up and Address Copyright and Other Legal Issues Impacting Visual Art NFTs in the August 2022 issue of The Columbia Journal of Law & The Arts. 


The FTX Collapse is Not The End of Crypto and Fine Art NFTs, ArtNews, November 23, 2022.  

GM! Time to Wake Up and Address Copyright and Other Legal Issues Impacting Visual Art NFTs, co-authored with Megan E. Noh and Yayoi Shionoiri, Columbia Journal or Law & the Arts, Vol. 45(3) 2022.  

NFTs and the Museum Part 2:  Legal Issues for Acquisitions,  

Review of Noah Charney, Art Crime: Terrorists, Tomb Raiders, Forgers and Thieves, May 2017, International Journal of Cultural Property, 24, pp 243-247.  

Review of Herbert Lazerow Mastering Art Law, December 2015, International Journal of Cultural Property, 22, pp 541-544.  

A Surprisingly Interesting Book About Contracts for Artists and Other Creatives. 2014, AMMO Books, LLC.  

“The Relevance Of Authenticity In The Art Market: A Survey Of Claims And A Proposed Solution,” The Art and Museum Law Journal, Volume 1, Fall 2004.  

“International Art Theft,” Wisconsin International Law Journal, Volume 13, No. 2, Spring 1995.  


Sarah is a frequent speaker at professional conferences in both the legal and art fields in the United States and abroad.  Recent speaking engagements include:

Panelist, Fordham Law School Media & Entertainment Law Society, NFTs: Opportunities & Obstacles, New York, February 22, 2023. 

Panelist, Art Center College, Future Forums, Los Angeles, February 22, 2023. 

Participant, U.S. Copyright Office Roundtable Conversations, January 31, 2023. 

Speaker, Art Basel Miami Beach, Tezos Conversations, NFTs, DAOs, IP: Redefining Art Law, Miami Beach, December 3, 2022. 

Panelist, UIA 66th Congress, Legal Issues of the Metaverse, Dakar, Senegal, October 29, 2022. 

Panelist, Blockchain for Social Good Conference 2022, Pulp or Fiction-Are NFTs Changing Intellectual Property Norms?, Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, October 20-21, 2022.  

Panelist, AIPPI World Congress 2022, NFTs: Blind Date?, San Francisco, September 11, 2022 

Panelist, Legal Issues in Museum Administration Conference 2022, Cryptocurrencies, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the Blockchain: What are They and Why Should Museums Care?, Washington, D.C., March 23, 2022. 

Speaker, Brooklyn Rail Conversation: Smart Contracts Aren’t, and other legal issues in blockchain and art, January 13, 2022.  

Panelist, Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Symposium 2021 – NFTs: Future of Fad?, December 9, 2021. (at 2:45)  

Panelist, New Art Dealers Association at Miami Basel, What Every Artist Needs to Know About NFTs, December 2, 2021.  

Presenter, co-hosted by ICALA and Fulcrum Arts, NFTs WFT: Do I Need to Care About NFTs?, October 29, 2021.  

Moderator, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Resisting Now: Art and Policy Talk, Online Panel, September 2020.  

Speaker, American Planning Association, Public Art Life Cycle, Online Webinar, September 2020.  

Speaker at International Municipal Lawyers Association Mid-Year Meeting, Public Art Life Cycle, Washington, DC April 2020 (remote).  

Speaker at Art Law Day at Cardozo Law School, New York, NY November 2019.  

Organizer and presenter at Seattle Art Fair, Achieving True Market Disruption in the Digital Realm, Seattle, WA August 2019.  

Host and moderator for Art + Law in Outer Space, Los Angeles, CA July 2019.  

Host and moderator for Using Memory & Connection to Occupy Space: Art in the Virtual and Natural Realms, Los Angeles, CA June 2019.  

Host and moderator for A Conversation About Blockchain Technology and the Art World, Los Angeles, CA, July 2018.  

Presenter at the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Pre-Conference, Monuments, Public Memory and the Artist, Denver, CO, June 2018.  

Panelist for Copyright Society of the USA, Public Art as Provocateur, Midwinter Meeting, Savannah, GA, February 2018.  

Organizer and presenter for LA as Lab: Extra Territories, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, April 2017.  

Panelist for Copyright Society of the USA, Lawful, Awful or Artful, Midwinter Meeting, Napa Valley, CA February 2017.  

Speaker, Intellectual Property Scholarship Symposium (Copyrights), American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Conference, Bethesda, MD, April 2016.  

Featured speaker at G-Seoul Art Fair in Seoul, South Korea, May 2014.  

Organizer and presenter at the Art Law Executive Education Program and Conference for Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Los Angeles, January 25-31, 2015.  

Complete list of engagements prior to 2015 available upon request. 


Board Member, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, November 2022 – present.  

Board Member (Co-President 2020-2022, Vice-President & Interim Treasurer 2022), Fulcrum Arts, September 2019 – present.  

Low Bono Counsel for Los Angeles Nomadic Division, November 2019 – present.  

Low Bono Counsel for Fathomers, March 2019 – present.  

Member of Art Advisory Council for Cedars Sinai Hospital February 2019 – present.  

Director’s Council, Fowler Museum at UCLA, November 2011 – 2020.  

Board Member, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), January 2015 – November 2018.  

Chair of Contemporary Art Council, Fowler Museum at UCLA, June 2014 – December 2018. 

Council Member of the Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Council (President 2015 – 2017), December 2011 – 2017.  

President of the Board and Committee Member of the Strategic Planning Committee for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 2003 – July 2005.  

Secretary of the Fellows of Contemporary Art, 2004 – July 2005.  

Board Member of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 2000 – 2004.