2022 NLG Leonard Weinglass Fellow: Maggie Bott

The National Lawyers Guild Foundation and NLG National Office are excited to announce the recipient of the 2022 Leonard I. Weinglass Memorial Fellowship, Maggie Bott. Maggie is a member of the NLG Indiana Chapter and a recent graduate from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where she was an active member in the school’s NLG chapter.

The Weinglass Fellowship is awarded annually to a NLG member and recent law school graduate to spend 10 weeks working on a project in line with the mission of the NLG. As a Weinglass Fellow, Maggie will collaborate with the Prison Legal Support Network (PLSN), an initiative created by the Indiana Department of Corrections Watch (IDOC Watch), a grassroots abolitionist group in Indiana, and the NLG Indiana chapter.

PLSN supports, trains, and coordinates imprisoned jailhouse lawyers and pro se litigants in their legal struggles for freedom. PLSN employs a two-pronged, inside/outside model that involves people in the legal community on both sides of the prison walls to effectively support and advocate for pro se litigants pursuing sentence modifications, clemency, parole, and post-conviction relief. The mission of PLSN goes further than supporting prisoners with the legal work; PLSN centers community outreach and advocacy to dismantle the prison industrial complex. The work extends beyond the individual and seeks to create a future without prisons.

Maggie graduated from the IU Maurer School of Law in May 2022. During her time at Maurer, she served as the Student Director of the Incarcerated Individuals Legal Assistance Project, the president of the Public Interest Law Foundation, and the Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellow. Maggie was involved in reviving the school’s NLG student chapter her 2L year, then she served as the Committee Chair for the Mass Incarceration Committee her 3L year. As Committee Chair, she worked closely with the Prison Legal Support Network to organize a speaker series with Indiana prisoners. After she passes the bar, Maggie will work as a public defender in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Maggie’s work with PLSN will begin in August, and is sponsored by the NLG Mass Incarceration Committee. Please join us in congratulating her!

Thanks to a generous bequest from the Weinglass estate, the NLG Foundation established a fellowship for recent law graduates. Each year, one fellow receives a stipend to work for the NLG on a specific civil rights or civil liberties project. Previous fellows have developed projects to assist with parole and sponsorship for LGBTQ+ migrantsreunite American citizen-children with undocumented parents who have been deported to their country of origin, support community bond fundsfight a new maximum security prison planned for construction on a former coal mining site, develop an environmental justice legal defense and action plan, and create a Federal Repression Toolkit for NLG Chapters.

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