Committees

National Lawyers Guild committees are the foundation of our programmatic work. Our volunteer members work nationally to realize the mission of the Guild in areas such as immigration, labor, international, and constitutional law. The work of our committees, task forces, and projects defines the Guild as a coalition for social change. These groups demonstrate that not only are we passionate in our convictions, but we are also resolute in our actions.

Below is the information for our most active committees, projects and task forces. Please contact the committee chairs for more specific information on how to get involved. We look forward to working with you.

Animal Rights Activism Committee
The Animal Rights Activism Committee works to end oppression and exploitation of non-human animals with an intersectional lens.
 
We work to incorporate animal liberation into broader radical Left politics while remaining focused and committed to an intersectional analysis. We provide legal support and resources to animal rights activists, and work in coalition with other groups to liberate non human animals. Through the relationship between animal rights activists and the progressive legal community, we engage in substantive animal rights advocacy and activism.
 
Visit our Facebook page: facebook.com/nlgarcommittee or email us at aracanimalrights@gmail.com.
Anti-Racism Committee

The Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) strives to make the Guild into an effective anti-racist organization, holding it to the principles on which it was founded. The cost of joining the Anti-Racism Committee is $12, which can be paid alongside your membership dues. (Dues generally go towards covering expenses for the two anti-oppression trainings we organize - one for the NEC in April and one for the convention, as well as to the TUPOCC travel stipend.) Are you doing anti-racism work in your local or student chapter?  Looking for assistance, resources, or ideas?  Email the ARC Co-Chairs at antiracism@nlg.org

White supremacy and racism are serious problems in our society that affect us all. Racism affects how we do our work, and how we interact with each other, potential allies, and power structures. ARC desires to be a resource for NLG chapters, committees, and projects to engage in analysis and action on anti-racism.

The following documents may be used as tools to facilitate conversations in your NLG chapter, committee, or project. The ARC can make available ARC committee members to help guide and facilitate such conversations, remotely, or in person at a meeting.

Anti-Racism Resources:

Anti-Sexism Committee

The Anti-Sexism Committee advances the Guild’s work in the movement for women’s liberation. Our work includes: planning educational panels and workshops at Guild events; organizing projects locally, nationally and internationally; participating in conferences and campaigns nationally and internationally; and writing articles for Guild Notes and other publications to educate the public about issues integral to women's rights and gender equality. Dues are used for convention-related needs such as supporting Safer Spaces, buying refreshments or other materials, and occasionally to assist a chair or co-chair in attending the convention. We have also used funds previously to support participation in campaigns or conferences that we are a part of. For more information, email antisexism@nlg.org.

Committee for Democratic Communications
The Committee for Democratic Communications (CDC) of the National Lawyers Guild is devoted to protecting the right to communicate of all people, that is, the right of all people to a system of media and communications based on principles of democracy and cultural and informational self-determination, not dominated by commercial concerns. Since 1988 we have worked with groups challenging the FCC's ban on low power radio, participated heavily in the FCC's "rulemaking" while they were considering legalization, have helped community groups in applying for and getting the new Low Power FM (LPFM) licenses. Currently we are involved in support for a variety of challenges to The Right to Communicate, from Net Neutrality to exploitation of low income communities dependent on mobile devices for their access to information.
 
Drug Policy Committee

Welcome to the DRUG POLICY COMMITTEE


The Drug Policy Committee (DPC) of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) opposes the harms of America's War on Drugs, and advocates for policies that reduce those harms. We are lawyers, law students, and legal workers. We seek to educate ourselves and the public about drug policy issues and policy alternatives.

Read our most recent publication, "High Crimes: Strategies to Further Marijuana Legalization Initiatives."

Sign up for the committee using our Google form.

Co - Chairs

Our drug policy reform tactics include:

  • Providing experts to speak or testify at drug policy events
  • Helping writers to submit drug policy articles to law journals
  • Forming drug policy committees of bar associations
  • Organizing Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars
  • Drafting and filing amicus curiae briefs in drug policy cases
  • Providing legislative testimony on bills regarding drug policy
  • Writing letters-to-the-editor about drug policy news articles
  • Encouraging law schools to start drug policy-related clinics
  • Mentoring law students interested in drug policy reform

We're members/supporters/leaders of these fine groups:

Environmental Justice Committee

The EJC is dedicated to providing assistance to impoverished communities and communities of color, which are exposed to the disproportionate impacts of environmental hazards. This committee is free to join. For more information, email environmentaljustice@nlg.org.

Housing Committee

The Housing Committee works to advance the principle that housing is a human right. The committee supports the efforts of communities advocating for and creating access to safe, affordable, and adequate housing for all people. The committee aims to provide legal support to grassroots movements organizing around self-determination, tenants' rights, foreclosure resistance, squatting/homesteading, homelessness rights, property redistribution, and other housing and land use issues. For more information, email housing@nlg.org.

International Committee

The NLG International Committee (IC) supports legal work around the world "to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests." As lawyers, law students, and legal activists, we seek to change U.S. foreign policy that threatens, rather than engages, or is based on a model of domination rather than respect. The Guild provides assistance and solidarity to movements in the United States and abroad that work for social justice in this increasingly interconnected world.

The NLG IC plays an active role in international conferences, delegations and on-going projects that examine and seek to remedy conditions caused by illegal U.S. or corporate pracitices. By bringing an alternative perspective to multinational institutions, schools, community centers and congressional hearings, the IC and its members actively educate, litigate, and truth-seek toward the end of social justice.

This committee has done work in Cuba, the Middle East, Korea, Haiti, and several other countries. Through participating in these projects members can build their skills and network. The cost of joining the International Committee is $25. Below are the subcommittees of the IC—visit the International Committee website at nlginternational.org, and follow them at facebook.com/NLGIC to learn more

  • Task Force on the Americas - Addresses broadly questions of the US role in Latin America and throughout the hemisphere. Solidarity work with Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico and more. Works closely with the Cuba Subcommittee, Haiti Subcommittee and Puerto Rico Subcommittee. Organizes numerous delegations, actions and events on a wide variety of prominent issues in the region.
  • Palestine Subcommittee - The Palestine Subcommittee works on providing legal support to the movement for justice and freedom in Palestine. This includes working with Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements, challenging repressive legislation, supporting students' and others right to organize and speak on Palestine, advocating for Palestinian political prisoners, organizing delegations, and challenging directly U.S. and Israeli violations of international law and Palestinian rights.
  • Cuba Subcommittee - Works on challenging the US embargo on Cuba, defending travelers to Cuba from travel bans or fines, delegations to Cuba, and solidarity more broadly. Currently focusing on campaigning for the US to fulfill its commitments to normalize relations with Cuba. *note: dues required
  • Indigenous Peoples' Rights Committee - The Indigenous Peoples' Rights Committee works on issues of urgency and interest for Indigenous peoples and nations inside and outside the land of the United States. It works closely with the Environmental Human Rights Committee on issues of the rights of the earth and extractive industries in indigenous land, and with Indigenous movements internationally.
  • Africa Subcommittee - The Africa Subcommittee works to support people's movements in Africa and challenge U.S. military intervention and corporate exploitation in Africa. It connects with diverse movements and struggles in countries across Africa, and engages in UN and other international advocacy in connection with those movements.
  • Haiti Subcommittee - Works on supporting people's movements in Haiti and holding the US and UN accountable for their negative and destructive roles in Haiti. Works closely with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and BAI; organized recent delegation for election observation.
  • International Labor Justice Working Group - A joint working group with the Labor and Employment Committee, the ILJWG works on international issues in labor and coordinates closely with progressive labor lawyers in Canada and in Latin America.
  • MENA (Middle East North Africa) Action Group - The MENA Action Group works on U.S. accountability in the region and in connection with social movements, labor unions and progressive organizations broadly within the region. It organizes delegations, panels and legal work around issues relating to Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Bahrain, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
  • Human Rights Framework Project - The Human Rights Framework Project works on "bringing human rights home," emphasizing U.S. accountability for violations of human rights within the United States. It also works on advocating for economic, social and cultural rights within the U.S. and internationally, and participates in shadow reporting and related processes on the U.S. human rights record.
  • Agent Orange Working Group - This working group engages in advocacy, legislative and legal work for the victims of Agent Orange, in Vietnam and in the United States. It is currently focusing on legislation introduced that provides compensation for victims of Agent Orange both in Vietnam and in the U.S. 
  • Environmental Human Rights Committee - The EHRC uses the lens of human rights to focus on environmental issues, including climate change, extractive industries and the exploitation of indigenous peoples and lands. It has organized delegations to conferences and events on climate change, as well as producing CLEs on urgent environmental issues.
  • Puerto Rico Subcommittee - The Puerto Rico Subcommittee works to challenge U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico, support Puerto Rican movements, and hold the U.S. accountable for its actions in Puerto Rico. It works to free Puerto Rican political prisoners and support Puerto Rican decolonization from the US; it is currently involved in legal and political work around Vieques and for relief of Puerto Rico's odious debt, as well as the case of Oscar Lopez Rivera.
  • Philippines Subcommittee - The Philippines Subcommittee works closely with people's movements and people's lawyers in the Philippines, challenging the role of the US in the Philippines, including struggling against US bases in the Philippines. Works on issues of political prisoners, peasants and workers struggles, indigenous struggles, and related concerns.
  • Article 9 Working Group - The Article 9 Working Group works with Japanese progressive lawyers and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers to defend Article 9 (the "peace clause") in Japan's constitution against militarization.

Get involved with us today and be part of building a more peaceful and just world! 

Labor and Employment Committee

The L&EC serves as a liaison between the Guild and various organized labor and employment legal groups. The cost of joining is $40. Students can join for $15. For more information visit the L&EC website at nlg-laboremploy-comm.org.

 

Legal Worker Caucus

The Legal Worker Caucus represents the needs, views, and concerns of legal worker members in the NLG.

legalworkervp@nlg.org

http://www.nlg.org/nlg-legal-workers-history

Mass Defense Committee

The Mass Defense Committee (MDC) is a network of lawyers, legal workers, and law students providing legal support for political activists, protesters and movements for social change. For more information on NLG mass defense work, visit our MDC web page, or email massdef@nlg.org.

Mass Incarceration Committee

The Mass Incarceration Committee exists in recognition that the use of incarceration in the United States has reached epidemic proportions and is the foremost civil rights, racial justice, and human rights concern of our times. The Committee's mission is to challenge the prison industrial complex in all its forms; advocate for prison abolition and alternatives to incarceration; and protect the rights of people in prison. Among our main activities are correspondence and legal support for jailhouse lawyers. For more information and to join the committee, contact Nora Carroll at carroll.nora@gmail.com.

Military Law Task Force

The Guild opposes aggressive and interventionist military policies, as well as abusive treatment of service members and veterans.  Through the MLTF, it works to provide support for those in and out of the military who challenge such policies and treatment. The MLTF is a network of attorneys, legal workers and law students working in the areas of military and veterans law and rights. It produces legal training materials as well as self-help guides for service members on topics ranging from dissent and conscientious objection to sexual assault and hazing. Members provide individual representation to GI's and veterans, and collaborate on challenges to oppressive military policies. The Task Force produces a quarterly newsletter, On Watch, and maintains a listserve for its membership. Volunteers are always needed for research and writing projects, and to help in counseling service members about their rights. The cost of joining this committee is $25. For more information visit the MLTF website at www.nlgmltf.org.

National Immigration Project

The National Immigration Project is a network of immigration lawyers, law students, and legal workers who work to end unlawful immigration practices, to recognize the contributions of immigrants in this country, to promote fair immigration practices, and to expand the civil and human rights of all immigrants regardless of their status in this country. For more information, please visit the National Immigration Project website.

National Police Accountability Project

NPAP is a non-profit organization of plaintiff’s lawyers, law students and legal workers, which is dedicated to ending police abuse of authority through legal action, public education and support for grassroots and victims’ organizations involving police misconduct. Separate membership is required for NPAP. Visit the NPAP website

Next Generation Committee

The Next Generation Committee (Next Gen) welcomes progressive law students, recent graduates, legal workers, young lawyers, and law school candidates interested in radical lawyering and social change. Next Gen sponsors social events, offers guidance and support to new members, and works to support and sustain the “next generation” of the Guild. The National Next Gen Committee helps develop and sustain local Next Gen chapters and promotes new leadership within the Guild. Email the NextGen Co-chairs at nextgen@nlg.org

Political Prisoner Support Committee
The National Lawyers Guild has established a Political Prisoner Support Committee (NLG PPSC) whose goal is to create a network of lawyers, legal workers, and law students committed to providing effective legal support for U.S. held political prisoners.
 
The  NLG PPSC exists in recognition that the United States targets and incarcerates activists, organizers and others affiliated with
progressive movements (See, for example, http://www.freedomarchives.org/Cointelpro.html).
 
The NLG has a long history supporting people locked up as a result of their movement work, and although we have very limited resources, we have recommitted ourselves to support U.S. held political prisoners, especially those who have been imprisoned for decades: for example, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Oscar López Rivera, Sundiata Acoli, Jalil Muntaqim and Herman Bell. 
 
This Committee aims to connect each prisoner with a Guild member (lawyer, law student or legal worker) who lives nearby and who can work with the prisoner's existing support team (if there is one.) The NLG member will coordinate legal support such as, for example, representation at parole hearings or representation to ensure proper medical care. The inspiration for this work came from former prisoner Ray Luc Levasseur, and the committee was formed with the help of Lynne Stewart, Ralph Poynter & Sekou Odinga.
 
We are hoping to mobilize new lawyers and legal workers, as well as experienced attorneys who have represented the political prisoners for years. Our wish is that the veterans, along with the prisoners, will mentor those new to this work.  For more information, and to join the Committee, contact the PPSC Co-Chairs (Benjamin Evans, Judith Mirkinson, and Melinda Power) at politicalprisoners@nlg.org.
Prison Law Project

The Prison Law Project sends the Jailhouse Lawyer’s Handbook to people in prison who request it. Volunteers are always welcome to come to the National Office for weekly mailings. To get involved, contact the PLP by visiting idealist.org.

Queer Caucus

The Queer Caucus provides a space for queer members to come together to discuss and strategize about work and their role within the NLG.
queercaucus@nlg.org

The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC)

Donate to the TUPOCC travel stipend fund to underwrite the costs for young people of color--students, legal workers, and recent law school graduates--to attend the annual NLG Convention.  


TUPOCC is an alliance of law students, legal workers, attorneys, and other people of color within the NLG. The necessity of such an organization is borne from the history of the United States where economic power is dependent on the continued subjugation of people of color, poor people women, queers, and other oppressed people.

View The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) from National Lawyers Guild on Vimeo.

TUPOCC wishes to provide all people of color with opportunities and, when such opportunities are not available, to work with allies to create them. The caucus seeks to unite people of color in the NLG, to represent communities of color, to help people of color achieve their potential, and to function as a powerful force within the NLG, the United States, and the world. Membership is open to all members of the NLG community who self-identify as people of color.

Connect with TUPOCC on Facebook and follow TUPOCC on Twitter @TUPOCC!

To meet some members of TUPOCC's board, and download the TUPOCC Pamphlet

Read the Alabama Manifesto, TUPOCC's founding document from the 2005 Law for the People Convention.

Current members: click here to participate in the TUPOCC Membership Survey.

 

Local TUPOCC Chapters:

Chicago
Website:nlgchicago.org/programs/t-u-p-o-c-c/,
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TUPOCCChicagoChapter

San Francisco/Bay Area 
 
New York City

Boston
NLG members in Boston launched a local TUPOCC chapter in 2016. Stay tuned for more details!