The NLG now produces webinars! Public programming will be posted to this page. We have also launched a series of NLG-specific webinars as organizing resources for members. These are only accessible by current NLG members who log in and go to Members-Only > Member Webinars (another great reason to join the NLG!). Stay tuned for more!
How the Federalist Society’s Philosophies Took Over the Courts… and How Movement Lawyers Can Fight Back
The Federalist Society, which began as a student counter-establishment organization, has become the establishment. With six Justices on the Supreme Court, hundreds of others on the lower federal courts and state appellate courts, and control of the Justice Department and much of the federal bureaucracy when a Republican is president, their influence on law and public policy is paramount.
This webinar asks: How did they get there? What are the details of their agenda? How do they fund it? How are they organized? What can the left learn from them?
Speaker: Michael Avery is a former president of the National Lawyers Guild and one of the founders of the National Police Accountability Project. He is the co-author, with Danielle McLaughlin, of The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back from Liberals.
Moderator: Rachel Pickens, Executive Director, National Police Accountability Project
#DisO2020: Staying Radical in Law School
While many people are drawn to law school initially to further social justice, law students encounter intense pressure to choose careers that have little potential to serve these ideals. The combination of student debt, the culture and pedagogy of legal education, and the discouragement of political analyses in law school undermine student goals of becoming movement lawyers. This webinar will feature NLG members who explore the practices and culture of law school to help new (and current) law students navigate a path that allows them to stay radical throughout the course of their legal education and beyond!
This webinar was presented as part of #DisO2020. At the beginning of each academic year, many NLG student chapters organize “DisOrientation” events to introduce the wider student body to the NLG and “people’s lawyering” in general. For more info on DisOrientation, visit nlg.org/disorientation and be sure to check out resources for NLG law students including the NLG’s Disorientation Manual, Radical Law Student Manual, and list of NLG law school chapters.
- Luna Martinez (she/her) [Moderator]: NLG National Student Vice President
- Pooja Gehi (she/her): NLG Executive Director. Pooja graduated from American University’s Washington College, where she chaired her law school’s NLG chapter.
- Ray Rojas (he/him): Attorney in private practice and NLG Texoma Regional Vice-President.
- Natsu Saito (she/her): Law professor, activist, author of Settler Colonialism, Race and the Law: Why Structural Racism Persists
Federal Repression of Activists & Their Lawyers: Legal & Ethical Strategies to Defend Our Movements
This program involves a discussion of current and historical federal harassment of both activists and lawyers working for social change; the unmet needs of both activists and lawyers in many parts of the US and how legal workers can bridge the gaps; and both ethical and practical advice on shielding your clients and yourself from state repression, including how to advise and litigate on behalf of clients to challenge the legitimacy of grand jury subpoenas.
- Marques Banks: attorney, founder of Black Movement Law Project, addresses the criminalization of poverty
- Moira Meltzer-Cohen: movement attorney and legal educator concerned with advocacy for incarcerated trans persons and political prisoners
- Lamis Deek: human rights attorney, advocate and strategist focusing on Palestinian rights
- Soffiyah Elijah: advocate, attorney, scholar, educator, and Executive Director of the Alliance of Families for Justice
- Marty Stolar (Moderator): civil rights attorney, grand jury litigator, and subject of grand jury subpoena case In re Stolar
- Katie Yow: legal worker, social worker, anti-repression educator working with criminalized people in the American South
Fighting for the Release of Detained Immigrants During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The detention of immigrants who are in removal proceedings, fighting to remain in the US with their families, or seeking a safe haven from government repression, gang violence or domestic abuse in their home countries, is unjust to begin with. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to that injustice by forcing these same immigrants, many with underlying health problems, to remain in crowded conditions that do not allow for social distancing and expose them to a deadly virus.
This webinar provides both new and experienced advocates with tools and strategies for seeking the release of detained immigrants, from bond and humanitarian parole to habeas proceedings in Federal Court, and review the class action litigation that has been filed to secure the release of thousands from detention facilities. An organizer with a faith rooted program that fights for social justice then discusses the work that activists are engaged in to both help secure the release of detained individuals and provide them with support once they are released from custody.
- Bond, Parole, and Humanitarian Parole
- Habeas Corpus Claims
- Class Action Case: Hernandez Roman
- Class Action Case: Fraihat
- Release and Post-Release Activism for Lawyers
- Kelly Anderson, Managing Attorney, Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
- Sirine Shebaya, Executive Director, National Immigration Project of the NLG
- Minju Cho, Skadden Fellow, ACLU of Southern California
- Jeremy Jong, private immigration attorney in New Orleans
- Guillermo Torres, Immigration Program Director, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice
- Maia Fleischman, Legal Fellow, Criminal Justice Reform Project, Southern Poverty Law Center
Imaginary Agitators: Trump’s labeling of antifa as a domestic terror organization | 6/10/20
Join the NLG and its NYC chapter for a panel discussion on the Trump Administration’s designation of “antifa” as a terrorist organization. Amidst the popular uprisings demanding accountability in the murder of George Floyd and radical approaches to end police brutality, the Administration and its allies have attempted to direct attention away from popular unrest and towards an imagined enemy.
Learn about the history of antifascism, how the government abuses terrorism designations, and how this campaign against antifa affects protesters, activists, and movements for racial justice and liberation.
- Mark Bray, Author of “Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook”
- Daryle Lamont Jenkins: Founder of One People’s Project
- Moira Meltzer-Cohen, New York City Movement Attorney
- Hina Shamsi, Director of ACLU’s National Security Project
Moderated by: Abi Hassen, Co-Founder of Black Movement – Law Project
Fighting for Housing Justice: COVID-19 and the Urgent Struggle for Homes for All | 5/14/20
From rent strikes to the occupation of vacant homes, from encampments self-organizing to provide mutual aid to growing demands to cancel rent and decommodify housing, movements for housing justice are rapidly expanding in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Hear from organizers at the forefront of radical housing movements of tenants and the unhoused, and the movement lawyers supporting the call for housing justice.
Sponsored by the NLG Housing and Homelessness Committee
- Hannah Adams, Attorney and Board Member of Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative; NLG Louisiana member
- Kenia Alcocer, Co-Director of Union de Vecinos and organizer with the Los Angeles Tenants Union
- Nicole Deane, Oakland Lead Organizer, ACCE
- Alicia Kuhl, President of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the California Homeless Union
- Anthony Prince, Legal Counsel to the California Homeless Union and the National Union of the Homeless; NLG Housing & Homelessness Committee Co-Chair
- Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director for Anti-Displacement and Land Use Programs, ACCE; NLG SF Bay Area member
- Frank Southhall, Lead Organizer, Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative and the New Orleans Renters Rights Assembly
- Jackie Zaneri, Tenants’ Rights Staff Attorney at Centro Legal de la Raza
Decriminalizing Sex Work: What, Why, and How to Get Involved | 6/25/19
At last year’s #Law4thePeople Convention, NLG members voted to pass a resolution condemning the anti-sex worker legislation SESTA/FOSTA. During the process, we learned that many NLG members had questions about sex worker rights and impending legislation. Now that New York and Washington, DC have introduced legislation to decriminalize sex work, it’s crucial that NLG members across the country have a basic understanding of the issue and learn how to get involved. This webinar includes a primer on the sex trade, explanation of the current and proposed policies that impact sex workers, and the NLG’s current and potential positions on these policies.
This webinar is brought to you by the Sex Worker Rights Working Group of the NLG Queer Caucus, which is led by NLG members who are current and former sex workers. While it’s targeted towards NLG members, this webinar is appropriate for anyone who wants to learn more about sex worker rights!
- Christian A’Xavier Lovehall: sex worker, sex worker rights advocate and representative of the Black Sex Workers Collective
- N’jaila Rhee: Sex worker, advocate, and executive committee member of the New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance
- Derek J. Demeri: Sex worker rights activists, co-founder of New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance, co-author of 2018 NLG resolution against SESTA FOSTA
Links & Resources:
- New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance
- Black Sex Workers Collective
- NLG Resolution against SESTA FOSTA
- NLG TUPOCC (The United People of Color Caucus) Travel Stipends
- 2019 NLG #Law4thePeople Convention
- NLG Queer Caucus
Funding Attacks on Dissent: The Millionaires and Billionaires Behind Anti-Protest Legislation in the States | 4/18/19
Over the last few years, over 90 bills have been introduced in 35 state capitals which place limits on the right to protest. State lawmakers, many of whom have ties to the corporate bill mill know as the American Legislative Exchange Council, have pushed these bills in response to protests on university campuses, pipeline routes, and city streets. The coordinated attack on dissent is a well-funded one. This webinar will explore the individuals, corporations, and foundations funding the attack on protest with a focus on the billions behind the so-called Campus Free Speech bills designed to chill campus protests and the Anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions bills passed to prevent economic protests of Israel for its ongoing oppression of Palestinians.
• David Armiak (moderator and speaker): Researcher and Writer for the Center for Media and Democracy
• Ralph Wilson: Cofounder of the Corporate Genome Project
• Max Geller: Organizer with the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Implementing Abolition: How to Create Just & Lasting Decarceration | 4/9/19
While prison populations have declined in recent years, they remain enormous, and immigration detention has ballooned. Also, in many areas where prison populations have decreased the most, racial disparities have worsened. Webinar faculty talk about how to seize opportunities to close facilities in ways that don’t lead to new ones opening, eliminate criminal laws in ways that don’t just help the privileged, and get people out in ways that don’t demonize those still inside. Together, we share strategies for accelerating decarceration and building just and lasting change.
- Pooja Gehi: Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild
- Rev. Jason Lydon, Founder, Black & Pink
- Oren Nimni: Staff Attorney, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Azadeh Shahshahani: Legal & Advocacy Director, Project South
- Dean Spade: Founder, Sylvia Rivera Law Project
- Panagioti Tsolkas: Founding Member, Fight Toxic Prisons
- Carl Williams: Executive Director, Water Protector Legal Collective
Links shared/mentioned during the program:
- NLG Resolution Supporting the Abolition of Prisons
- Fight Toxic Prisons: Prisoners File Unique Environmental Lawsuit Against New Federal Facility on Strip Mine Site in Kentucky
- Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence, June 17-19
- No New Youth Jail, Kings County (Seattle)
- We Charge Genocide: Open Letter to the ACLU of Illinois Regarding Stop & Frisk
- Sign On Statement by Critical Resistance: Zionism is Not Compatible with Prison Abolition or Reform
- How Trump’s Border Wall Perpetuates the Legacy of Colonialism on the Rio Grande
Spying Dissent: The Surveillance of Activists in the Digital Age | 3/28/19
Activists have long been surveilled by the government, most famously through the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) in the 1960s which targeted civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Ella Baker. That legacy continues today as the rise of movements from #BlackLivesMatter to #NoDAPL has been met with increased surveillance by law enforcement. And in the digital age, technology is helping police spy at an unprecedented scale.
Speakers: April Goggans (Black Lives Matter DC Chapter), Michelle Vendiola (Indigenous Climate Change activist), Nusrat Choudhury (ACLU’s Racial Justice Program) and Rachel Levinson-Waldman (Brennan Center for Justice). Justin Hansford (Howard University Law School Thurgood Marshall Center) facilitates the conversation.
This event is co-hosted by the Center for Media Justice, Defending Rights & Dissent, National Lawyers Guild, Protect the Protest, and the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law.
- 3/14/19 | The Attack on Climate Justice Movements
- 2/15/18 | Conservative-led Anti-Protest Legislation Already Doubled Since Last Year
- 11/27/17 | #COINTELPRO: Disrupting Resistance Movements in the Digital Age
Fossil Fuel Pipeline Fights: Understanding Critical Infrastructure Bills | 9/27/18
Join the nation’s only coalition dedicated to fighting back against anti-protest legislation as we hear about one of the most important battles of our time, fossil fuel pipelines. How are states criminalizing the Indigenous-led fight against these projects made famous by the resistance at Standing Rock? How are communities responding to these bills and laws? And who is behind them? The second of our Protect Dissent Network webinar series will focus on Critical Infrastructure Bills, their political implications, the interest groups behind them, and how to stop them from becoming laws!
Since the end of 2016, nearly 60 bills have been proposed in state legislatures that limit the right to protest or remove liability for harm caused to protesters. This wave of anti-protest legislation comes on the heels of a wave of major protests by social movements for labor rights, women’s rights, gun control, racial justice, indigenous rights, government accountability, and environmental protections, to name a few. Lawmakers, in conjunction with certain think tanks, corporations, and law enforcement agencies, have proposed legislation designed to increase penalties for individual protesters, and the organizations that support them.
Moderator: Maggie Ellinger-Locke, Staff Attorney, Greenpeace USA
Panelists: Mark Tilsen, Poet and Educator; Connor Gibson, Research Specialist, Greenpeace USA; Marla Marcum, Director, Climate Disobedience Center
Cosponsors: Greenpeace USA, National Lawyers Guild, Defending Rights and Dissent, Climate Disobedience Center, Piper Action Fund, PEN America, Center for Constitutional Rights, UnKoch My Campus
Global Repression of Dissent: Palestine, Puerto Rico & the Philippines | 8/3/18
As colonialist regimes gain power across the globe, we have seen more people speaking out against white supremacist and fascist rhetoric and policies as well as an increased attack on dissent, particularly on human rights defenders from economically poor communities of color. Movements to challenge and defeat racism, colonialism, state violence, and corporate-state collusion have been met with an intentional, organized, and militarized response. Challenges to state-corporate power and the rise of disaster capitalism inspires widespread organizing to challenge mega-infrastructure projects like fossil fuels in Puerto Rico, the expansion of the prison and detention industrial complex in rural and poor communities, the targeting of Muslim and anti-war activists in the Philippines, and the building of border walls in Palestine and on the Mexico-U.S. border. The continuous threat of state, corporate and military violence tying together these colonial and neo-colonial projects is targeting those who speak out against it through enhanced surveillance, hate speech, and police terror.
As an organization of people’s lawyers working to protect our movements and its activists in the era of Trump, how can we expose the organized interests behind this repression? What are lawyers doing to help align movements to be anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-racist? What does resistance to this repression look like in your community?
Speakers include NLG International Committee members:
- Suzanne Adely, Co-Chair, NLG International Committee and Member, NLG Palestine Subcommittee
- Audrey Bomse, human rights attorney and Chair, NLG Palestine Subcommittee
- Jackelyn Mariano, Co-Chair, NLG International Committee and Member, NLG Philippines Subcommittee
- Mariana Nogales Molinelli, human rights attorney and Member, NLG Puerto Rico Subcommittee
Slideshow by Jackelyn Mariano – The Philippines: The People’s Resistance to a Creeping Fascist Dictatorship
- Auditoria YA!
- Brigada Legal Solidaria
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights
- Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement
- Malaya Movement
- ADDAMEER – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
- Adalah, Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
- International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
- International People’s Tribunal
- NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP)
- Ibon International
Whose Speech? A Post-Charlottesville Discussion | 3/28/18
In the wake of the deadly white supremacy march in Charlottesville last summer, social justice advocates face troubling questions about the meaning of free speech. Legal scholars and activists with Law for Black Lives DC and the National Lawyers Guild hosted a panel at Georgetown Law (with support of the NLG Georgetown Chapter) examining the history of power dynamics around First Amendment jurisprudence and consider questions such as:
- How do groups on the ground engaged in social justice struggles experience the freedoms of speech and assembly?
- Whose speech is prioritized under the law?What lessons can advocates
- draw in a time of increasing polarization?
- Justin Hansford, Executive Director, Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, Howard University Law School
- Yael Bromberg, Supervising Attorney, Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic and Voting Rights Institute
- Dr. Maha Hilal, Co-Director of Justice for Muslims Collective
- Eirik Cheverud, Attorney, National Lawyers Guild
Moderator: Maggie Ellinger-Locke, Executive Vice President, National Lawyers Guild
Anti Protest Legislation: Implications for Social Movements | 3/14/18
Since the end of 2016, nearly 60 bills have been proposed in state legislatures which limit the right to protest or remove liability for harm caused to protesters. This wave of anti-protest legislation comes in the aftermath of the success of recent social movements for labor rights, racial justice, and environmental protections. Lawmakers, in conjunction with certain think tanks, corporations, and law enforcement agencies, have proposed legislation designed to increase penalties for individual protesters and the organizations that support them.
Please join us to learn more about the contents of these bills, their political implications, the interest groups behind them, and how to stop them from becoming laws! A panel of civil liberties experts will give an overview of all these bills, focusing in particular on so-called “Critical Infrastructure” and “Campus Free Speech” legislation. Strategies and resources for challenging these bills will be provided.
- Maggie Ellinger-Locke is Staff Attorney with Greenpeace USA.
- Chip Gibbons is Policy & Legislative Counsel for Defending Rights & Dissent, as well as a journalist whose work has been featured in The Nation and Jacobin.
- Elly Page is a Legal Adviser with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, specializing in the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and founder of ICNL’s US Protest Law Tracker.
- Nick Robinson is a Legal Adviser for U.S. Programs with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.
- Traci Yoder is the Director of Research and Education with the National Lawyers Guild.
Bail Funds & Community-Based Strategies | 3/9/18
Bail and bond funds can be an important tool towards dismantling the prison industrial complex and ending mass incarceration. However, as many new funds emerge in response to the rampant policing of protests and uprisings, this is an important moment to share lessons learned on the ground. Lawyers and legal workers sometimes create the funds without establishing a direct, accountable, intentional connection to the communities in which they exist causing a disconnect in strategy and desired outcome.
This webinar features volunteers from bail fund groups in Baton Rouge, Standing Rock (the Freshet Collective) and the Chicago Community Bail Fund to explore some of these tensions while uplifting some concrete victories. Law for Black Lives, the National Lawyers Guild and the National Bail Fund Network will offer a framework in which bail and bond funds are connected to community-based organizations with a focus on racial justice and eventual prison abolition. Southerners on New Ground will discuss their recent National Mama’s Day Bailout Action and how we can move forward together.
NOTE: Further resources on community-based bond/bail/legal defense funds compiled by the panelists are available at bit.ly/bailfundresources
Mapping the Right: Reflections and Resistance | 7/28/17
This two-hour webinar features movement leaders and organizers on the ground as they examine the rise of the conservative right and the failure of neo-liberalism, the impact of Trump trans-nationally, emerging global trends and alliances, and specific case studies of opportunities and threats, existing organizing infrastructures, paths of resistance and support for new economies in the south and rural U.S. Speakers brainstorm with each other and the audience to strategize around the critical role of the legal community in this political moment.
Speakers: Trishala Deb leads Thousand Currents’ programs in Asia; Stephanie Guilloud is the Co-Director of Project South; Suzanne Pharr is an organizer with the National Council of Elders; and Tarso Ramos is the executive director of Political Research Associates.
Decriminalizing Our Reproductive Lives: How Lawyers Can Promote Reproductive Justice and Serve Our Communities | 5/26/17
Criminalization affects our reproductive lives. From punishment of pregnancy outcomes, to coerced sterilization of incarcerated people, to destruction of families through mass incarceration, communities who are marginalized and targeted for criminalization in the United States face challenges that are complex and often overlooked in discourse around reproductive freedom. The Reproductive Justice framework acknowledges that decisions that people make about their pregnancies and their families may be affected by the law in ways that go beyond the legal rights to contraception and abortion.
But the complexities of the challenges provide opportunities for creative lawyering in service of community needs. The panel will explore the intersection of criminalization and reproduction, and how the principles of community lawyering can help advance reproductive justice. The panel will focus this inquiry using the example of self-induced abortion, an issue that has become more pressing as legislatures are emboldened to restrict access to clinic-based abortion. Abortion is a constitutionally protected right, and yet people have faced arrest, prosecution, and punishment for ending their own pregnancies. By discussing key laws and cases, panelists will identify obstacles and lay out a vision for law and policy strategies, and provide examples of lawyering that attempts to maintain accountability to community needs.