Public Webinars

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!

Why Do Refugee Caravans Exist? A Lesson in Geo-Political History of Central America | 11/28/18

Thousands of Central American migrants are currently traveling through Mexico, seeking safety to the north. Many are traveling in family groups with small children. What factors lead so many to make this harrowing journey? Desperation caused by poverty, natural disasters and gang violence are immediate factors. However, U.S. involvement—both economic and military—has contributed to major political instability and economic inequality throughout Central America.

This webinar will address the geo-political and colonial history that led to the conditions that are causing people to risk everything to travel by the thousands to seek safety in the United States. It will also discuss the current status of the caravan, as well as humanitarian crisis conditions and the immediate need for assistance. Finally, the webinar will suggest ways for Guild members to offer support—whether by Legal Observing, volunteering with Tijuana-based Al Otro Lado, or by donating to a locally-based relief organization.


  • Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan – NLG past president and LatinoJustice PRLDEF staff attorney
  • Joseph P. Berra – Project Director, UCLA School of Law
  • Erika Pinheiro – immigration attorney, Al Otro Lado


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


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?


Moderator: Maggie Ellinger-Locke, Executive Vice President, National Lawyers Guild

Sponsored by Law for Black Lives DC and the National Lawyers Guild, with assistance from the Georgetown NLG Chapter.

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

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

Presented by the National Lawyers GuildIf/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice and the Self-Induced Abortion (SIA) Legal Team.

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.