Jail Hotline (Mass Defense)

As practicable and subject to our resources, we provide free jail hotline support for protests and demonstrations.  This volunteer-led service must be requested in advance to ensure that an NLG Seattle Chapter Member is on-hand to accept activists’ calls from jail. 

What is the NLG Mass Defense Program? 

The NLG mass defense program assists progressive protesters in finding legal representation for criminal and civil cases arising out of their activism. We do not have our own attorneys on staff, but we try to find referrals among our network of attorney members. Please email us at  nationallawyersguildseattle@gmail.com to inquire about our lawyer referral program.
Please note that our attorney network is small, and the participating attorneys set their own terms, including fees, for representation. In order to stretch our attorney resources as far as possible, we ask that activists contribute towards the cost of their defense if able to, and to consider representation by King County’s nationally renowned public defenders if eligible.

How do I request the NLG jail hotline for my protest or demonstration? 

  1. As soon as possible, send an email request to nationallawyersguildseattle@gmail.com to request this service.
  2. In your email, please include the date(s) of the action, start-time and end-time for the action, location of the action, and contact information for your action’s organizer(s) or main point-of-contact (e.g., your jail support liasion). Please keep this information brief and do not provide more details than we’ve requested above.
  3. We will get in touch to discuss our availability and further considerations.  

What happens next? What does this really mean? 

If we’ve confirmed that we’ll staff the jail hotline the day(s) of your action, then we will provide you with a new phone number to use only during your specific day(s) of action. When you receive this new phone number from us, please encourage your co-activists to write it on their body (arms, calves) with water resistant marker in case they are arrested, witness another activist’s arrest, or want to report any other similar legal situations related to the action. 

In addition to accepting calls from jail that are related to the demonstration/protest, upon the arrested activist’s request, we will do our best to connect the arrested activist with a pro bono or reduced fee network of criminal defense attorneys who are willing to at least represent the activist(s) during initial hearings.

Please note that we cannot guarantee the availability or affordability of legal representation.


If you are planning to attending a demonstration or direct action and need jail assistance,