About

The National Lawyers Guild was founded in 1937 as a progressive bar association; the first bar association in the country to be racially integrated. Our mission is “to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests.” NLG’s aim is to “… bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.”

NLG advocates on many fronts, including environmental justice, progressive drug policy reform, prison abolition, labor movement support, international human rights work, and of course, protection of the right to protest. It is that protection that is the heart of our legal observer and mass defense programs. Our mass defense program includes legal observation on the ground, know your rights trainings, jail hotlines and jail support for those who are arrested during protests, and legal representation in protest cases.

 

Our Mission

To use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests.

Our Vision

We envision an organization in service of the community, run by the community that brings together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.

Join the Guild!