National Lawyers Guild

Overview

The National Lawyers Guild is an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. NLG seeks to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers of America in an organization that shall function as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be more sacred than property interests.

NLG'S aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, farmers and minority groups, 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. The NYU chapter seeks to build community on the NYU campus, create opportunities for networking between progressive and radical law students and lawyers, and champion progressive and radical causes at NYU, in New York City, and beyond. We work extensively with NLG chapters at other area law schools as well as the NYC chapter.

Activities

DisOrientation

Again in 2013, NYU joined National Lawyers Guild chapters from Brooklyn Law School, Columbia, Cardozo, CUNY, and New York Law School to organize a day long “DisOrientation” conference for law students from NYC schools. Nearly 100 students participated in workshops and panels covering: the NYPD's Stop and Frisk policy; trainings for legal observers, the Immigration Court Observation Project (ICOP). and Street Law; and workshops with NLG attorneys on going into private practice, dealing with the pressures of law school as a 1L, and ways to continue advocacy and organizing work while in school. DisOrientation gives law students a way to create and strengthen ties to those at other law schools, as well as with local practitioners.

This year's DisOrientation event will be taking place in Vanderbilt Hall on September 28, 2014 starting at 11 a.m. You can see the flyer here.

Rebellious Lawyering Conference

Each year, NYU NLG sends members to Yale Law's annual, student-run conference that features law students, community advocates and legal practitioners. Together, they discuss progressive and innovative approaches to social change and the law.

Legal Observers Training

Coordinator: Malcolm Kim

NLG Legal Observers attend protests and demonstrations as part of a system of legal support designed to enable people to express their political views as fully as possible without unconstitutional disruption or interference by the police and with the fewest possible consequences from the criminal justice system. You can find them wearing green NLG hats throughout varied and frequent citywide protests and events.

Upcoming opportunities to be trained as a Legal Observer include September 16 and 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest office (in advance of the Climate Change March), and as part of DisOrientation on Sunday, September 28. Please contact Malcolm with any questions.

Integrative Law Movement

Integrative law is a multi-disciplinary global movement that, through practice, policy, and education, seeks to transform the legal system to better reach its basic goals by recognizing it as an interconnected system of human beings. There are many related resources online. Above is a link to one introduction. Feel free to contact Jacqueline with any questions.

National Immigration Project

In 2006, NYC-area law students organized the Immigration Court Observation Project (ICOP), an initiative to attend immigration proceedings, document observations, and identify lapses in due process. Hundreds of law students have observed over a thousand hearings and produced findings which the NLG analyzed and compiled into a biannual report, distributed to local and national immigration advocacy groups and administrators. In recent years, as courts have become further burdened by an influx of cases, the need to ensure due process and human rights has increased. At NYU, we are now focusing our efforts on this issue through the Immigrant Rights Project.

Know your Rights and Street Law Training

Events will be announced.