National Lawyer's Guild

2022 Resolutions, Amendments, and Elections

As a democratic organization, the work and focus of the Guild is decided by our members. Each year at the convention, we hold plenaries in which members discuss programmatic priorities, often in the form of resolutions. We also update our governing documents, our Bylaws and Constitution, and elect new officers to serve on the NLG National Executive Committee (NEC).

This year, NLG will not have a consolidated #Law4thePeople Convention. Instead, programming will be spread throughout the year. However, governance matters will be handled during the NLG Governance Plenaries on October 22-23, 2022. The plenaries will be virtual and open to all current NLG members. All voting will take place online after the plenaries. 

This is the first call for resolution and amendment proposals and NEC candidates. Resolution and amendment proposals are open to NLG members only. To join or renew, visit nlg.org/join.

Important Dates (full timeline below):

August 1, 2022: Firm deadline to submit proposed resolutions and bylaw and constitutional amendments.

September 21, 2022: Deadline for proponents to complete procedural compliance and finalize proposals.

September 22, 2022: Final proposed resolutions and bylaw amendments will be shared with all members.

October 2, 2022: Deadline for members to suggest friendly amendments

October 21, 2022: Deadline to submit emergency resolutions (24 hours before convention begins); deadline for any candidates for national officer positions to nominate themselves

Information For Proponents

What are Amendments and Resolutions?

Amendments

  • The membership has updated the constitution, originally adopted in 1937, at many conventions. The current constitution and bylaws are available here: nlg.org/about/bylaws-and-resolutions/
  • Amendments can be made to either our constitution or our bylaws.

Resolutions

  • Resolutions are an opportunity for our membership to propose and agree on statements of programmatic priorities for our organization and to take stances on various issues.
  • Examples of resolutions here: nlg.org/about/bylaws-and-resolutions/

Emergency Resolutions

  • Emergency resolutions are resolutions based on events that take place after the initial sixty-day deadline, and up to twenty-four hours prior to the voting plenary. The twenty-four hour deadline may be waived in the event that an emergency resolution is non-controversial as determined by the Resolutions Committee and confirmed by the actual vote. Emergency resolutions must comply with all resolution requirements not related to timeliness.

For more information on Resolutions, Constitution and Bylaws Amendments, see the NLG Bylaws, Section 8.

Process for Submitting Proposals

Email Submission

  • Proposed resolutions, bylaws amendments, and constitutional amendments must be emailed in attachment form by August 1, 2022, Midnight (Pacific Time). Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Early submission is encouraged, as resolutions and amendments often require edits to be made for submissions to be in full accordance with the procedural requirements.
  • Emails should be addressed to resolutions@nlg.org

Procedural Requirements (Please read carefully!)

The attachment with the proposed resolution or amendment must:

  • On its face include the name and contact information of the person submitting the resolution or amendment. This ensures members can contact the proponent before and during the convention.
  • Contain a specific and explicit implementation clause indicating what individuals or entities will do the work of implementing the resolution (i.e. the Resolutions Committee, the National Office, a local chapter, etc.). Per an amendment approved at the 2014 convention, proponents are only required to have attempted to obtain consent of those tasked with implementing the resolution. If any person or entity is tasked with implementing the resolution, the face of the resolution must indicate that the proponent has contacted such persons or entities before submitting the resolution. Proposal must indicate if 1) proponent has the consent of all persons obligated, 2) that consent was denied, 3) that consultation was impractical and why, or 4) that approval was requested but was not granted or denied.
  • Not exceed 3 pages, 12-point font, including endorsing entities or names. Shorter proposals are encouraged. Endorsing names and entities must be included within the 3-page limit.
  • Proposal must include the name and contact information of the person who will present the proposal in the two plenaries.
  • Any submission that has been denied for lack of obtaining explicit agreement of a tasked entity or individual to implement the resolution or amendment may be appealed to the Executive Council of the NEC by contacting Suzanne Adely at president@nlg.org.

All primary proponents should plan to present and speak on behalf of the amendment or resolution at the virtual plenary. If they will not be present, proponents should notify the Resolutions Committee and appoint an alternate delegate to present and answer questions during the plenary.

Note: Amendments from the floor are not accepted, so people objecting to proposals should speak with proponents well in advance of the plenaries to see if they are willing to amend their own proposals before they come to the plenary floor.

Information For Candidates for Elected National Office

Each year, the NLG holds elections to choose the officers of the National Executive Committee (NEC). All current NLG members in good standing are eligible to run for an elected office, although it is recommended that candidates have one year of Guild membership before running for a position. If you are interested, please email a brief candidate statement to NLG President Suzanne Adely at president@nlg.org before October 21, 2022. If you have any questions about the election process, please email NLG Director of Research and Education Traci Yoder at traci@nlg.org.

In 2022, the following office is up for election:

Secretary

The Secretary position begins in 2022 and ends at the 2025 Governance Plenaries. This position is responsible for recording and sharing the institutional knowledge of the organization, and participating on the National Executive Council (NEC) and Executive Council (EC). For more information, please read the NLG Secretary Job Description.

Information for Candidates for National Positions Elected by Constituencies

Candidates for national office which are selected by caucuses, regions, projects, task forces, or committees (e.g., National Student Vice President, National Legal Worker Vice President, Regional Representatives, representatives from The United People of Color Caucus and Queer Caucus, and representatives from NLG projects and national committees) should refer to their respective entities for procedures and available offices.

Important Dates For 2022 Proponents & Candidates

May 15, 2022

  • Publicity begins for call for proposals & candidates

August 1, 2022 (Midnight Pacific Time)

  • Firm deadline to Submit Proposed resolutions, & bylaw & constitutional amendments.
  • No extensions will be granted. Please submit early.

September 1, 2022

  • Deadline for Resolutions Committee’s initial response to proponent.

September 21, 2022

  • Deadline for proponent to complete procedural compliance (if needed).

September 22, 2022

  • Final proposed resolutions and bylaw amendments will be placed on the NLG website.

October 2, 2022

  • Deadline for members to suggest friendly amendments to proposals (no revisions are accepted on the plenary floor)

October 12

  • Deadline for proponents to re-submit final versions with friendly amendments and endorsements

October 21, 2022

  • Deadline to submit emergency resolutions (24 hours before convention begins)
  • Deadline for any candidates for national officer positions to nominate themselves.

October 22

  • Deadline for people to join/renew their Guild membership in order to vote in the election

October 22-23, 2022

  • Governance plenaries.

November 1, 2022

  • Deadline for pro and con statements to be submitted. 

November 4, 2022

  • Online voting begins

December 6, 2022

  • Online voting closes; results will be posted once voting has closed. 

 

The post 2022 Resolutions, Amendments, and Elections first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

NLG Statement Against Overturning Roe v. Wade and in Support of Comprehensive Reproductive Freedom

This statement is about a draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, meaning that it is not yet an official SCOTUS opinion and has not yet had any legislation passed based on it. Abortion is still legal in the United States, subject to the same local laws as before this draft opinion was leaked. For more information on laws in your area, please see the state policies page of the Guttmacher Institute’s website.

On Monday, May 2, a leaked draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization confirmed what many reproductive justice and human rights activists both feared and predicted: that the Supreme Court of the United States intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case protecting people’s autonomy in seeking an abortion.

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is outraged. As a human rights organization, we staunchly support the rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, and medical care, and oppose the criminalization of reproductive decision-making. Our fundamental belief in maintaining abortion legalization is what compelled us to join an amicus brief on this very Supreme Court case. This regressive draft decision on Roe v. Wade is more evidence that our current systems of law do not exist to protect people. Though the NLG hopes that this decision will be mitigated by federal-level affirmative legislation around abortion rights, we also thoroughly understand that the U.S. judicial and legislative offices cannot and will not liberate us and our communities.

Importantly, we are seeing this attack carried out amidst an onslaught of legislation criminalizing access to gender affirming care and attempts to prosecute abortions, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and other non-abortive losses of pregnancy. The draft court opinion itself implies extensive consequences for gay marriage, interracial marriage, and contraception access, all of which were decided on the same basis of a right to privacy. These efforts are not unrelated; they are all part of a coordinated, fascist effort to expand state control over marginalized people’s bodies, a project that has and will continue to disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color; sex workers; immigrants; queer, disabled, fat, and/or low-income people; and folks in rural areas with fewer options for medical care, especially in states controlled by conservative legislatures.

These acts of state violence affirm again that we cannot rely on the U.S. government to defend human rights. The NLG will continue defending organizers and activists in the streets and the courtrooms as they pursue substantive and compassionate community care. We hope that NLG members and allies join us in supporting and imagining what community- and people-oriented care look like beyond and in spite of the institutions that the state offers us.

The NLG urges folks who are newly engaging in abortion access advocacy to look to the leadership of long-time reproductive justice organizers. Reproductive justice activism has been ongoing for generations, predominantly envisioned, implemented, and led by Black women. The networks and knowledge cultivated by decades of organizing are and will remain an indispensable part of creating genuinely equitable and just abortion access; it is urgent that new activists support these efforts rather than co-opting them. 

Below, we’ve included more resources on reproductive justice organizations that you can support and learn more from.

Resources for folks looking to offer support:

  • National Network of Abortion Funds: a resource to locate local abortion funds to donate to or receive help from and find answers to questions about insurance coverage, clinics, and abortion pills
  • Keep Our Clinics: a campaign to support community-based healthcare clinics that provide abortions; many of these clinics in states with conservative legislatures face major loss of funding and closures after the official opinion is issued, despite often providing other necessary medical services to the community
  • Indigenous Women Rising: an organization defending Native & Indigenous People’s inherent right to equitable and culturally safe health options through accessible health education, resources, and advocacy
  • SisterSong: an organization working to strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights
  • Taller Salud: a community based feminist organization dedicated to improving women’s access to health care, to reducing violence within the community and to encourage economic growth through education and activism

*Resources for folks seeking support:

  • If/When/How’s Repro Legal Helpline: a hotline and website dedicated to helping people navigate the legal complexities of abortion
    • Note: this helpline also has a web form for D/deaf helpline users and anybody else who cannot or would prefer not to receive a phone call
  • National Network of Abortion Funds: a resource to locate local abortion funds to donate to or receive help from and find answers to questions about insurance coverage, clinics, and abortion pills
  • INeedAnA.com: a web-based resource for locating an abortion provider
  • M+A Hotline: a call- or text-based hotline for support self-managing abortion or miscarriages
  • Emergency contraceptive weight limit comparisons and alternatives: a Healthline article outlining different weight limits for different emergency contraceptives, with alternative recommendations
    • Note: this article cites medical research on BMI, which is a eugenicist metric we do not endorse; we have included this because not all emergency contraception resources are transparent about weight-based exclusion

*Overall note on resource helplines: though all listed resources promise confidentiality, they do not explicitly state a policy against wellness checks. If you are in need of mental health support rather than legal or resource guidance, Trans Lifeline is currently the only national helpline with a policy against wellness checks. Though we are including these resources in this list, we cannot formally vouch for their services.

Please direct any questions and media inquiries to communications@nlg.org

The post NLG Statement Against Overturning Roe v. Wade and in Support of Comprehensive Reproductive Freedom first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

Becoming Abolitionists: NLG Reading Group Guide

View the original list from Derecka Purnell and publisher by clicking here.

As your chapters and committees get started on reading and engaging with Derecka Purnell’s Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom, please feel free to use these discussion questions to guide your conversations.

  1. In Becoming Abolitionists, Derecka Purnell shares her own initial skepticism about police abolition. Did you have doubts when you first thought about abolishing prisons and police? Have your beliefs changed since then?
  2. Purnell gives a brief synopsis of the development and function of policing, from the wake of slavery to the present. What are some of the purposes police have served in the midst of struggles such as the movement to abolish slavery, the civil rights movement, and the Ferguson uprisings? What role did you see police play during the 2020 uprisings?
  3. In sharing some of the conversations she had while organizing, Purnell shows how important it is to unpack the root causes of harm. Think about the harms that most worry or frighten you in your community. What might their root causes be, and what might be some ways to address them? Are there ways you already see your community addressing the sources of harm or harmful behaviors without the police?
  4. In times of protest and uprisings, government leaders often turn to the same scripts. What is this script? Have you seen leaders use such a script? How did this script reemerge during the 2020 uprisings? How was the response to the 2020 uprisings different from uprisings in the past?
  5. What are some of the problems with popular police reforms in the wake of protests, such as body cameras, “community policing,” and increasing diversity and training of police forces? Why are these responses inadequate? How do they affirm, rather than challenge, police power?
  6. What are some of the ways Purnell responds to and reframes common questions from those who are skeptical of abolition, such as “What about the murderers?” or “What about the rapists?” What might you say if someone asked you the same questions? 
  7. What was the Harriet Tubman Collective’s critique of the first version of the Movement for Black Lives platform? Why must disability justice be a central framework for abolitionists? How does policing not only target disabled people but also create disability?
  8. What are the features of Purnell’s vision for neighborhoods? Which of these does your neighborhood have? What would you add?
  9. How did you think about abolition when you began reading Becoming Abolitionists? How was that understanding changed, challenged, or reinforced? What are you taking away from this book?
  10. As a member of the NLG, how do you think the organization can best apply its resolutions to abolish police and prisons? What efforts are your Guild chapter or Committee making toward this end? What more can be done?
The post Becoming Abolitionists: NLG Reading Group Guide first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

Action Toolkit: Help stop political prisoner Eric King’s transfer to unsafe facility

Activist and political prisoner Eric King is currently at risk of transfer to USP Lee, a high security facility where Eric would be at risk of physical violence. In solidarity with his team, we are asking that NLG members and allies use this action toolkit to take a stand against Eric’s transfer.

This toolkit contains: a list of people and facilities to contact; sample letters and phone scripts; and background information on the case and Eric’s transfer.

This toolkit can also be found on the Support Eric King website.

Places and people to contact:

DSCC Office
Designation & Sentence Computation Center
U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Complex
346 Marine Forces Dr.
Grand Prairie, TX 75051
Email: GRA-DSC/PolicyCorrespondence@bop.gov
Phone: 972-352-4400
Fax: 972-352-4395

Mid-Atlantic BOP Regional Office
302 Sentinel Dr,
Annapolis Junction, MD  20701 

Email: MXRO-ExecAssistant@bop.gov
Phone: 301-317-3100
Fax: 301-317-3119 

BOP National Office
320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC  20534 

Email: info@bop.gov
Phone: 202-307-3198 

BOP Director Michael Carvajal
c/o Michael Carvajal
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St. NW
Washington, DC 20534

Email: mcarvajal@bop.gov

USP Lee
Main public contact: lee-execassistant@bop.gov
Warden Breckon: mbreckon@bop.gov
Assistant Warden Streeval: jstreeval@bop.gov
Phone: 276-546-0150
Fax: 276-546-9115

BOP Mid-Atlantic Regional Director James Petrucci
Email: jpetrucci@bop.gov

Judiciary subcomittee that oversees the Bureau of Prisons and sentencing
https://judiciary.house.gov/subcommittees/subcommittee/?SubcommitteeID=14927

Virginia Senators to Contact (USP Lee Jurisdiction)
Tim Kaine
Email: https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion
Twitter: @TimKaine
231 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4024 

Mark. R Warner
Email: https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactPage
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarkRWarner
Twitter: @MarkWarner
IG: https://www.instagram.com/senatorwarner/
703 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2023 

VA Congress
Morgan Griffith
https://morgangriffith.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm
Twitter: @RepMGriffithAbingdon
Phone: (276) 525-1405
540-381-5671
(202) 225-3861

Missouri Senators (Eric’s original sentencing district)
Josh Hawley
https://www.hawley.senate.gov/contact-senator-hawley
Office: 202-224-6154
Twitter: @HawleyMO

Roy Blunt
https://www.blunt.senate.gov/contact/contact-roy
Phone: (202) 224-5721
Twitter: @RoyBlunt

Missouri Congress and Members of House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security; Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Cori Bush
Phone: (314) 955-9980
Phone: (202) 225-2406
Twitter: @coribush

Links to find your State’s Representatives:
House of Representatives
Congress/Senate

Sample letter (can be adapted to a phone call script)

To whom it may concern,  

I am writing about my friend who is a prisoner in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. His name is Eric King, inmate number 27090-045. He was recently found not guilty on all counts at a trial in the U.S. District of Colorado. Eric was moved from FCI Englewood and is currently being transferred from a private facility, Grady County Jail in Oklahoma. He has been told he is en route to USP Lee, a maximum security prison in Virginia. 

I am writing because I believe Eric should not be sent to USP Lee, and would be in danger if he were sent there. He is scheduled to be released from prison in December 2023, and wants to avoid anything that would infringe on this release date. 

There is an active threat against his life. A few years ago, before being sent to Colorado, Eric was held in the Segregation Unit at USP Lee for approximately two weeks. Before that, at USP Atlanta, a white supremacist gang member told him he would be killed at USP Lee if he was released into general population. This was documented at USP Lee. 

It is imperative that Eric not be put in harm’s way. I am asking that you not send him into a situation that is so dangerous. The Bureau of Prisons knows this and there is established case law regarding the BOP sending someone into dangerous and life threatening scenarios. See Fitzharris v. Wolf, 702 F.2d 836, 839 (9th Cir. 1983); Gullatte v. Potts, 654 F.2d 1007, 1012-13 (5th Cir. 1981); Roba v. U.S., 604 F.2d 215, 218-19 (2d Cir. 1979). 

Additionally, Eric is in this situation because of a bogus maximum management variable on his security profile. This has him erroneously being sent to a facility beyond his actual security level. He has no pending charges and no incident reports. He intends to be released to Colorado to live with his wife and his two children in just over a year. I ask that this management variable be removed so that he can be sent to a medium- or low-custody prison close to home and begin preparing for release. 

I am afraid for my friend Eric’s life if he is sent to USP Lee and I am asking that you intervene with the Bureau of Prisons and ask them not to send Eric King into harm’s way by sending him to USP Lee. 

Eric is represented by the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC): Lauren, Sara, and Sandy. They can be contacted at this link respectfully: https://cldc.org/contact/ . If you would like to give them a call please use the CLDC number: 541-687-9180.

Please help my friend.

Sincerely,
[Name]

What to expect on the phone

The BOP may give a response saying that Eric is a maximum custody prisoner with a “vast disciplinary record” and needs to be designated for imprisonment at a maximum facility to be held in segregation with his communication strictly limited.

  • “Mr. King is currently pending prosecution for assaulting a Lieutenant at FCC Colorado” Eric King was found not guilty on 3/18/22.
  • “Mr. King is a maximum security level inmate” The only reason Eric is designated as a maximum-security prisoner is due to the BOP giving Eric a disciplinary write-up for the incident that he was acquitted for.
  • “Inmate King has received over 20 disciplinary infractions for the past 2 years” Eric has not had a disciplinary infraction in almost 2 years.
Background on case and letter from Amnesty International

Eric King was COVID swabbed by guards at Grady County Jail in Oklahoma on the afternoon of April 13th, meaning imminent transfer to federal prison. Eric has been transferred and en route to maximum security USP Lee in Virginia despite being threatened there by white supremacists and the Federal Bureau of Prisoners (BOP) knowing of this risk.

Eric has made it very clear that doing a “check-in” with BOP or being in the SHU at USP Lee away from general population is not a way to guarantee his safety; he can still easily be isolated in cells with white supremacists and is at risk for having more extreme mail bans, phone bans, no visitations, and no reading materials. Even if Eric had a slim chance of being shipped to a place other than USP Lee, there’s still a risk due to Eric’s extensive history of targeting from white supremacist inmates and prison guards, as well as BOP attempting to keep Eric’s treatment under the radar. We need eyes on Eric now more than ever as he approaches release in December 2023.

On behalf of Eric, Amnesty International’s USA Deputy Director of Research specified in a recent letter to BOP’s Director Michael Carvajal about Eric’s recent acquittal at his federal jury trial last March for acts of self-defense when attacked by guards at FCI Florence, noted his lack of disciplinary sanctions these last two years, and the known threat to his life if he is placed at USP Lee:

“Transferring Eric King to a maximum-security facility across the country, far from his family and loved ones when he has such a short amount of time remaining on his sentence seems to be more retaliatory and punitive rather than necessary due to specific security concerns. Under Rule 59 of the UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners, “Prisoners shall be allocated, to the extent possible, to prisons close to their homes or their places of social rehabilitation.” The BOP must revisit the issues within Eric King’s security profile which allow his eligibility to be at a maximum-security facility and the decision for him to be placed so far from where his family resides and where he intends to settle upon release.” Please SHARE the letter in its entirety here.

We need people to contact the BOP and state representatives EVERY DAY. Together we could request our own state representatives to have Eric placed in a prison that’s within their state’s jurisdiction. They can pressure their colleagues and hold them accountable to addressing Eric’s right to life. We need people to keep emailing and calling the Bureau of Prisons, USP Lee, representatives that are members of The Subcommittee overseeing the BOP, and Virginia senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

The post Action Toolkit: Help stop political prisoner Eric King’s transfer to unsafe facility first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

NOW OPEN: 2022 Weinglass Memorial Fellowship Application

NLG Leonard I. Weinglass Memorial Fellowship
2022 Announcement and Application Instructions

Leonard I. Weinglass (1933-2011) was a criminal defense attorney and constitutional law advocate. Over the course of his career, he represented political activists, government opponents, and criminal defendants— including Angela Davis, the Cuban Five, the Chicago Seven, the Pentagon Papers defendants, and the death row appeals of Mumia Abu-Jamal—in a half century of politically significant cases. He was a longtime Guild member and served as Chair of the NLG International Committee.

Thanks to a generous bequest from the Weinglass estate, the NLG Foundation established a fellowship for recent law graduates. Each year, one fellow receives a stipend to work for the NLG on a specific civil rights or civil liberties project. Previous fellows have developed projects to assist with parole and sponsorship for LGBTQ+ migrantsreunite American citizen-children with undocumented parents who have been deported to their country of origin, support community bond fundsfight a new maximum security prison planned for construction on a former coal mining site, develop an environmental justice legal defense and action plan, and create a Federal Repression Toolkit for NLG Chapters.

Eligibility
The Weinglass Fellowship is open to all NLG members who have graduated from law school in the past five years. Applicants must be current in their NLG dues.* Applicants must develop a project with the sponsorship of an NLG entity, which includes NLG Chapters/Regions, Committees/Projects,** and the NLG National Office. The sponsoring entity agrees to collaborate with the fellow to create a project and to offer (or assist to help locate) a working space for the Fellow over the course of their project.

Award
One Fellow is chosen annually and receives a $4,250 award to work on a 10-week project that is in line with the mission of the NLG and the career of Leonard Weinglass. The Fellow will also receive free registration for one year to the NLG Law for the People Convention and will be highlighted on the Guild website, social media sites, and Guild Notes.

Application
To apply for the NLG Leonard I. Weinglass Memorial Fellowship, email the following materials to Director of Research and Education Traci Yoder at traci@nlg.org by Monday May 23, 2022:

  • Cover letter describing your previous experience and reasons you are applying
  • Current resume (no more than 3 pages)
  • Essay between 1,000-1,500 words describing your proposed project
  • Contact information for two references
  • Letter from the NLG entity who will be sponsoring your project

Selection and Notification
The Fellowship winner will be chosen by a committee composed of NLG Foundation Board members, NLG National Executive Committee members, and representatives from the NLG National Office. The committee will review the applications with an eye toward projects that meet the fellowship criteria, address a relevant and timely issue, and further the NLG’s mission of people’s lawyering and placing human rights and ecosystems over property interests. The fellowship recipient will be notified in June.

*To join or renew, go to nlg.org/join. If you are unsure of your membership status, please email NLG Director of Membership Lisa Drapkin at membership@nlg.org.

**NLG Projects include the National Police Accountability Project, the National Immigration Project, and the Sugar Law Center.

NLG National Office

The post NOW OPEN: 2022 Weinglass Memorial Fellowship Application first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

#WAMI2022 Roundup

NLG Law Students Highlight Connections between Mass Incarceration and the Housing Crisis

For the 2022 Week Against Mass Incarceration (Feb. 28-March 4), NLG Law School Chapters organized around the theme of “Mass Incarceration and the Housing Crisis” to explore the intersections of housing policy, evictions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the criminalization of poverty in the perpetuation of the mass incarceration crisis.

WAMI 2022 was co-sponsored by the NLG Housing and Homelessness Committee, which works to advance the principle that housing is a human right. The committee supports the efforts of communities advocating for and creating access to safe, affordable, and adequate housing for all people. The committee aims to provide legal support to grassroots movements organizing around self-determination, tenants’ rights, foreclosure resistance, squatting/homesteading, homelessness rights, property redistribution, and other housing and land use issues.

Read below for highlights, and thank you to our law students and speakers for your fantastic work this past week!

#WAMI2022 highlights:

The post #WAMI2022 Roundup first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

NLG Statement of Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) strongly supports the sovereign Wet’suwet’en nation in demanding an end to Canada’s militarized occupation of their lands and a complete halt to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, as outlined in their recent submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have unilaterally opposed the Coastal Gaslink pipeline and have not consented to its construction. By licensing and building the pipeline anyway, the Canadian government is violently disregarding Wet’suwet’en sovereignty. Wet’suwet’en land defenders and allies are condemning both the environmentally disastrous consequences of this pipeline project and the illegal invasion of their sovereign, unceded territory; in response, Canada has arrested, jailed, evicted, and surveilled Wet’suwet’en land defenders. It is impossible to separate the ecological harm from the anti-Indigenous violence caused by the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, because they are intertwined impacts of settler-colonial resource extraction.

Now is a critical moment for the international community to rally together in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation. The NLG joins many other organizations in demanding that Canada be held to the standards outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by recognizing the sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en nation and their right to govern their own land. However, the NLG also recognizes that liberation of Indigenous peoples globally will require that we both meet and exceed UNDRIP. To work toward justice beyond what the law currently has to offer, the NLG asks that members and allies look to mutual aid efforts to provide more comprehensive, restorative support to the Wet’suwet’en people and in their struggles to protect the planet and their sovereignty.

For more context and legal analysis, read the NLG International Committee’s 2020 Statement of Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People.

Wet’suwet’en-led calls for support:

Additional resources for learning more:

###

For any inquiries related to this statement or the NLG, please contact communications@nlg.org.

The post NLG Statement of Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

Black History & Black Futures: Resources for Black Legal Professionals and Organizers, Resources for Substantive Solidarity

As Black History Month comes to a close, we’re honoring the tremendous impact of Black legal workers, lawyers, law students, and community organizers who created and advanced the work of the NLG and other movement spaces. Our movements, the NLG included, would not exist without the work of Black radical organizers and legal professionals.

As we celebrate the many contributions Black leaders have made to the movement, we also acknowledge the barriers Black legal professionals face, even in progressive spaces. Radically honoring Black history means creating more just, more compassionate environments for Black revolutionaries to thrive in. To that end, we’ve compiled a living resource document as a small gesture toward improving the day-to-day conditions of current and future Black legal workers, lawyers, law students, and organizers.

This is an ongoing document; if you have more resources or recommendations, please email communications@nlg.org and we’ll update the page accordingly

Resources for Black law students, legal workers, lawyers, and organizers:

Resources for organizations strengthening racial justice work:

Solidarity for non-Black allies:

The post Black History & Black Futures: Resources for Black Legal Professionals and Organizers, Resources for Substantive Solidarity first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

NLG Labor & Employment Committee Statement Calling on Biden to Appoint Pro-Worker Justice to SCOTUS

When Joe Biden began his Presidential campaign at a labor union hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the then-candidate emphatically stated, “I am a Union man. Period.”  Biden promised that if elected, he would be the most pro-worker, “most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.”  

With his first opportunity to nominate a justice for a lifetime term to the Supreme Court of the United States, President Biden has laudably pledged to nominate the first Black woman to the Court.  This is an important commitment that should be celebrated. We, the Labor and Employment Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, further call on President Biden to make good on his promise to be a pro-union president and announce a nominee whose legal career demonstrates a commitment to advancing the interests of workers and unions, not corporations.

Too many judges in the federal courts, whether appointed by Democrat or Republican presidents, spent their careers at corporate firms representing corporate clients. As a result, the federal courts are often hostile to the legal claims of workers, or at best, are overly sympathetic to the legal positions of corporate defendants. It is no surprise that judges from corporate backgrounds, statistically, are significantly more likely to rule in favor of employers over employees.

As recent high-profile strikes challenge the longstanding, exploitative structure of American workplaces, it is especially urgent that workers and unions have a Supreme Court Justice who understands the uphill legal battle workers face when they bring their claims in federal court for workplace discrimination or unpaid wages. President Biden should name a nominee who has experience challenging the unfair labor practices of a union-busting employer at the National Labor Relations Board, not someone who has used their law degree to defend union-busting tactics.

We urge President Biden to nominate a pro-worker and pro-union justice to the Supreme Court who, like the National Lawyers Guild, values human and labor rights over property interests.

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Prisoner’s Legal Advocacy Network (PLAN) Not a Project of NLG

National Lawyers Guild (NLG) announces that the Prisoner’s Legal Advocacy Network (PLAN) is not a project of NLG and is not authorized to use NLG’s name in any of its activities. 

Via a letter sent to a PLAN representative on January 6, 2022, NLG raised certain concerns about PLAN activities and asked PLAN to cooperate with a process to address these issues. PLAN has now missed an extended deadline for its cooperation.

While NLG aspires to resolve all internal conflict via means of transformative justice and collaboration, these approaches require the cooperation of those involved. NLG must prioritize the needs and interests of incarcerated people and those most affected by the issues we target with our work.

For questions, please contact Katie Adamides, NLG Interim Executive Director, at director@nlg.org.

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Announcing the 2022 NLG Haywood Burns Fellows

The NLG National Office is thrilled to introduce our 2022 Haywood Burns Fellowship recipients! The Fellowships sponsor law students and legal workers to spend the summer working for public interest organizations across the country in order to build their legal skills, strengthen their long-term commitment to social justice, and provide much-needed legal support to under-served communities. This initial exposure to movement lawyering is often the single most significant event that influences a person’s decision to become a people’s lawyer.

This year we will send five fellows to work on projects focusing on environmental struggles, immigrant justice, food justice, representing social movements, and abolitionist criminal defense. Our fellows will be working at the law firms of movement lawyers and with social justice organizations including Honor the Earth, the Public Justice Food Project, and the Staten Island Legal Services Immigration Unit.

Your contribution to this important fellowship will make all the difference for new legal practitioners to engage in movement lawyering this summer and throughout their careers. Your financial support—which provides 100% of the project income—is essential to the program. Please make a donation today!

2022 Haywood Burns Fellows

Arabella Colombier is a student at Columbia Law School and a member of NLG’s CLS chapter, NLG-LA, and NLG-International Committee. Before law school, Arabella studied philosophy at McGill University, where she served as a board member of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group and worked as a program coordinator for public education and community engagement event series. At Columbia, Arabella has explored her interests in justice, care, and liberation as a student attorney in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and Abolition Practicum, an intern at Movement Law Lab and the COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium and Housing Policy Project, and a staff editor for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review (HRLR) and A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual. As a research assistant for the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, Arabella worked on Thunderhawk v. County of Morton, a class action about constitutional violations by law enforcement during the NoDAPL movement. She currently interns at the Center for Constitutional Rights, volunteers as an articles editor for HRLR, and organizes support in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders resisting the Coastal GasLink pipeline. She is grateful to receive the Haywood Burns Fellowship to support her internship at Honor the Earth, where she will assist with its Water Is Life campaigns.

Jamie Marsicano is a 1L at University of North Carolina School of Law. Jamie is a queer and trans organizer from Charlotte, NC. Before coming to law school, Jamie worked with mutual aid collective Charlotte Uprising to start a grassroots community bail fund that raises money to bail people out of jail and support them through court, regardless of charge. Jamie believes that no one should be in a cage, and dreams of a world where we can prevent and respond to harm in our communities without relying on prisons or police. Jamie plans to use a law degree to do criminal defense in NC. As a Haywood Burns fellow, Jamie will be working at the Law Office of Habekah B. Cannon, an explicitly abolitionist, public interest criminal defense firm. The goal is to be a movement lawyer, and this summer Jamie is lucky enough to support and learn from one of the best.

Eli Massey is a 1L at DePaul University. He sits on the board of the Chicago National Lawyers Guild chapter and is also involved with the DePaul NLG. Before beginning law school, Eli worked as a freelance journalist, researcher, and editor at the socialist magazine Current Affairs. Much of his work focused on the Middle East, terrorism, and the criminal punishment system. As a Haywood Burns fellow, Eli will spend his summer working for radical criminal defense attorney Stanley Cohen, whose past clients include Occupy Wall Street protesters, members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, East Village squatters, the Mohawk Warrior Society, ACT UP, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the IRA.

Jessica Olave is a first generation college student, the daughter of Colombian immigrants, and a 2L at Lewis & Clark Law School. During her undergraduate studies, Jessica worked on mayoral and congressional campaigns for Latinx candidates throughout Southern California. Before starting law school, Jessica volunteered on organic farms in New Zealand through WWOOF and as a site gardener at the Center for Environmental Research and Strategies in Melbourne, Australia. She then served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, collaborating with local farmers on developing sustainable agriculture practices. During law school, Jessica has been active in the Latinx Law Society, the Immigration Student Group, Women in Criminal Law, the Public Interest Law Project, the NLG expungement project, and the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. Jessica is a former fellow with Equal Justice Works Rural Summer Legal Corps, where she worked as the law clerk for Legal Aid of Oregon’s Farmworker Program. In this role, she worked extensively with migrant and seasonal farmworkers challenging discrimination in the workplace and advocating for their communities. Jessica is passionate about climate justice and amplifying the voices of the Latinx community. She is focusing on environmental law and immigration in order to advocate for climate migrants throughout her legal career. As a Haywood Burns Fellow, Jessica will be working with the Public Justice Food Project, using targeted litigation to support the larger “good food” movement and redress the structural and institutional inequities upon which the current food system is built.

Noor Zara Sheikh is a 2L student and graduate fellow at the City University of New York School of Law (CUNY Law). Noor is passionate about immigration law reform and aspires to be a movement and social justice lawyer for her community. At CUNY Law, Noor is a volunteer student attorney with the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) Clinic. She is also an active member of her law school, serving as a Student Government representative, Law Review staff editor, Race and Social Justice Orientation e-board member, South Asian Law Students Association e-board member, and Research Assistant for Professor Ramzi Kassem. Currently, Noor is a legal intern with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project. Last summer, Noor worked as a legal intern with the Vera Detained Minors program at The Door’s Legal Services Center, serving minors seeking asylum in the United States. Before law school, Noor worked as a case manager for survivors of intimate partner violence with the Arab American Family Support Center and Family Justice Centers. Noor completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology and Human Rights at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. At the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Noor completed her Human Rights honors thesis on the “Foreign Aid Industrial Complex.” Noor was born in Lahore, Pakistan and raised on Staten Island, New York. As a Haywood Burns Fellow, Noor will intern on Staten Island, New York with the Staten Island Legal Services’ (SILS) Immigration Unit to serve immigrant communities on the island and support SILS’s impact litigation work.

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