Chapter Constitution



The CLS Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is an association dedicated to the support and defense of economic and social justice, and to progressive change rather than the acceptance of the status quo. We seek to educate ourselves and the community about issues affecting economic and social justice, provide law students with pro bono opportunities in support of these goals, and increase awareness of the CLS community on issues surrounding economic and social justice. We seek to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers of America in an organization which shall function as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that economic and social justice are basic human rights and must be protected and expanded.

II. Name

The name of this organization shall be the National Lawyers Guild, hereafter referred to as NLG.

III. Purpose and Goals

Purpose: Our aim is to bring together all those who regard economic and social justice as essential to the freedom of all people everywhere; who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the economic and social freedoms, protections, and rights of people everywhere upon whom the welfare of the human race depends; who seek actively to eliminate oppression of women, the poor, and people of color through restriction of economic and social rights specific to them; who seek justice and resist various sorts of oppressive assaults on economic and social justice, and 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 oppression, and seek protection and expansion of economic and social equality and rights in that vein.

III. Membership

Membership is open to all members of the Columbia Law School community B we currently have 90 group members. There shall be no arbitrary exclusion from membership on the basis of sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. All members of the law school are invited to be members.

IV. Government/ Elections

All NLG members are eligible to hold office. All NLG members can nominate and vote in the elections. Elections will be held each year in September to elect officers for that year. Those who are running will be required to writing a statement of their position at least one week prior to the election, which will be posted on the NLG bulletin board and distributed to the NLG e mail list. Elections shall be run by ballots. The positions shall last one year, although officers are free to run for office the following year. In the case of a tie, those who are running can choose to have a run-off election or share the position. Officers and voting members can create new elected positions when there is a need. A majority is needed to create a new position. An officer may be removed from office by proposal followed by a group-wide vote with 2/3 majority voting for removal.

The officers of NLG are registered CLS students; we are responsible for organizing NLG activities and ensuring that the CLS community is aware of NLG events.




Voting Members


V. Procedures

There will be at least three meetings held for all the members each semester. Officers shall meet at least once a month and whenever the need shall arise. All policy decisions shall first be made by consensus. If this is not possible, voting members shall be called to vote and the majority will win. Officers will present their position to the voting members, and, after a discussion, the voting members and officers will vote on the positions as a whole. Voting will be conducted through raising hands.