NLG Projects for Student Chapters


Mass Defense

The Guild is well known for providing legal support and observation for actions and demonstrations. Recently in an effort to coordinate this work on a national level, our national mass defense committee was revived to share methods, aid in standardizing of trainings, and to help with larger event legal observing and support coordination. Law students are involved at all levels, from legal observing at local demonstrations to organizing legal support offices at large actions.

For the National committee contact: Heidi Boghosian 212/627-2656 ext 11, or Sarah Hogarth 212/614-6432 Or join the listserve by sending a blank email to . If you want to get involved in local legal observing or to arrange a training at your school contact your local chapter.

Secret Evidence Issues

The Immigration and Naturalization Service is able to use Secret evidence as well as undisclosed witnesses to deport and detain Immigrants including Permanent Residents. Guild legal workers, lawyers and students are working to fight this.

National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom c/o Kit Gage 301/587-7442

Loan RAP

Much of the reason less poor people and working class people are enrolling in Law Schools is the rising cost of tuition and the rising interest rates charged on loans. Getting active with the Guild to fight for loan forgiveness and tuition cuts can help to ensure that there is class and race diversity at your law school!

For the National Committee contact: Nathan Newman 212/627-2656 ext. 14

National Convention In Tucson Arizona

This year the annual convention for the Guild takes place in Tucson Arizona. Students can attend at a reduced rate and take part in the annual meeting of Guild students, the fabulous Law Student party, and panels, workshops, CLEs on many important and exciting topics. Also, major decisions including the election of officers, policy decisions etc. are made at the convention. Start organizing now to raise money to send members of your chapter to Tucson! Contact: the National Office at 212/627-2656 or check the website at

Adhoc Campaign to Impeach the Felonious Five

Guild members are organizing to impeach the Supreme Court judges who ‘elected’ our illegitimate president George W. Bush. Students are encouraged to get involved to assist with research, legal writing and strategy. (note this is not yet an official Guild Committee)

Contact: Riva Enteen 415/285-1055 or Nathan Newman 203/777-9704

Judicial Nominations Committee

This committee is conducting research on the nominees to the Supreme Court and disseminating information on the nominees. They need assistance in the conducting of this research, under the supervision of Guild Student VP Nathan Newman.

Contact: Nathan Newman 212/627-2656 ext. 14

Disability Rights Committee

Legal Practitioners and disabled working together for disabled rights. The Committee is considering a project involving assembling and digesting statutes, regulations, and cases on New York Civil commitment and mental patients rights law, for a manual for advocates and recipients, and are inviting law students, especially those in the New York city area to get involved. (Please note that the actual implementation of this project is somewhat dependent on student involvement).

Contact Aaron Frishberg 212/740-4544

Drug Policy Committee

A newly formed Guild committee working to stop the criminalization of poor people and people of color through the war on drugs. Hoping to be mostly made up of students, this committee encourages contact from student chapters.

Contact Steve Gotzler

Anti Federalist Committee

Federalist Groups are big on many campuses. Some of them are willing to debate issues in a public forum; others are more resistant to open dialogue and may require stronger tactics. Contact Nathan Newman at 212/627-2656 ext. 14

Human, Economic and Environmental Defense

The International Law Project for Human, Economic and Environmental Defense (HEED) is an arm of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles dedicated to using international law to protect the fundamental rights of present and future generations of human beings and the biosphere. Contact the Los Angeles Chapter at 213/736-1094,,

Center for Democratic Communications

Is devoted to protecting the right to communicate of all people, that is, the right of all people to a system of media and communications based on principles of democracy and cultural and informational self-determination, not dominated by commercial concerns. Contact 415/522-9814,

Labor and Employment Committee

One of our most active committees, the Labor and Employment Committee assists with cases for workers rights, as well as working with the labor movement on various struggles and issues. Contact Mika Spencer 619/233-1313 As well for anti-sweatshop information and organizing contact Nathan Newman at 203/777-9704

Jailhouse Lawyer Work

We are reorganizing our approach to Guild Jailhouse Lawyers and we are looking for help in rewriting our Jailhouse Lawyer Manual (a self help guide to litigation for prisoners) as well as student who can assist in answering Jailhouse Lawyer requests. Contact Angus Love 215/925-2966 or Mac Scott 212/627-2656 ext 14,

National Immigration Project

The National Immigration Project is a network of immigration lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers, and legal workers who work to end unlawful immigration practices, to recognize the contributions of immigrants in this country, to promote fair immigration practices, and to expand the civil and human rights of all immigrants, regardless of their status in the United States.

For the past seven years, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) has sent law students to South Florida, and more recently, to the U.S./ Mexico border to volunteer in agencies that are at the forefront in the fight for immigrants’ rights. These students have worked during winter and spring breaks with asylum seekers, detainees, and other noncitizens seeking immigration status. In this project, they employ advocacy skills in a context quite different from a clinic or classroom.

In addition, NIPNLG has joined efforts with the Detention Watch Network (DWN) to provide a greater diversity of opportunities for students who wish to work for the rights of immigrants by creating the Immigration Detainee Defense Initiative Directory.

Email or call 617/227-9727.

For information on student opportunities in NIP check the section marked "students" on their website:

Middle East Subcommittee

In early June 2001, the Middle East Subcommittee (MES) of the National Lawyers Guild was reconstituted with three new co-chairs. The three startup co-chairs intend to recruit additional Guild members to assist in four areas of initial focus: (1) federal immigration and refugee law and INS policies affecting immigrants from the Middle East;(2) support of congressional lobbying and litigation efforts under the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act as this relates to Israel;(3) support of work internationally for increased observance of human rights and humanitarian laws and conventions affecting peoples of the Middle East; and (4) exploring possibilities for improving dialogue with the emerging moderates in Iran.
Contact Dan Burnstein - npro1@ziplink.netZaha Hassan 

Guild Practitioner

The more theoretical of the two Guild Publications, Guild Practitioner deals with articles both on political issues, and on legal issues. They are looking for students to submit articles, and to assist with editing articles. Contact Marjorie Cohn at 619/297-9700 ext. 1516 fax: 858/484-0587

Anti-Death Penalty Committee

The Guild has a committee that fights the Death Penalty on many fronts. We are currently working on a major panel for the Tucson National Convention, and also on the Law Student Day Against the Death Penalty (see below). To contact the death penalty committee contact Carol Gray at or get on the listserve by sending a blank email to