Get Involved During the DNC! Be a Legal Observer!

August 21, 2012

The stylish NLG Legal Observer headgear.

Are you looking for a way to get involved in a meaningful way during the DNC? How about helping the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a 75 year old legal institution, protect the civil rights of the thousands of citizens coming to demonstrate? The NLG needs your help in their Legal Observer program. Legal Observers are neutral, third-party observers that attend protests in order to document police-protester interaction. From the NLG website:

“The National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer program was established in 1968 in New York City in response to protests at Columbia University and city-wide antiwar and civil rights demonstrations. That same year, Guild students organized for the defense of people swept up in mass arrests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The Legal Observer program is part of a comprehensive 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.”

Guild member serves as an NLG Legal Observer during October mass arrests at Occupy Boston. Photo Credit to NLG Massachusetts. Photo by Tess Scheflan.

Training is very important to be an effective Legal Observer. Remember, the information you gather could be evidence in a demonstrator or arrestee’s future criminal trial or civil suit, so the information must be as complete and unimpeachable as possible. To this end the Charlotte Law chapter of the NLG will be hosting three Legal Observer trainings in the weeks leading up to the DNC. You only have to attend one to properly trained. The trainings will be held at Charlotte School of Law:

Thursday, August 23 – 5:30 PM, Room 244

Monday, August 27 – 5:30 PM, Room C 474

Friday, August 31 – 7:30 PM, Room 105

To volunteer, please visit the NLG Charlotte website at and fill out the volunteer info formIf you are not a CSL student, please Contact Us to let us know you’ll be attending a training.

Do your part to protect your community and help the NLG safeguard the First Amendment. As if being a defender of the Constitution wasn’t enough, CSL students can earn PRO BONO CREDIT for the time spent Legal Observing!

If you’re unsure about volunteering, just stop by one of our trainings to find out more. The NLG needs your help!  Contact Us or leave a comment if you have any questions.


%d bloggers like this: