The Palestine Exception: “Free Speech” on Campus and The Suppression of Pro-Palestinian Voices

Featured NLG representatives from Massachusetts and New York City, CAIR, and ACLU.
Held on Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Harvard Law School National Lawyers Guild Chapter held an event on campus, titled the “Palestine Exception: Free Speech and the Suppression of Pro-Palestinian Voices,” featuring attorneys from the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the National Lawyers Guild-Massachusetts Chapter … Read more>>

JJ Sharpe – 2024 NLG Student Honoree

1. When were you first introduced to the Guild?

I was first introduced to the Guild when I first entered law school. I was struggling with reconciling the desire I have for change and the way the law was structured. So much of first-year classes are taught in a manner that the “law is the law” no matter who it … Read more>>

Jenna Dwy – 2024 NLG Student Honoree

1. When were you first introduced to the Guild?

I first found the Guild during law school orientation week. I saw the Suffolk Law chapter of the Guild (“NLGSU”) at the organization fair, spoke with one of the members, and was hooked!

2. Who/what encouraged you to join the Guild?

I have always been eager to utilize my privilege. When … Read more>>

Michael Allen – 2024 NLG Student Honoree

1. When were you first introduced to the Guild?

I first learned about the Guild when I was applying to law schools. I was reaching out to current students at all sorts of different schools, and a NUSL student told me about it.

2. Who/what encouraged you to join the Guild?

I joined NLG because it seemed like a group … Read more>>

Social Gathering at Democracy Brewing

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NLG-Mass Chapter’s Independent Organizing Network (I.O.N.)

Q & A with I.O.N.’s Co-Founders: Tyler Daguerre, Dave Runkle, and Nick Adams

1. Will you please provide a brief summary of the mission/purpose of I.O.N.?

To support independent union organizing campaigns by developing comprehensive networks of legal support, educational resources, and trainings to empower workers to know their rights, efficiently navigate administrative and legal systems, and feel confident in … Read more>>

Mass Dissent – Litigation Committee Update

As a result of our latest (and third) lawsuit against the Boston Police Department under the Massachusetts Freedom of Information Act, we recently received a list of every complaint against BPD officers from 2011 to present. Each complaint provides the officer’s name, the date and description of the complaint, and the disposition.

Thanks to five undergraduate students from Harvard College, … Read more>>

The Year In Review for the NLG Mass Defense Committee

by Josh Raisler-Cohn and Jeff Feuer

Over the last 12 months the volunteer lawyers and law students of our Mass Defense Committee (MDC) have once again risen to meet the needs of the on-going movements for racial, economic, gender, and climate justice. We continued our longstanding work across the state providing trainings, supplying trained Legal Observers™, representing people in court, … Read more>>

Chris DiOrio – NLG-Mass Chapter’s Litigation Committee’s New Staff Attorney

Chris DiOrio has been on the front lines of fighting for individual rights for over thirty years. Chris started his career as a Legal Aid Society public defender in New York City, then moved to Massachusetts where he has been a trial attorney, as well as a civil rights and liberties and constitutional law professor, educating students from 8 to … Read more>>

The Massachusetts Chapter of the NLG Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza

The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) mourns the tremendous loss of life in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel over the past month.  We grieve the lives of those already lost, wish for freedom for those in captivity, and remain committed to a future where every life is recognized as precious, and all people live in freedom … Read more>>

Testimony of Judy Somberg on behalf of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild in opposition to Bill H.1558, An Act relative to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism

December 5, 2023

To Chairman James Eldridge, Chairman Michael Day, and members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
I am writing to ask you to oppose Bill H.1558, An Act relative to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.
I am submitting this testimony on behalf of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. For over 80 … Read more>>


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Using Machine Learning to Illuminate Patterns in BPD Complaints Data

During the Fall 2023 semester, the NLG-MA Litigation Committee partnered with the Boston University Spark! program on a project to use machine learning to analyze complaints against the Boston Police Department. Spark! is an interdisciplinary program for undergraduates combining artificial intelligence, data science, and investigative journalism approaches to help organizations with real-world data projects. This project represents one facet of … Read more>>

Mass Dissent – AJTF Update


NLG-Mass’ Abortion Justice Task Force (AJTF) was established in response to the Dobbs decision.  The AJTF is currently researching the most pressing legal questions for those seeking an abortion, helping with accessing an abortion, and performing abortions in Massachusetts.  Additionally, AJTF is researching the added legal concerns for more vulnerable populations, such as … Read more>>

UMass Dartmouth Law School

This year, our student chapter has hosted a wide range of events. In the spring semester, we hosted a movie screening “Philadelphia” to help raise awareness about employment discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. We also hosted a panel on the “School to Prison Pipeline” where we brought in speakers from Massachusetts Advocates for Children, CPCS Youth Advocacy Division, Citizens for Juvenile … Read more>>

Suffolk Law School

Suffolk University Law School’s NLG Chapter has been busy organizing and advocating this year.  The goal was to bolster our ranks and try to build out our operational capacity.  This goal has been largely achieved and we’re hoping to turn our attention towards even bigger and bolder ideas.

Our semester started with Disorientation event in September.  We had the opportunity … Read more>>

Northeastern Law School

The NLG student chapter at Northeastern has been quite busy these past months.  Throughout last September, NLG members at Northeastern participated in Election Observing as the greater Northeastern community voted on a Graduate Worker Union;  on September 30th, our members attended the NLG Student Brunch hosted by the NLG-Mass Chapter at Andala Cafe in Cambridge;  we participated in the MA … Read more>>

Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School NLG is going strong, with an executive board of 7 students and two dozen students who have attended our general body meetings.

In the Fall 2023 semester, HLS NLG recruited 36 students and community members for NLG Legal Observer training, conducted by NLG-Mass Chapter Co-Chair Melinda Drew.  Our members participated as Legal Observers in over 20 protest … Read more>>

Boston University Law School

Boston University chapter of the National Lawyer Guild has been very busy this year.  At our general meeting we planned what we wanted to do this last semester.

In addition to hosting the NLG Disorientation event for first year students, we also organized a “Know Your Rights” training for BU students, held a phone bank for Gaza, and our members … Read more>>


We’re having a big organizing committee meeting on Friday, where we will hash out all of our plans to wrap up 2023 and hit the ground running with tangible next steps for 2024 (including ironing out our budget).

I would say the main things to share for I.O.N. this month are:

We’re seeking attorneys, law students, and organizers who are pro-union… Read more>>

Fighting for Police Accountability:

2023 Retrospective and 2024 Agenda

            Mass NLG fought for police accountability through four public records-based projects in 2023—three of which will continue in 2024. The three continuing projects are comprised of two public records issues about notorious Boston protests involving right-wing extremists and wounded citizens, as well as Mass NLG’s broader inquiry into all complaints against the Boston Police … Read more>>

State of the Guild – Mass Chapter – 2023

As always, the Mass Chapter of the NLG has had a busy year.  With the support of our members, we have achieved several goals and are making progress on others.  See details below.

Our active Committees have been continually busy.  The Mass Defense Committee volunteer lawyers have provided legal advice to dozens of activist groups and free representation to arrested … Read more>>

Stop Cop City: Conversation with Local Activist

Imagine enjoying yourself at a music festival with your friends and comrades, and then cops swarm in and start randomly arresting people without any probable cause. What was the charge – domestic terrorism!

This is what Alex experienced when he went to Atlanta to stand in solidarity with fellow activists and organizers opposing Cop City. 

Prior to this gathering of … Read more>>


Since mid-October, the NLG Mass Defense Committee has been working non-stop to assist local political activists, students, health care professionals, and interfaith organizations in providing them with everything they need, so they could continue their fight for ceasefire in Gaza and against the war.

Legal Observers served at over 30 actions related to the war on Gaza and the crisis … Read more>>



On Thursday, October 19, the NLG-Mass Chapter’s Mass Defense Committee (MDC) welcomed nearly 40 NLG members and allies – lawyers, legal workers, law students, and activists – to its first ever “Defenders, Unite” social gathering at Beantown Pub in Boston.

The event provided a great opportunity for the MDC members to chat and discuss the Committee’s work with … Read more>>