NLG-Mass Students

The National Lawyers Guild-Mass Chapter encourages and welcomes the participation of students from local law schools. There are currently Law School Chapters at Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Northeastern, Suffolk, UMass Dartmouth, and Western New England.

Law School Chapters' Activities

Resistance Lawyering Series

This is a critical legal theory workshop series that revisits law cases and concepts studied during the first year of law school and determines how they construct and support systems of power and inequality.

Showing of "Whose Streets?"

A Law School Chapter put on a screening of this film about the killing of the unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, and the social uprising that followed. Following the film, a Ferguson activist joined the conversation via Skype to discuss the events surrounding the uprising.

Scrutinizing the Law

This was a forum to answer the questions, “What is a movement lawyer?” and “How to resist unfair laws?” It included discussions with legal professionals and grassroots organizers to determine collectively some best practices for legal professionals who want to work with communities struggling for justice.


The NLG-Mass Chapter offers trainings for law students to serve as Legal Observers at demonstrations, run Street Law Clinics for community agencies (see next section), work with the Litigation Committee on cases affecting disenfranchised communities, and participate in other NLG-Mass Chapter projects.

Street Law Clinics and Law Students

NLG-Mass Chapter attorneys and law students conduct Street Law Clinics (SLC) to educate people about their legal rights and methods of resistance. We train law students who, in turn, facilitate clinics with the support and presence of a NLG-Mass Chapter attorney. NLG Mass-Chapter attorneys conduct Direct Action Clinics and Legal Observer Trainings.

Participating in the SLC project gives law students the opportunity to become involved in vital civil rights work. The clinics take place in schools, union halls, shelters, places of worship, and other gathering places, and are tailored to meet the needs of those attending.

The clinics are interactive, engaging, and participant-focused. There are written materials; however, in the clinics we discuss the law as it reflects the lived experiences of the attendees and not merely as it appears in books. Clinics are generally two hours long, including a half hour Q&A session.

Street Law Clinic and Mass Defense Workshops:


Photo Credit: Carl Williams

Know Your Rights - Stop & Search Clinic:

This clinic examines people’s constitutional rights with regard to the police. Participants discuss methods of resistance and protection when targeted by police. This is NOT obedience training! We do not falsely promise that people will not be abused if they are quiet and obedient. Rather, we share information about what people can do when they are the victims of police misconduct and systemic racism. This workshop is aimed at youth, particularly youth of color, as well as concerned adults and service providers. The clinic covers your legal right against unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. It aims to answer these questions: When can police legally stop, detain, or arrest you? When can police legally search or frisk you? What are your rights if arrested and arraigned? What is the difference between the law and reality? How does a person file a complaint with internal affairs?



Photo Credit: Carl Williams

Direct Action Workshop

This clinic provides information to individuals and groups who plan to take direct action that may bring them into confrontation with law enforcement or risk of arrest through civil disobedience. Participants learn about specific laws in Massachusetts and arrest and court procedures relevant to various protests and demonstrations. We encourage people to make informed decisions about their participation in such actions and their responses to police tactics. The clinic is aimed at activists and organizers planning to take part in demonstrations and is conducted by a Guild lawyer.

Legal Observers

Legal Observer training.


Photo Credit: Carl Williams

Legal Observer Training

This training is for any legal professional or political activist who wants to serve as an NLG-Mass Chapter Legal Observer at political protests. Legal Observers work under the supervision of a NLG-Mass Chapter attorney and are an integral part of any legal team representing activists. Their presence at protests and other political actions can be a deterrent as they monitor and record acts of police misconduct.This workshop is aimed at law students, lawyers, and community members. It covers how to conduct oneself during an action, what to pay attention to, and how to assist people who are arrested. The Mass Defense Committee runs this training.

How to Become Involved

Law students who are interested in organizing a Law School Chapter or joining an existing chapter at their law school can contact us at Please click on the “Join the NLG-Mass Chapter” button below to become a member of the NLG-Mass Chapter at a special student membership rate.

If you or other students at your law school are interested in hosting a Street Law Clinic, or being trained to conduct a Street Law Clinic, please click on the “Apply to Host a Clinic or Receive Training” button to fill out an application.

If you or other students at your law school are interested in doing an internship or externship with NLG-Mass, please contact us at There are opportunities for students to work with the Litigation Committee and the Mass Defense Committee. Please click on the “Join the NLG-Mass Chapter” button below to become a member of the NLG-Mass Chapter at a special student membership rate.

Join the NLG MASS Chapter
Host a Clinic or Receive Traning Button

If you have any questions, email us at at or