NLG Hiring Mass Defense Director (NY National Office)

Director of Mass Defense of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG)

Grant-funded position

The NLG is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. We seek to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.

Reporting to the National Office Executive Director, the Director of Mass Defense is responsible for the coordination and implementation of all aspects of the NLG’s national protest support program. This includes soliciting and organizing lawyers and legal workers nationally to collaborate in support of protests and mass demonstrations. The Director of Mass Defense will be responsible for the coordination of our legal observer program, organizing jail support and securing defense attorneys for those arrested at political actions.


The position is largely an organizing position and will involve a substantial amount of travel, building with allied community based organizations, drafting press releases and other statements and growing our network of mass defense attorney across the nation.


This full time position (35 hours/ week) position requires a passionate, detail oriented person with strong writing and communication skills. The ability to complete intricate, sometimes tedious tasks with minimal supervision is essential.




-       Create a legal defense manual for online activists

-       Expand Mass Defense Director’s public speaking role at law schools and conferences

-       Create and publicize Mass Defense Brief Bank

-       Update/revise Legal Observer Handbook

-       Oversee reprinting of KYR handbooks

-       Distribute know your rights material and LO hats to local chapters  

-       Write articles on NLG Mass Defense efforts for media

-       Administer Mass Defense listserv (i.e., monitoring conversations)  (legal observers and mass defense attorneys are not all members)

-       Act as point person for national  #blacklivesmatter movement 

-       Coordinating efforts of staffed chapters, organize on-call mass defense lawyer referral list for at large regions that is separate from our general referral list

-       Meet with the NLG’s United People of Color Caucus and the NLG’s mass defense steering committee on a monthly basis

-       Support, as needed, the work of staffed NLG chapters.


Prepare for RNC/DNC 2016


-       Create national organizing committee for RNC/DNC prep

-       Coordinate and/or create (as needed) local organizing committees

-       Prepare fundraiser for RNC/DNC efforts (set up legal office in Cleveland)

-       Coordinating with staffed chapters, Recruit and train national and local legal teams and local Legal Observers


Litigation Program


-       Develop an NLG “Litigation Support” program for member attorneys. 

-    Consider taking on ongoing litigation as the National Lawyers Guild with the support of the Executive Director.




-       3-5 years professional experience preferable in community organizing, community engagement, and movement building.

-       Familiarity with constitutional and 1st amendment law and organizing.

-       Excellent organizational and time management skills.

-       Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.

-       Excellent writing skills and strong communication skills.

-       Experience collaborating effectively with internal and external constituencies – especially lawyers, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers.

-       Strong skills in computer programs, accounting software, Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, and CiviCRM preferred.

-       Meticulous attention to detail.

-       Ability to see larger picture and set goals to consistently improve experience in conjunction with being able to manage daily details.


Salary and Benefits:


The National Lawyers Guild is a member of the National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320.  The salary range for this 35-hour/week position is $40,000. The employer pays full medical benefits. Starting benefits include four weeks vacation,seven personal days and 11 Holidays  annually. 


How to Apply:

Candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume and one writing sample to: by December 15, 2015.


The National Lawyers Guild is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. People of color, trans people, women, people with intersex conditions or DSDs, people who have lived in poverty, people with disabilities, immigrants, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer people are strongly encouraged to apply.