Committees

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter has a number of active committees working in a variety of fields on the social justice front. If you are interested in any of the following issues, we encourage you to get in touch with the Committee's contact person.

For NLG committees organized largely at the national level, please see the committees list on the national site.

Anti-Racism Committee

Vision Purpose Statement: "The Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) of the National Lawyers Guild promotes understanding among white Guild members about the centrality of anti-racism to social justice lawyering. Towards this goal, ARC works to support The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) of the National Lawyers Guild and to implement The TUPOCC Alabama Manifesto principles of racial justice.

Center on Democratic Communications

The Center on Democratic Communications (CDC), a national NLG project based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a legal resource of the growing media democracy movement. The CDC is devoted to protecting the right of all people to communicate, including their right to a media system based on principles of democracy and cultural and informational self-determination that is not dominated by commercial interests.

Committee Against Torture

Legal advocates, military leaders and politicians have increasingly advocated for torture as a legitimate interrogation technique - particularly within the George W. Bush administration and particularly since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The NLGSF Committee Against Torture exists to counter this advocacy and advance ideas which had been almost universally accepted until recent years: torture of prisoners is a criminal act that is never justified; and all people deserve due process.

Demonstrations Committee

The Demonstrations Committee won the Bay Guardian award in 1998 for "Best Folks to Call if you're Arrested for Civil Disobedience Award." We provide legal support and trainings to progressive groups organizing demonstrations or direct actions; offer legal observer trainings to law students, lawyers and activists; work to respond to police misconduct and protect the right to dissent.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee oversees the Chapter's financial state of affairs, including the budget and fundraising efforts. Related committees include the Sustainer Committee and Testimonial Dinner Committee. New membership is welcome. To join the Finance Committee contact David Borgen at borgen@gdblegal.com or 510-763-9800.

Immigration Committee

The Immigration Committee supports the rights of immigrants throughout the Bay Area. We oppose efforts to detain and deport people based on their immigration status. These efforts increasingly mimic criminal enforcement and punishment, yet individuals in immigration proceedings are not afforded all the rights of criminal defendants. We work to improve the laws affecting immigrants and to inform the public about the rights all of us, including immigrants, retain. The Committee has also initiated a Court Watch Project for law students.

Labor & Employment Committee

The Labor & Employment Committee serves as a liaison between the Guild, organized labor and various labor and employment legal groups. We collaborate with the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee [LCC], the National Employment Law Association [NELA], and other professional associations on the national and local level.

NextGen Committee (formerly known as the Mentorship Committee)

The chapter’s NextGen Committee seeks to serve as a catalyst for active communication between law school chapters, recent graduates, long-time Guild members and the various Board committees. Through regular meetings and occasional sponsored events, including the annual Mentorship Cocktail Party, the goal of the Committee is to grow the Guild by building lasting, inspiring relationships between Bay Area NLG members. The Committee will provide opportunities for NLG members to share ideas, solicit advice, find a mentor or mentee and explore opportunities for partnership in local projects.

Police & Prisons

The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter's Committee on Police & Prisons exists to challenge oppressive practices, policies and laws of law enforcement, prisons and jails used against communities of color, prisoners, and others. It does so by supporting community activists and building member capacity to support and be a part of movements for human rights and civil liberties. It's priorities include:

Steel Internship Committee

Every summer for over a decade the Bay Area chapter has hosted a paid intern to work on queer and LGBT issues. The internship was conceived as a permanent memorial to the work and life of Tom Steel, a former president of the San Francisco Bay Area Guild Chapter and National vice-president of the Guild, who died in the summer of 1998. Tom was also a founder of BALIF, which was the nation’s first lesbian & gay bar association and the NLG’s Gay Caucus, which is now called the Queer Caucus.