The National Lawyers Guild
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) was founded in 1937 as an association of progressive lawyers and jurists. It was the nation’s first racially integrated bar association and was one of the nongovernmental organizations selected by the U.S. government to represent the American people at the founding of the United Nations in 1945.
In the late 1940s and 1950s, Guild members founded the first national plaintiffs personal injury bar association, which became the American Trial Lawyers Association, and pioneered storefront law offices for low-income clients, which became the model for the community-based offices of the Legal Services Corporation.
In the 1960s, the Guild set up offices in the South and organized thousands of volunteer lawyers and law students to support the civil rights movement.
The Austin Lawyers Guild
Austin has had a National Lawyers Guild presence for decades. In 2011 with the events of Occupy Austin, there was a new flowering of interest in the local chapter.
The Austin Lawyers Guild is a local group – formed of private practice and nonprofit attorneys, law students, legal workers, activists, and community organizers – created to solve local problems. It is devoted to helping its members stay engaged with local activism.