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NLG-SFBA | Membership

Become a Member

The National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF), seeks to unite law students, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers and attorneys to function as an effective political and social force to protect and defend communities, social justice movements, and the political and grassroots organizations and activists organizing for those rights.   

As a member of NLGSF, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Discounted rates on progressive MCLE programming; 
  • Updates on current events and programs in the Bay Area legal and movement communities through our weekly online newsletter;
  • Invitations to members-only events;
  • Access to NLGSF listservs, including our job board; and 
  • Voting rights in local and national elections. 

If you have any questions about becoming a member of the NLGSF, please contact our Membership Coordinator at membership@nlgsf.org, or (415) 285-5067 Ext 2.

The National Lawyers Guild is an association 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 of America in an organization which shall function as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests. Our aim is to bring together all those who regard adjustments to new conditions as more important than the veneration of precedent; who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, farmers, and minority groups upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.

The NLG is a diverse group of legal workers, activists, and lawyers whose values coalesce around a central principle: Human Rights over Property Rights. We are not an organization that condemns or judges tactics of protestors.  We do not equate things like property destruction with “violence” as we recognize that the history of land and property ownership have themselves been acts of violence, existing through layers of slavery and unpaid labor on stolen and colonized lands. We also support the right to resist and right to self- and community defense. When people rise up against a society that has excluded, oppressed, brutalized and exploited them in service of property and profit, we do not condemn their unwillingness to abide by the rules protecting both. We believe that their responses can become a collective act of self-defense in response to historic, systemic and institutionalized aggression. 

Membership Types

Jailhouse Lawyer Member: Free Membership
(An individual currently incarcerated who is knowledgeable about the law and is a self-advocate and/or provides legal advocacy for other prisoners.)

Law Student / Activist Member: $15 per year
(An individual currently enrolled in law school.)

Legal Observer Member: $10 – $25 per year
(An individual who has been trained and vetted by NLG-SF as a Legal Observer. No one turned away for lack of funds. Contact membership@nlgsf.org to request assistance.)

Legal Worker Member: $25 – $50 per year
(An individual not licensed to practice law but is regularly engaged in advocacy, organizing or legal support work.)

Community Partner Membership: $25 – 50 per year
(An individual or an organization that supports and partners with the NLG-SFBA.)

New Attorney Member: $50 per year
(An attorney who graduated from law school less than six months ago.)

Attorney Member: $50 – $500 per year
(An attorney who is permitted to practice law; an attorney who is retired and in inactive status with any State Bar Association; and graduates from law school who have not yet been admitted to practice law.)

Advocate Member: $500 per year
(Advocate Members are recognized on our website and at our annual Testimonial Dinner.)

Sustainer Members: Minimum $750
(Sustainer Member signups and renewals can be completed here.)

NLGSF relies almost entirely on membership dues to sustain our operations. Nevertheless, our membership rates are suggested, sliding scale amounts as we strive to make participation in the Guild as accessible as possible, regardless of income.

Attorney Member Suggested Dues (based on annual income):
< $20k: $50-$75
$20k-$25k: $75-$100
$25k-$30k: $100-$165
$30k-$40k: $165-$220
$40k-$50k: $220-$275
$50k-$60k: $275-$325
$60k-$75k: $325-$375
$75-$100k: $375-$450