UA Law National Lawyer’s Guild Legal Observer Training A Success
Posted on October 17, 2013
On September 21, the Law School chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild hosted a training titled “Legal Observer Training: Protecting First Amendment Rights at the Law School.” Professor Annie Smith, who directs and teaches the Civil Clinic, trained law students, Law School staff, and members of community organizations to serve as legal observers. The NLG’s Legal Observer® program is part of a comprehensive system of legal support designed to enable people to express their political views as fully as possible without unconstitutional disruption or interference by the police and with the fewest possible consequences from the criminal justice system.
First year law students Rachel Pisors and James Depper put this training to use on October 5 when they served as legal observers at the National Day for Dignity and Respect March and Celebration in Rogers. Event organizer Ana Aguayo of the Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center said, “I am grateful to Rachel and James for bearing the cold and rainy weather to be legal observers. I believe every organization present was thankful to have them there.”
The Law School chapter of the NLG was created last year by Alison Carter (2L) and Adam Lichtenberger (L.LM.). Professor Smith serves as the group’s faculty advisor. In addition to organizing the legal observer training and coordinating an ongoing legal observer program, the group has hosted a coffee break, Day Against the Death Penalty film screening, and two happy hour events attended by law students, local attorneys, and community activists. The chapter also successfully worked with the School of Law administration to ensure that a poverty law course was offered this semester.