National Lawyers Guild

Last revised 9/09/2008

I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the National Lawyers Guild, hereafter referred to as NLG.

II. Purpose

The NLG is an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system in support of social and economic justice. We seek to educate ourselves and the community about related issues, and to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers 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 more sacred than property interests.

Our aim is to bring together and empower all those:

  • who regard adjustments to new conditions as more important than the veneration of precedent for precedent’s sake;
  • who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, farmers and minority groups upon whom the welfare of the nation depends;
  • who seek actively to eliminate discrimination;
  • who work to protect and foster the civil rights and liberties of all in the face of persistent attacks upon them;
  • and who look upon and work to ethically use the law as an instrument for the protection of the people rather than for their repression.

III. Membership

Membership is open to all members of The University of New Mexico School of Law (UNMSOL) community. There shall be no arbitrary exclusion from membership on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ancestry, family status, wealth or economic status, physical or mental disability, or medical condition.

IV. Government/ Elections

All NLG members are eligible to hold office. All NLG members can nominate and vote in the elections. Elections will be held each year to elect officers for that year. Elections shall be run by ballots. The positions shall last one year, although officers are free to run for office the following year. In the case of a tie, those who are running can choose to have a run-off election or share the position. Officers and voting members can create new elected positions when there is a need. A majority is needed to create a new position. An officer may be removed from office by written proposal followed by a chapter-wide vote with two-thirds majority voting for removal.
The officers of NLG are registered UNMSOL students; we are responsible for organizing NLG activities and ensuring that the UNMSOL community is aware of NLG events.

V. Amendments to Bylaws

Bylaws not inconsistent with the Constitution of the National Lawyers Guild may be adopted or amended by a majority vote of chapter members.

VI. Procedures

There will be at least three meetings held for all the members each semester. Officers shall meet at least once a month and whenever the need shall arise. All policy decisions shall first be made by consensus. If this is not possible, voting members shall be called to vote and the majority will win. Officers will present their position to the voting members, and, after discussion, the voting members and officers will vote on the positions as a whole. Voting will be conducted through raising hands.

VII. Chapter Autonomy

The University of New Mexico School of Law (UNMSOL) Chapter has complete autonomy subject only to the provisions of the National Constitution and Bylaws, to the referendum decisions of the national membership, and to the decisions of a National Convention or the National Executive Committee (NEC).

VIII. Membership and Dues

A. Chapter Membership

No dues are required from law students who wish to join the UNMSOL Chapter.

B. Guild Membership

Members of the UNMSOL Chapter are strongly encouraged to become Guild Members and may enroll at a rate discounted for law students, but Guild membership is not required to participate in chapter activities.

Law students who become Guild members shall be concurrent members of the UNMSOL Chapter and full voting members in their local non-student chapter. The NEC will determine to which local non-student chapter each student is a member. Where there is no organized local chapter, membership shall be through direct affiliation with the national organization. Such persons shall be known as members-at-large.

Law student members may retain law student membership for one year following graduation or until he or she becomes eligible for another membership category, whichever comes first.

IX. National Convention

A. Authority

The National Convention is the highest governing authority for the organization

B. Convention Attendance

The UNMSOL Chapter endeavors to send as many of its members as express an interest as delegates to the National Convention. Students will have the opportunity to participate in fundraising activities to supplement their travel expenses.

C. Voting

Every dues-paying Guild member is entitled to one vote on matters under consideration at the National Convention, regardless of whether the Guild member personally attends the Convention. Procedures for voting are established in the National Organization’s Bylaws.