The Civil Liberties Defense Center supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction.
We provide litigation, education, legal and strategic resources to strengthen and embolden their success.

The Civil Liberties Defense Center supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction.

We provide litigation, education, legal and strategic resources to strengthen and embolden their success.

The Civil Liberties Defense Center supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction. We provide litigation, education, legal and strategic resources to strengthen and embolden their success.

CLDC’s projects educate people about their rights and why their rights are important, we defend front line activists, and expose and confront the persistent erosion of our civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. We believe knowledge is power, when, people have the tools and understanding to take action and demand that the government honor all their rights, then grassroots activism will be the best chance of exacting necessary change. CLDC educates, supports, and defends grassroots activists.

Justice in Action and Dissent & Democracy are the Civil Liberties Defense Center’s programs serving as our two-pronged approach towards achieving the goals set forth by our mission. By utilizing education, and when necessary, the courts, the Civil Liberties Defense Center is distinctly able to both proactively and reactively challenge governmental attacks on our liberties and rights.

In 2003, Lauren Regan, CLDC’s Executive Director and staff attorney, in combination with a group of environmental and social justice activists and attorneys, founded the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC). The creation was an urgent response to a growing and increasingly crucial need for education and legal assistance within the progressive change movement in the post-September 11th era in which decrees like the PATRIOT Act were put in place. CLDC immediately developed a number of public education and outreach programs, offering low and reduced-rate legal assistance to activists, conducting national media interviews and commentary, and monitoring and challenging repressive legislation in the courts.

Our legal know-how, ability to effectively translate legalese, and litigation expertise, provide a foundation that our constituents can rely on to tackle the tough issues they are confronting. Additionally, the trainings we organize weave together to build activists’ confidence and awareness of what to expect from interactions with law enforcement or counter-protesters.

Activist Defense

  • Represented over 2,500 environmental, animal and social justice activists.
  • Member of the Water Protector Legal Collective. We are one of the firms of record in the suit against North Dakota police for their countless acts of brutality against water protectors at Standing Rock. We are also involved in representing several water protectors facing criminal charges for their role in resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Coordinated legal defense team representing the 52 individuals arrested in Anacortes, WA for their part in the “BreakFree from Fossil Fuels” protest
  • Defended “valve-turner” Ken Ward for his part in the “Shut it Down” actions targeting tar-sands oil production and transportation
  • Coordinated the successful defense of Shell No! Activists, who used civil disobedience to challenge Shell’s Arctic oil refinery operations, against a military tribunal — winning 4 of 5 cases outright and settling the fifth
  • Since 2010, successfully defended six citizen journalists facing empty charges for observing government conduct in public, including one where all charges were dropped against an individual who filmed a roundup of wild buffalo outside Yellowstone National Park
  • Successfully represented local activist Perry Patterson, a mother of two draft-age sons, who was arrested for shouting “No!” at a Cheney rally after the Vice–President stated that an escalation of the war in Iraq was necessary

Civil Rights Litigation

  • Successfully aided the Winnemem Wintu tribe in gaining back their right to perform a traditional coming of age ceremony in peace, and continued to provide legal support for the tribe’s fight for sacred spaces and water rights
  • Won a major precedent-setting victory in civil courts, upholding the rights of Occupy Eugene activists to assemble on federal property for the purpose of peaceful protest
  • Assisted Tar Sands Blockade activists in obtaining documents exposing the FBI’s close relationship with Transcanada (the corporation responsible for the Keystone Pipeline), in using government spies to infiltrate and subsequently undermine the activist organization
  • Won a civil rights lawsuit against the Eugene Police Department for their use of excessive force against an environmental activist who attempted to lawfully film an officer during a confrontation
  • Fought against the Green Scare — the government’s unconstitutional attack on environmental and animal rights activists — by conducting research, participating in public outreach and education, and assisting with the legal defense of non-cooperating defendants; CLDC also provided attorney referrals for various individuals and assisted their attorneys with various legal issues
  • Secured the right of Oregon prisoners to practice the Rastafarian religion by allowing them to wear dreadlocks while incarcerated
  • Represented a Portland–area Mosque in a successful block of the FBI’s first–ever attempt to subpoena religious records
  • Won a major victory in the Oregon Court of Appeals by defending the constitutional right to protest, arguing that a state law was unconstitutional under the federal constitution; Court struck down the “Interfering with Agricultural Operations” statute in its entirety and then exonerated over sixty forest activists that the CLDC represented in the courts!
  • Successfully settled a case against the Klamath County (OR) Jail demanding better policy, as well as obtaining a fair settlement for the family of a Native American man murdered while in custody

Trainings and Legal Education

  • In 2016 alone, conducted 100 Know Your Rights (KYR) trainings across the nation (in-person and live-streamed), with approximately 2,000 in attendance
  • Thus far trained over 200 bilingual trainers to provide KYR trainings in Spanish and developed customized KYR workshops and materials for Spanish and Arabic speakers, undocumented peoples, youth activists, and as transgendered individuals
  • Developed and performed numerous public trainings and presentations all over the country on school-to-prison pipeline, grand jury process, cop-watching/legal observing, and tech/security culture within activist organizations
  • Offered online trainings educating activists on how to submit Freedom of Information Act requests, the results of which detailed systematic, long-term government surveillance, infiltration, and intentional disruption of grassroots climate justice campaigns
  • Developed action- and location-specific legal primers and other resources for the Break Free and Dakota Access Pipeline protests
  • Significantly expanded the CLDC’s online, free resource library to offer trainings and support for individuals and groups located anywhere in the world
  • Created the annual Next Generation Climate Justice Action Camp for teens, focusing on empowering youth leaders from diverse backgrounds to plan and implement their own actions

The Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) does not discriminate with respect to employment, membership or provision of services on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, disability, socio-economic background, age, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, national origin, ancestry, status with regards to public assistance or immigration status. The CLDC is committed to diversity in staff, leadership and membership. Outreach, recruitment, and hiring practices shall reflect our commitment to actively developing the skills of a diverse community.

Anti-Racist Policy

The Civil Liberties Defense Center affirms its commitment to recognizing, addressing, and eradicating all forms of racism and ethnic oppression. We focus on engaging and collaborating in organizing, educating, and providing legal support that challenges oppressive and unjust forces. We work to reduce racial injustices both within the legal system and the broader community. The CLDC staff, Board of Directors and volunteers are united in the pursuit to end racial and ethnic bias and to empower our communities towards this collective goal.

We acknowledge that regardless of one’s own race or ethnicity, individuals are at various points along an anti-racist journey. We also understand that bias can be unconscious or unintentional and that racism is the combination of social and institutional power plus racial prejudice. Identifying these two specific forms of oppression and disparate outcomes does not automatically mean that those involved intended negative impact and having these conversations requires courage, respect, and compassion, and may not always be or seek to be comfortable. However, as an anti-racist and ethnically unbiased community we will purposefully strive to identify, discuss, and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity and the impact(s) they have on clients, community members, volunteers and staff members.

We Stand Committed

  1. To affirm explicitly and in united solidarity our identity as an anti-racist social justice organization.
  2. To individual and organizational exploration and examination of implicit bias and systemic advantage/oppression such that our anti-racism commitment be reflected in the life and culture of the CLDC through our policies, programs, and practices as we continue to learn about racism and ethnic oppression.
  3. To the development and implementation of strategies and best-practices that dismantle racism and ethnic oppression within all aspects of our organization, community, and society.

Executive Director

Lauren C. ReganLauren Regan, AAL
info [at]

After 5 years of public interest environmental law, Lauren Regan went on to create the Civil Liberties Defense Center and is currently the executive director and senior staff attorney. Over the past 15 years, Lauren and the CLDC has defended over 3000 activists from around the country for free. Lauren is a national expert in the defense of political activists, particularly those engaged in the climate, environmental, indigenous and animal rights movements. She is a trial lawyer who handles state and federal criminal defense, SLAPP defense, grand jury resistance, and federal civil rights litigation against police and government agencies for violating the rights of activists and organizations. Lauren and the CLDC provide over 100 Know Your Rights trainings a year to activists, immigrants, and other at risk groups. Lauren is also an Oregon State Bar leadership fellow, a volunteer Teen Court judge, and has been given dozens of public interest attorney awards over her 20 years of activist lawyering. She is always mentoring law students and new attorneys, and trains and co-counsels others lawyers to use their legal skills to support lefty causes.

Associate Director

Charles Denson
charles [at]
Pronouns: he/him/his

Charles started as the membership director for the Civil Liberties Defense Center in January of 2015. He helps keep the CLDC connected to our members. Charles has a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon. Charles has been organizing with nonprofits and progressive causes since 2008 when he first was drawn to activism through the environmental movement.

Staff Attorney

Cooper Brinson
cbrinson [at]

Cooper earned his J.D. from the University of Oregon. Throughout law school he clerked for the CLDC. Cooper also represented clients in misdemeanor cases through the UO advanced criminal defense clinic (a partnership with Public Defender Services of Lane County, Inc.). Prior to entering the legal profession, he volunteered with a number of environmental and social justice groups.

Office Manager

Debbie Garza Troutz
debbie [@]

Debbie has over 15 years experience in office management and accounting. She has a recent background in non-profit work and domestic violence advocacy. She is also an artist, rockhound and enthusiastically loves edible plants and cats!

Grants & Communications Director

Katherine Gorell
katherine [@]

Katherine has been a proud member of the nonprofit sector since 2002 and is a longtime movement activist. Throughout her career she has focused on raising funds and garnering publicity for organizations that achieve significant social impact. Katherine earned her BA in English at Michigan State University and studied marketing at Florida International University, where she earned her MBA.

Senior Staff Attorney

Marianne Dugan
mdugan [@]

Marianne graduated from the University of Oregon Law School in 1993, with certificates in Environmental Law and Ocean and Coastal Law. She also holds a master’s degree in environmental studies. From 1993 to 1999 Ms. Dugan worked for the Western Environmental Law Center as its first staff attorney and then as associate director. She then was a partner with the law firm of Facaros and Dugan, before going into solo practice in May 2005. Ms. Dugan is the chair of the Sierra Club’s national litigation committee, and has served on the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Executive Committee. She serves on the board of Access the Law, and has served on the boards of Friends of Land-Air-Water, Western Lands Project, and Portia Project. She served on the Board of the Civil Liberties Defense Center from 2004 until 2013, including service as President and as Secretary at various times. For three years running Ms. Dugan was listed in the Oregon edition of “Superlawyers” in the field of environmental law, and she coaches the University of Oregon’s environmental moot court team at the annual national competition.

Rebecca Smith, President

Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is a public interest attorney in Missoula, Montana specializing in public interest law for low-income clients in Montana and Idaho, including representing low-income or marginalized individuals and non-profit community groups in cases involving environmental protection, activist criminal defense, and police misconduct. Rebecca formerly served on the board of directors for the Buffalo Field Campaign.

Dana Johnson, Secretary

Dana Johnson
Dana is a public interest attorney in Moscow, ID with a legal practice focusing on federal environmental litigation in the Big Wild of the Northern Rockies and criminal defense. Dana offers litigation, education, and support services, including Legal Observer coordination, to regional non-profit groups and activists working in the fields of environmental and animal protection. She is committed to providing creative legal analysis and representation realizing that social and environmental justice often demand a firm challenge to the status quo.

Kerul Dyer

Kerul Dyer
Kerul is currently the Communications Director for the Klamath Riverkeeper, working with indigenous communities on water issues affecting Northern California and Southern Oregon. She is a recently retired Communications Director for Rainforest Action Network’s Energy and Finance Program. For over two decades, Kerul has worked with communities on the frontlines of environmental, social justice and humanitarian causes by providing strategic communications support. Her positions have ranged from co-founder and Communications Director of Common Ground Relief to Communications Director for the Environmental Protection Information Center. She studied investigative journalism at Southern Oregon University where she founded and directed SOU’s Media Center and edited a weekly newspaper. Kerul co-founded the Independent Media Center, a global network for citizen journalism and provides media trainings and support to grassroots activist networks across the US. She is a member of the International Journalists’ Network and Media Professionals Worldwide. Kerul lives on the Klamath River, California.

Amanda Sigler

Amanda Sigler
Amanda has a Master’s of Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Youngstown State University. She has assisted in the founding and development of several nonprofit organizations in Oregon and Ohio, as well as consulted on the topics of; board recruitment and development, capital campaign feasibility, fundraising basics, whole board fundraising and strategic planning. Her experience spans outreach, advocacy, event planning, program development, and fundraising. She has a passion for social justice, animal welfare and environmental causes. She continues to consult farm sanctuaries around the state of Oregon and is a current board member of the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, Oregon.

Mookie Moss

Mookie is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of The Bonfire Collective, an organization that uses the universality of agriculture to address international issues of social and environmental injustice and colonial inequality. As an organic farmer for the last twenty years, Mookie specialized in training the next generation of farmers and co-authored the Agricultural Reclamation Act which fought for family scale farms against the incursion of industrial agriculture. He was the President of Big Wildlife and led a campaign for cougar conservation in the State of Oregon. Mookie has organized behind the scenes and worked on the front lines throughout the Americas in the struggle against police brutality, economic imperialism, and the privatization of our natural resources. He can be found anywhere between his farm in the Little Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon and South Central Bolivia.

Joel Iboa

Joel is a son of immigrants and was born and raised in Eugene. He majored in sociology with a concentration in crime/delinquency from UO. Honing his skills in Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) as a student, Joel entered the environmental justice movement as the Environmental Justice and Community Outreach Manager for Beyond Toxics. Joel serves as a Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Eugene and as the youngest appointed Member for the Governors Environmental Justice Task Force. Recently he was hired to be Causa’s Coalition Coordinator. Causa is Oregon’s premiere Latino immigrants rights organization.

Sarah Alvarez

Sarah is from Florida, where she became passionate about the world in swamps, pine flats, and the Gulf of Mexico. She earned a dual degree in Environmental Science and International Relations for the University of Central Florida. She attends the University of Oregon School of Law where she served as the co-director for the National Lawyers Guild chapter, a fellow for the Food Resiliency Project at the Environmental and Natural Resources Center, and a volunteer law clerk for the CLDC. Sarah is based out of Southern Oregon where she currently works at the Josephine County Public Defender’s Office, representing low-income clients in criminal matters. She plans to continue her commitment to radical causes after graduation by working on government misconduct and activist defense cases. Sarah enjoys vegetarian cooking, birdwatching, and backpacking with her dog.

Cindy Cordova

California-born and Oregon raised, Cindy is currently in her senior year at the University of Oregon where she is a Diversity Excellence Scholar. She is majoring in Biological Anthropology with minors in Legal Studies, Biology, and Public Policy & Management. The oldest child of Mexican immigrants, Cindy was exposed to the importance of civil rights, equality and education early on. She has worked with several locally based education, art and health based nonprofits, and has experience working with community resource centers and harm reduction programs. She has 15 years of professional and personal experience working with differently-abled individuals including advocacy, vocational rehabilitation and inclusive education. She has worked for the CLDC in different capacities, ranging from intern to undergrad law clerk. Following graduation, Cindy is pursuing master’s degrees in public health and education.

Kiran Oommen

Kiran is a musician, community organizer and student of sociology at Seattle University. He first got connected with the CLDC at the first Next Generation Climate Justice Action Camp as a teenager, going on from there to get involved in the radical environmental movement in the Pacific Northwest. The last couple years he has helped organize the camp, and interned at the CLDC in the summer of 2017. Kiran is a plaintiff on the Juliana vs. USA federal climate change lawsuit, as well as a co-founder the Greater Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition and the Seattle University direct action club. While living for a short time in Sweden, Kiran and some friends started the anarcho-hardcore band Dönde Estääs, and he has a folk punk project based in Seattle known as Geophagia.

John Bellamy Foster

John Bellamy Foster
John Bellamy Foster is a successful professor of sociology at the University of Oregon since 2000. He graduated from Evergreen State College in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. Afterwards, he went on to get his PhD from York University in Toronto, Canada. Foster has a wide range of research interests including, but not limited to, ecological and economic crisis, imperialism, and social theory. Additionally, Foster has written several books and articles. Some of his most recent books are The Age of Monopoly Capital: Selected Correspondence of Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy (2017), Marx and the Earth (2016), and The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism (New Edition) (2014). Currently, Professor Foster is also the Editor of Monthly Review.

Acacia Berry

Acasia Berry
Acasia Berry has worked to defend the earth and in the non-profit sector for over 30 years in a variety of capacities from front line civil disobedience to organizational support with fundraising and administration. As an unsuccessful defendant in one of the few successful Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation she is personally very aware of the need for strong defense of civil liberties for those speaking for the earth and putting their bodies on the line. She joined the Advisory Board of CLDC to help ensure we have the funds to defend those brave enough to stand up and be heard.

Cora Borradaile

Cora Borradaile
Glencora is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University. She would like on-line communication to be private and secure by default and believes in teaching activists and computer scientists alike how to ensure privacy on-line and why it is important.

Graham Clumpner

Bio and photo coming soon

scott crow

scott crowscott crow is an international speaker, author and storyteller. For three decades he has engaged his varied life as a political organizer and educator, coop business founder and co-owner, filmmaker, and musician who is a proponent of the ideas and practices of anarchy. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective, and Emergency Hearts, Molotov Dreams: A scott crow Reader. He contributed to the seminal books Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab, Witness To Betrayal, Black Bloc Papers and What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nation. He has appeared frequently in international media as subject and commentator including the New York Times, Democracy Now, CNN, NPR, RT News, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Der Spiegel and Vice as well as in the political documentaries and Informant, Better this World, One Nation Under the Gun, and Welcome to New Orleans. He was the co-producer of the documentary film Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation. For over a decade scott was targeted for surveillance by the FBI as an alleged domestic terrorist threat for political activities without charges being brought. The New York Times characterized him as “anarchist, veteran organizer and an aficionado of civil disobedience”, the FBI noted in a memo “…crow is a puppet master involved in direct action. “ and NPR’s This American Life called him “a living legend among anarchists”none of which he believes. He can be found at

Michele Gretes

Michele Gretes
Michele wants reasonably good digital security culture and resilient communications for those working to preserve ecosystems and liberate human and non-human animals. Through the Digital Security program at CLDC, Michele works to discover and nurture trustworthy technologies and teach activists and attorneys to use them to stay safe and effective. This work dovetails with research and teaching Communications Security for Social Movements at Oregon State University. For some reason, Michele did a PhD and post-doctoral work in molecular biology and tropical medicine. PGP key fingerprint: 6EDE 411C 6A5F DA53 6151 F65A 1EA7 88B2 F721 30CF. If you don’t have it yet, get Michele’s public key here.

Trip Jennings

Trip Jennings is a National Geographic Explorer and filmmaker with a deep passion for protecting and playing in clean water. He can be found producing stories about environmental and social justice issues around the world, often at home in Oregon. “The CLDC is a crucially important organization in the struggle to reshape our culture and society and preserve a livable planet for future generations of all species. Making this change must challenge power and doing that safely and repeatedly is not possible without the support of a group like this one.”

Dan Kruse

Dan is an attorney in Eugene, Oregon and a partner in the law firm of O’Brien, Kruse, and Saint Marie, LLC. He specializes in complex criminal defense cases and civil environmental litigation. Dan was on the CLDC board of directors from 2005 to 2013, and has continued to volunteer for CLDC as both an attorney and a general supporter. He is married, has two exhausting children, and enjoys outdoor adventures, music, and trying to play soccer.

Gordon Lafer

Gordon is an Associate Professor at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center, and a Research Associate with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He has spent the past twenty-five years doing a combination of labor organizing, public policy and economic research work. He has worked with a wide range of unions including farm workers, hotel workers, bus drivers, teachers, nurses, longshore, supermarket and construction workers. Lafer holds a PhD in Political Science and is co-founder of the American Political Science Association’s Labor Project. In 2009-10 he was on leave from the University to serve as Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor.

Kim Marks

Kim Marks
Kim has her BS in Forest Ecology from The Evergreen State College. She has spent twenty years working in the environmental non-profit sector, alongside groups such as Earth First!, Rising Tide, Cascadia Forest Alliance, and more. Ms. Marks specializes in providing trainings in leadership development, burn-out avoidance, strategic avoidance, strategic planning, consensus, facilitation, project management, and capacity-building skills. She is a former board member of IMPACT Personal Safety, ASJE, NFPA, & Bark. Kim works with indigenous and frontline communities in the United States, Canada, and South America on climate justice issues, fighting the root causes of climate change, and is currently working for GreenPeace as an organizer on the coal export campaign. Kim lives in Portland, Oregon.

Daniel McGowan

Daniel is a prison abolitionist and works on issues around mass incarceration and political prisoners. He was indicted under the “Operation Backfire” ELF case in 2005 and spent six years in federal prison. For much of that time, Daniel was housed in experimental “Communication Management Units”. In response, he and others sued the Department of Justice in Aref v. Holder. Daniel was also the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary film If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front. Currently, he works at a nonprofit organization that focuses on New York State prisons and is enjoying life back in his hometown with friends and family. He is a member of the National Lawyers Guild Political Prisoner Committee and Advisory Board of the NLG Parole Preparation Project.

Amber Mongan

Amber Mongan
Amber is our former Associate Director. Amber has a degree in sociology and business administration from the University of Oregon, and worked for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Center at the University of Oregon School of Law. Amber lives in Eugene, Oregon with her family and volunteers on the Board of Directors for the National MPS Society, which provides support to families affected by MPS and promotes research initiatives for MPS-related diseases.

Ricahard Monje

As the Vice President of Workers United/SEIU, Richard Monje works to fight the attacks on workers in the Midwest. In this position, he organizes low-wage workers. After being shot by sheriffs following the Chicano Moratorium, Monje’s passion for politics was ignited. Monje is also involved in organizing several groups including Texas Farm Workers, I.B.E.W, Steelworkers, and Workers United. Creating the union’s leadership school, Monje has opened the gateway for members to create political roadmaps for the union. Recently, his interest in immigrant rights has led him to join the “Move to Amend” leadership team.

Jeff Ordower

Bio and photo coming soon

Jonathan Paul

Bio and photo coming soon

Will Potter

Will is an award-winning investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C.He specializes in the animal rights and environmental movements, and civil liberties post-9/11. His work has been featured in the world’s top media outlets, including the Washington Post, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He has testified before the U.S. Congress as the only witness opposing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and his book, Green Is The New Red, was awarded a Kirkus Star for “remarkable merit.” This year he was selected as a TED Senior Fellow, and also awarded a prestigious Knight-Wallace Fellowship in investigative reporting.

Nadia K. Raza

RazaNadia is an educator, community organizer, and dreamer. She is a doctoral candidate in the Critical Sociocultural Studies Program in the College of Education at the University of Oregon where her research examines the democracy, social welfare, and social justice education. Additionally, Nadia is a Wayne Morse Graduate Research Fellow for 2017. For the past 13 years, Nadia has taught sociology and ethic studies courses at Lane Community College, The University or Oregon, and Humboldt State University. Her teaching areas encompasses, critical race studies, immigration, alternatives to incarceration, and social movements. She serves on the Board of the Aprovecho and is a co-founder of the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. In addition to her aforementioned service Nadia is the founder of a letter writing project to people incarcerated called “Solidarity Can’t Bear Silence.” Whether in the classroom, in a meeting, or writing letters, Nadia is committed to creating imaginative spaces to build a better world.

Hazel Robin

Hazel is an organizer and educator, currently living in Tucson, AZ. She teaches GED/High School Equivalency classes and organizes around issue of environmental, social, racial and climate justice. She spent many years living in and fighting for the protection of Oregon ecosystems and stays connected to the land, people and social justice organizations of the Northwest. Hazel works with the CLDC’s Next Generation Youth Climate justice Action Camp.

Cathy Sampson Kruse

Bio and photo coming soon

Tony Silvaggio

Tony is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Environment and Community Masters Program at Humboldt State University, where he teaches courses on social movements, community organizing, civil liberties and environmental sociology. He was on the Board of Directors of the Civil Liberties Defense Center from 2007 until 2013, serving as Board President and Treasurer.  Tony is a former board member of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment (2001-2005), Cascadia Wildlands Project (2002-2006), and is currently the Board President of the Environmental Protection Information Center.

Chief Caleen Sisk

Bio and photo coming soon

Fall & Spring Semesters: During the academic year, the CLDC offers a variety of pro bono clerkship opportunities. The number of hours required varies depending upon the clerk and our schedules. Clerks provide research and litigation assistance to the CLDC on an assortment of government and police misconduct cases, protestor defense cases, and timely topical and legislative research topics.

Due to our staff size, we are able to supervise only 2-3 clerks per semester. We are willing to consider long distance/electronic clerkships for students attending law schools other than the University of Oregon, but we prefer working with students locally in Eugene, Oregon.

Summer Program: Legal interns perform 200 hours of legal research and/or program work regarding a plethora of civil liberties issues. Law Clerks often “shadow” Lauren Regan (founder, staff attorney and director of CLDC) wherever she goes, including Court appearances, action camps, trainings and protests, as well as depositions and other litigation based events. You will receive a very hands-on experience at activist legal support. Past interns worked on police misconduct litigation, mass-protest defense in multiple states including Climate Justice, environmental, animal rights, immigration and labor movement work, anti-SLAPP defense work, anti-spying and security culture work, and much much more. We will also continue developing and updating our brief bank databases for attorneys, websites, activist toolkits and presentations. Attorney Lauren Regan will supervise this intern position.

We strongly encourage applicants to secure funding through their schools, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), or other public interest funding sources as we cannot guarantee any funding at this time. We willingly cooperate in any way possible to assist students to secure fellowships, stipends, or private grants that are able to fund their summer work with the CLDC. We are also more than happy to assist clerks attempting to secure academic or other credit through their schools as well.

We require all summer clerks to work from our Eugene, Oregon office. Diverse applicants with activist backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.


Fall clerks should submit their materials by June 30th
Fall term begins on approximately September 1st

Spring clerks should submit their materials by December 1st
Spring term begins on approximately January 15th

Summer clerks should submit their materials by March 15th.
Summer term begins on approximately June 15th

Candidates will be contacted within 2 weeks of the application deadline to schedule telephone or in-person interviews.

The CLDC offers internship opportunities for undergraduates and other people who are serious about contributing to the program work of our organization. We participate in providing academic credit to a variety of colleges and universities. We select 2 non-law student interns per term. Unfortunately, these positions currently are pro bono (unpaid). Interns work with our organizers and fundraisers on program research, outreach, and litigation support. We also offer internships for students looking for nonprofit experience as well.

Interns can help CLDC 1) develop more relationships in the communities we are seeking to support 2) plan our youth climate justice camp, Next Generation Climate Justice Action Camp 3) run our activist training program 4) table at events to get our message out 4) develop content for our website and help us develop our online presence 5) fundraise 6) do research for various project we have in the works… and so much more!

Here is a list of skills that would be very helpful to us right now:

  • Social media skills
  • Videography and video editing
  • WordPress, website design
  • Research
  • Blog writing
  • Grant writing
  • English-Spanish translation
  • Outreach

Interns generally provide 8-10 hours of work per week. Depending on the project or assignment, some of this work can be completed outside of the Eugene office.


Fall interns should submit their materials by September 1st

Winter interns should submit their materials by December 1st

Spring interns should submit their materials by March 15th

Summer interns should submit their materials by May 15th
(Summer internships are more competitive, so we encourage you to apply early)

To Apply for an Internship or Clerkship please provide us with the following materials in electronic format:

  • Cover letter illustrating your public interest background or desires, when you want to commence your internship with us, and any other special needs or considerations we should know about in evaluating your application.
  • Your current resume
  • 2 references, including at least 1 that can attest to your public interest or activist experience
  • You will be required to submit our volunteer application for security screening and confidentiality purposes after you have been interviewed
  • Please specify which term you are applying for in your cover letter

Email to info [at] with any concerns or questions.

Current job openings:

Associate Activist Defense Attorney


We are seeking an associate activist attorney with a minimum of five years of litigation experience to work on criminal activist defense, activist grand jury witness representation, and related cases. The associate will report to the Senior Attorney and will be expected to work on all aspects of our case work, including intake, drafting motions and briefs, working with legal teams and defendant groups, as well as litigating cases at trial or on appeal. In addition, the associate will be expected to contribute to our Dissent & Democracy program by conducting public education trainings. The associate will also be expected to contribute toward organizational fundraising goals by assisting with grants and other fundraising efforts if needed.

We are looking for well-rounded activist attorneys who bring initiative, commitment, and passion for our work, our clients, and the progressive movements we support and defend. The ideal candidate will have environmental, climate, and/or anti-capitalist and anti-racist movement background as well as experience litigating state and federal criminal cases, and related work.

This position is primarily located in Eugene, Oregon, but our litigation is nationwide and we will consider remote locations—especially underserved climate frontline regions.

More information:

We are happy to have support of many foundations and progressive businesses that have a commitment to climate & social justice, animal rights, & protecting civil liberties and have been generous enough to support the work we do.

The demand for our work is ever growing and the support of these foundations & businesses as well as hundreds of grassroots members makes our work possible and is a great morale boost. Thank you to all of our supporters!


Business Sponsors

Please consider supporting these businesses by shopping there.

We are grateful to have the support of these foundations and community businesses. If your business or organization would like to support our work please contact our Associate Director, Charles Denson, at 541-687-9180 or charles [at]