Pro Bono Legal Support Services for Direct Action Movements

by CLDC Staff

CLDC has been offering know your rights trainings and legal consultations to grassroots environmental and social change activists since our inception almost 20 years ago. We’re committed to being responsive to movements and are always learning and adapting to ensure that these services are useful – and appropriate – for those out on the leading edge of forging change. Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and the subsequent uprisings, our organization began re-examining how we can best be in alignment with the movements we seek to support. We concluded that ensuring that BIPOC-led and other historically marginalized organizing bodies have increased access to legal resources that enable them to be bolder, more resilient, and in turn, more effective, deserved a much greater organizational priority.

Thus, thanks in large part to the generous financial support of the Meyer Memorial Trust, in 2022 we are offering five pro-bono organizational memberships to activist collectives or organizations working on climate and social justice campaigns that are led by folks from historically marginalized and under resourced communities (i.e. BIPOC, AAPI, people with disabilities, and others). We will also continue to offer our sliding-scale organizational memberships, with a commitment to add an additional five new organizations in 2022.

CLDC is now accepting applications and nominations for pro-bono and/or sliding scale organizational memberships. You can also email us at to inquire about the process or next steps.

Applications and nominations will be accepted until March 24th, 2022. We will review all applications at that time and respond to all applicants no later than April 24th, 2022.

With frontline activists, organizations, and NGOs operating under the constant threat of criminalization, litigation such as frivolous-yet-costly SLAPP suits, and State and police violence, it has never been more urgent for organizations that engage in direct action to have legal experts in their pockets before a crisis strikes.

Nine squares arranged in a 3 by 3 square, with text in each box. It reads "what does your org or collective get from membership? Access to movement aligned lawyers, learn how to asses risk before a crisis strikes, access legal primers for activists and organizers, tailor made know your rights trainings, instant access to CLDC webinar library, more than 65-years of movement aligned experience, proceed more boldly and effectively in organizing" and the final box has the image of the CLDC logo.

A great way to formalize consistent legal support is to become an organizational member of CLDC. Organizational memberships provide much-needed legal support to keep folks safer on the frontlines. On your end, organizational memberships offer cutting-edge, frontline and direct-action based legal support from CLDC attorneys with a combined 65 years specifically defending activists, organizations, and issues like yours.

In the past, organizational memberships have spanned a wide variety of issue areas from Indigenous land defense to climate activism, Black civil-rights organizations, and anti-racist activists. This vast range of members have consequently called for tailored legal attention that is specific to each organization’s legal needs and capacities. We embrace a no-one-size-fits-all approach by inviting members to collaborate with us and offering sliding-scale membership fees.

If you’re not quite suited for an organizational membership at this time, we still have lots of activist legal support resources to share. We’d like to remind you of some of our free online resources as well as where to find them.

1. Over forty (and counting) detailed trainings, housed in our password-protected webinar library

2. Regularly scheduled online training events

3. Legal primers and written resources