Legal Observer Program

Covering Los Angeles County and Orange County

NLG-LA works to ensure the legal and practical access to demonstrations in Southern California by regularly providing legal observers at demonstrations to observe and document potentially unlawful or unjustified interference with demonstrators’ rights by law enforcement. Our legal observers are all volunteers, and are comprised of attorneys, legal workers, law students, and activists. All observers must be at least 18 years old and undergo a NLG legal observer training.

  • Action is aligned with NLG’s values
  • Actions will be prioritized that have a high likelihood of law enforcement presence and/or counter-protester presence
  • Pre-planned, non-exigent actions will be prioritized when organizers give reasonable notice of their legal observer request (ideally, one week advance notice of the action).

Request Legal Observers

To request legal observers at your action or protest, please complete the form as far in advance of the action as possible. Here is the link for the form: https://forms.gle/zxfHKQRZc48sVf6H6

Please be prepared to provide detailed information regarding the protest. We only send out requests to our network of legal observers after a request has been properly fielded by NLG staff and sufficient information has been provided.

Following a request from organizers to deploy legal observers, the following criteria will be used to prioritize our limited resources:

VOLUNTEERING WITH OUR PROGRAM

STEP 1: Community members, lawyers, and law students who are interested in volunteering as a Legal Observer, MUST FILL OUT THIS Legal Observer Pre-Volunteer Application. Please be advised, not everyone who applies for the LO program will be selected to serve as a volunteer. 

STEP 2: Attend a Legal Observer 101 Training. Please email admin@nlg-la.org with the subject line “Legal Observer Training” if you are interested in being trained as a Legal Observer Volunteer. *Please note that we schedule trainings on a rolling basis based on volunteer interest and staff capacity.

STEP 3: Complete and Submit our LO Confidentiality Agreement, LO Waiver Agreement, LO Emergency Contact Form and our LO Conflict of Interest Agreement. Volunteers must submit all three forms in order to legal observe with NLG-LA. YOU WILL RECEIVE INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO ACCESS THESE FORMS AFTER COMPLETING A LEGAL OBSERVER 101 TRAINING WITH NLG-LA