UB Students Reflect on NLG National Convention

Editors Note: In August, five members of the newly established UB Law NLG chapter went to the NLG National convention in New York City. We at the local chapter encouraged them to write-up short reflections on their experience for posting to this site. Thanks so much to Aneesa and Noah Patton for doing just that!

Aneesa Khan (3L), UB Law NLG Chapter President

In August, with the generosity of the Maryland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, four colleagues and I were afforded the opportunity to attend the 2016 #Law4thePeople Convention in New York City.  As a newly founded student chapter, this was a wonderful opportunity for our organization because it gave us the ability to meet and network with like-minded lawyers, law students, and community members.  It served us with the ability to become more acclimated with the myriad of issues that are important to the members of the National Lawyers Guild.  We were able to then use the knowledge and connections gained to increase our membership at the University of Baltimore, as well as become more directly involved with our community in support and service.  We continue to lean on the strength and experience of the local Maryland chapter to build our student chapter, and enhance our law school experience through action.  We would not be as strong of a student chapter as we have grown into without the meaningful relationships we have forged with the members of the local Maryland chapter, and the greater National Lawyers Guild, at the #Law4thePeople Convention.

Noah Patton (2L), UB Law NLG Chapter Advocacy Specialist

Thanks to the generous support of the University of Baltimore and the Maryland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild I was able to attend the 2016 NLG Law for the People Convention in New York City. As a rising 2L, I had reached the point in my legal education where I had begun to ask myself what type of lawyer I wanted to be. I knew I wanted my work to better the communities that need it the most, but I wasn’t sure what form that would (or could) take. Attending a convention of skilled legal advocates and activists that directly help disadvantaged communities and work to enact positive societal change was exceptionally valuable to help me solidify what I want to do with my legal education.

From seeing Albert Woodfox, one of the “Angola 3”, vow to continue the fight for human rights months after being released from a 43-year stay in solitary confinement to hearing stories of Chicago-area individuals experiencing homelessness organizing a union to fight for their rights, the convention programming blew me away. What most impressed me though was the feeling of solidarity and comradery among convention attendees. After going to the convention I really feel that I am part of a nation-wide network of lawyers and legal workers fighting to better society through our work. I am very grateful for the ability to experience those connections first-hand and hope to apply the things I learned during the convention to my future activism and legal career. 

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