The Legal Worker Rank and File (LWRF) is a membership based organization for rank and file workers in the nonprofit, legal service industry. We are dedicated to bottom up democracy in our unions, militant labor organizing, and fighting for change that benefits the poor and working class people who are exploited and marginalized under capitalism. Our membership includes paralegals, lawyers, support staff, social workers, and other employees of legal service nonprofits. Members come from across the legal service industry in New York City, including Housing Conservation Coordinators, Inc. (HCC),The Legal Aid Society (LAS), Mobilization for Justice (MFJ), Neighborhood Defender Services (NDS), CAMBA, The Goddard Riverside Law Project, New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), The Office of the Appellate Defender, and from several unions including 1199 SEIU, UAW 2325/Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, and UAW 2320/National Organization of Legal Service Workers. Our membership practices in a variety of legal fields including housing, immigration, family defense, consumer protection, and public defense. We fight for better working conditions for legal service workers and better policies for the communities we live, work, and organize in.
We believe that capitalism and the current structure of our society benefits the rich, at the expense of the poor and in particular, communities of color. As legal service workers, we are often at the front lines of a justice system that incarcerates, evicts, deports, surveils, and oppresses the most marginalized people. We envision a society free of a punitive incarceration system, free of evictions and without borders, where all people can prosper.
We seek to organize within our unions and workplaces for better democracy, transparency, and accountability. We further seek to push our unions to be political agents for the working class, advocating for policies that improve the lives and working conditions for all people. We also support and advocate for all non-union legal service organizations to unionize.