‘Student-Lawyer Campus Legal Defense Initiative’ Launched By USCMO, CAIR & MLFA

05/17/24 Reposted from cair.com

Criminal defense attorneys invited to assist students facing criminal charges for peaceful protests

The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) today encouraged criminal defense attorneys willing to represent college students facing criminal charges for peacefully protesting the Gaza genocide to sign up for the “Student-Lawyer Campus Legal Defense Initiative,” an online database that CAIR and MLFA are using to connect students with willing attorneys.

Over the past several weeks, hundreds of students at colleges and universities across America have been arrested for launching sit-ins and encampments to demand that their schools divest from the Israeli government and its genocide in Gaza. Some students face charges for misdemeanor trespassing or other similar charges scheduled for court dates this summer.


In a joint statement, USCMO, CAIR and MLFA said:

“Students across our nation who were unjustly brutalized, arrested and charged with a crime for launching sit-ins on their own college campuses to protest a genocide need help. While civil rights organizations focus on defending the free speech and civil rights of students, criminal defense attorneys have a unique and important role in resolving the charges of trespassing and other legal threats to students. We invite and encourage attorneys with experience handling criminal defense or education law to sign up today so that we can help connect you with students in your areas.”

When attorneys register for the Student-Lawyer Campus Legal Defense Initiative, they identify the states in which they are licensed to practice law. CAIR and MLFA can then match students who contact their respective organizations to request criminal legal assistance with attorneys in those states.

[NOTE: Civil rights groups interested in joining the initiative and accessing the attorney database should contact organizers using the contact information below]

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

The Muslim Legal Fund (MLFA) is a community-centric grassroots non-profit organization fighting for national security reform, upholding and establishing justice in our courtrooms and communities for Muslims in America.

The US Council of Muslim Organizations is the leading umbrella organization for Muslim organizations across the United States.