November 02, 2021

Job Posting (RFP): National Lawyers Guild

The progressive public interest association of legal activists is seeking an experienced independent contractor to serve as its first Ombudsperson. The new role will "assist the organization with managing complaints and conflict arising in work and membership spaces [as] an independent and impartial voice in internal dispute resolution." NLG intends to award a contract for a six-month trial term beginning during or after January 2022, with an option to renew and/or renegotiate terms based on fit and efficacy. The Ombudsperson shall report to NLG's Executive Director. Proposals are due by December 10, 2021. (NLG Posting.)

Related posts: Ombuds Year in Review: 2017 (#2, "Special Interest Groups Begin Appointing Ombuds to Protect Members"); Ombuds as Part of a Social Justice Framework for Associations; JIOA Article Surveys Ombuds Programs in Professional Associations.


  1. While the above summary quotes one duty that resembles an Ombuds, other noteworthy responsibilities include performing and documenting investigations into complaints, including recommendations for any proposed temporary or permanent protective measures; and monitoring compliance of the parties with the agreed-upon resolution. The National Lawyers Guild should consider a different title for this role or remove the investigative responsibilities. If they do the latter, and work with IOA on the role, they may actually get proposals from qualified ombuds. As it stands, I can't see reputable ombuds applying for this, and definitely not IOA-certified ombuds, who would be at significant risk of losing their credential if selected.

    1. You're right, which is surprising because you would have assumed that NLG at least read the ABA materials. I'm hoping the solution will be a flood of "reputable" Ombuds applying who would push the Guild to adopt IOA standards.