In their attempts to show solidarity with lawyers in Pakistan, lawyers in the United States are showing their own lack of solidarity. Different bar groups are organizing rallies of lawyers in the same cities, but scheduling them at different times and in different locations. If our point is to show solidarity, why don’t we stand together in making that point?

The National Lawyers Guild has called for solidarity demonstrations at Pakistani consulates in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles for tomorrow, Nov. 13. Here in Massachusetts, the demonstration is also being supported by the Massachusetts Bar Association and begins at 1 p.m. at the State House.

But while NLG lawyers and supporters will be marching in Washington on Tuesday, the American Bar Association is planning a lawyers’ march to the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday starting at 11:30 a.m. And in New York on Tuesday, three bar groups will rally outside Manhattan Supreme Court at 1 p.m. to support Pakistani lawyers, while the NLG will hold its New York rally for the same purpose at the same time but at a different location, the Pakistani Consulate at 8 E. 65th St. In Minnesota, meanwhile, the NLG rally took place last Friday.

A concerted, collective, coordinated demonstration among lawyers throughout the country would send a stronger and clearer message than demonstrations that are splintered, scattered and uncoordinated.

  • I have a possible explanation for the splintering. On Weds. Nov. 7, one of our Akron Law School Alums, Scott Roman, contacted the Law School suggesting a demonstration of solidarity with the lawyers in Pakistan. We thought it was a great idea, and the Univ. of Akron Law School and Akron Bar Assn put together a rally in Akron for Friday Nov. 9 at noon. see

    On last Weds eve and Thurs a.m., I sent an email out to the Ohio Assn of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the national crimprof listserv as well as a few other listservs with social/civil rights activists on them, encouraging them to come to ours or do the same at their courthouses. I think this then became a truly grassroots movement. People reading the email saw it was a great idea and started organizing within their own contacts and communities. Akron and Cleveland on Friday the 9th, and now it has spread – wonderfully.

    We should emphasize at these rallies that it is not a question of who should rule Pakistan, but only that whomever does so must respect the rule of law.

    Prof. Marge Koosed
    University of Akron School of Law