We are a non-profit start-up founded and led by established public interest law organizations with extensive experience helping reporters locally, nationally, and internationally.
Lawyers for Reporters sustains public interest reporting in the United States with pro bono legal services to foster civic awareness, government accountability, and democratic engagement.
We are a team of in-house lawyers and pro bono partners dedicated to supporting reporting in the public interest, particularly local journalism and social justice advocacy.
Lawyers for Reporters is a joint project of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and the Press Freedom Defense Fund, providing pro bono legal assistance to local journalists and media organizations in the United States. Here are some examples of our recent and current efforts.
1. We helped to establish the Asheville Watchdog, a nonprofit news site in North Carolina founded by experienced journalists and editors. King & Spalding completed the incorporation and tax-exemption application. We now are helping the Watchdog with an investigation and providing pre-publication defamation review.
2. With Cadwalader, we are establishing the Tiny News Collective to incubate and support small, local news outlets with legal, financial, technological, and newsroom management tools.
3. Thanks to a regular collaboration with the Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION Publishers) we have several ongoing engagements:
a. Co-counseling with D.C.-based attorneys Ataefiok Etukeren and Mayte Quinn Salazar”, we are assisting Street Justice, an online news source reporting on local government and community news in Washington, D.C. to incorporate and obtain tax exemption.
b. We are providing strategic advice to Q Voice News, an online news outlet reporting on the LGBTQ community in the greater Los Angeles area.
4. Working with Proskauer, we are helping the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, which convenes and leads global investigations grounded in strategic mentorship and equal partnership between investigative, data and visual journalists, with corporate and contract matters, as well as pre-publication defamation review.
5. We are helping two Venezuelan journalists-in-exile to defend against defamation claims.
6. We are advising two local newspapers in the Southwest considering converting to nonprofit status and expanding their revenue sources.