Survey Conducted: Tue, 2011-04-26
Creator: New York Bureau of Legal Advice
History: Originating as the New York Bureau of Legal First aid and lead by attorney Charles Recht and feminist Frances M. Witherspoon, the organization was started with a grant the Women’s Peace Party in 1917. Along with individuals, organizations like the People’s Council, the Socialist Party, the civil Liberties Bureau and the Workmen’s Council all provided sponsorship (although the People’s Council and the Civil Liberties Bureau soon withdrew support). Responding to the need created by conflict with new laws related to World War I, the New York Bureau of Legal First Aid was the first organization to provide free legal advice and counsel to draft resisters, conscientious objectors, deserters and others who suffered infringements of their First Amendment Rights.