The mission of Lawyers Defending American Democracy is to galvanize lawyers to defend the rule of law in the face of an unprecedented threat to American democracy.  Our work is not political or partisan.  

We unite members of the legal profession in:

  • Enforcing and upholding principles of democracy and law, consistent with our obligations as lawyers 

    Demanding accountability from lawyers and public officials 

    Calling out attacks on legal norms and prescribing redress


Lawyers Defending American Democracy unites lawyers to speak out and take action to defend and uphold the rule of law. While from diverse backgrounds and political views, we share the conviction that constitutional and legal principles critical to American freedoms and democracy are under attack.  

Our coalition speaks for the legal profession to other lawyers, to those who govern, and to the American public. 

If not us, who? If not now, then when?

TIMELINE: Key Moments in our History

October 2018

For the 50th Reunion of Harvard Law School's  Class of ’68, Scott Harshbarger authors an essay admonishing leaders of the legal community for inaction in the face of the "aggressive undermining of the rule of law" by now former President Donald Trump. At the suggestion of fellow classmate Gary Ratner, and with vital support from their colleagues, the two found Lawyers Defending American Democracy as a "bottoms-up organization" not subject to institutional constraints and dedicated to the preservation of our democracy.

January 2019

Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD) launches its organization with an Open Letter to the President and Congress.

January 2020

​Underscor​ing the Constitutional requirement for impartiality, LDAD forcefully refutes claims made by Senator McConnell that political bias is a legitimate factor in former President Trump's impeachment trial.

May 2020

LDAD files ​its first ​amicus brief in federal court challenging the government’s “good faith” in moving to drop charges against Michael ​T. ​Flynn for lying to the FBI, despite him having pled guilty to that charge twice.

July 2020

LDAD files its first comprehensive and in-depth legal ethics complaint against Attorney General Barr. ​The complaint is endorsed by four former DC Bar presidents and twenty-three other distinguished DC Bar members.

October 2020

LDAD releases a detailed compendium on the state of our democracy, including needed reforms to make it stronger.

January 2021

Following the invasion of the U.S. Capitol, LDAD issues an Open Letter condemning former President Trump and urging that he be removed from office immediately by way of impeachment or by his Cabinet under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

January 2021

LDAD called for the New York State Bar to investigate Rudolph W. Giuliani. The comprehensive ethics complaint is co-signed by 7,500 individuals and is the most comprehensive ethics complaint against Mr. Giuliani filed to date. Mr. Giulinai's law license was later suspended in June 2021. 

January 2023

The history of our work at Lawyers Defending American Democracy is presented in a new report titled, "Defending Democracy: Our First Four Years."

March 2023

LDAD and the Project On Government Oversight release a proposed model code of conduct for Supreme Court Justices to restore the public’s confidence in this critical institution.

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