An Anti-Imperial Orientation to Military Law (CLE Training)

This CLE is the first session of the MLTF’s Advocacy & Activism Through Military Law training program. Other trainings will be available in the near future, and you can find out more on the MLTF Training Program page, and/or join our low-volume mailing list.

Day/Time: Live via Zoom on June 15, 2022, at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern. A recorded version of the presentation will be available for viewing on June 17, 2022.

Topic/Background: The study and practice of Military Law tends to be viewed through one of three different philosophies/conceptual frameworks:

  1. A Legalistic approach which views the field primarily through the lens of the US Constitution’s military provisions (which assume that the military’s function is moral, lawful and legitimate),
  2. A Pragmatic approach which sees the field pragmatically and amorally (which might be called the “hired gun” approach, in which practitioners fight for the side of whoever is paying them, no different than any other area of law) and
  3. An anti-Militarist approach, which sees the field through the lens of anti-Imperialism and other struggles for social justice. Most analysis of Military Law has focused on the first two frameworks, but, in this presentation, we will be exploring the third approach.

This workshop is primarily intended for attorneys who are interested in examining military law from the historic framework of the National Lawyers Guild’s anti-imperialist perspective. We will be considering both the philosophical and practical implications of this concept, particularly through the experiences of MLTF member attorneys and legal workers.

While this program is a continuing legal education seminar for attorneys, others with interest in the subject (including GI Rights counselors and servicemember advocates) are welcome to attend.

portrait of James M. Branum

Presenter: James M. Branum has practiced military criminal defense and free speech law since 2006. He has represented military service members at posts across the United States including many of the public resisters of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He is the author of the book US Army: A Practice Guide and Formbook and is a past chair of the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild. He also works as the editor of Humanistic Judaism magazine.

CLE Credit:

  • California: This CLE is co-sponsored by the SF Bay area chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and is approved for one hour of CLE credit.
  • Oklahoma: This CLE is co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Objector Community and accreditation is pending for one hour of CLE credit.
  • Other jurisdictions: Attorneys in other states will be given a “uniform application for accreditation of CLE credit” which can be submitted to one’s state bar. We cannot guarantee that a state bar will approve the CLE credit but most states will likely do so. Your state may also require you to pay a nominal fee for submitting this form, which would be your responsibility.

FORMAT: This program will be a live Zoom presentation, but will be available in recorded video/audio form about a day after the live presentation and will be available online as an on-demand/non-participatory CLE seminar for one year.

COST: For Attorneys seeking CLE Credit: $50, for all others no charge but donations are appreciated.

Registration required to participate in the live training. To register, sign up below, and if you want CLE credit, make your payment. You will receive an email with additional information.


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