For Scientists

Our goal is to educate the scientific community about the legal system, their rights, and their responsibilities. When scientists understand the legal issues surrounding their work, they’re able to better protect themselves against intimidation, media smear campaigns, and other forms of harassment.

We frequently collaborate with public universities, scientific societies, and other partners to raise awareness of our programming and ensure that it reaches scientists who may be at risk of ideologically motivated litigation or other attacks.

The services we provide include:

  • Workshops and Consultations for Scientists at Conferences
    We partner with scientific societies and attend their meetings, which enables us to engage directly with the climate science community. At these events, we provide free counseling services, discuss the legal issues facing researchers, and give updates on legal situations making their way through the court system. Since 2012, we’ve partnered with the American Geophysical Union to offer scientists free, private consultations with attorneys at their annual Fall Meeting. These consultations give researchers the opportunity to ask questions about the legal issues surrounding their work.
  • Webinars
    Led by our staff attorneys and leading legal experts, our webinars cover topics that help scientists understand the legal system and how to protect themselves. Our Researcher Legal Education Project, launching in early 2018 in collaboration with numerous academic societies, will help scientists, academics, and researchers understand the rules and regulations impacting their work. The program features educational materials and webinar series on topics such as open records laws, immigration, protesting, and lobbying. To learn more about the project and how to get involved, contact
  • Publications
    We publish and distribute free educational resources to help scientists understand the risks they may face as a result of their work. Recent publications include:

    View our complete list of reports and publications.

Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date with our education and outreach offerings. Please contact us if you’d like to partner with us on a project or invite us to your campus to discuss our work.

For Attorneys

Our programming prepares attorneys to defend researchers and protect the scientific endeavor. We also serve as a clearinghouse for information related to legal action taken against scientists, which can inform strategies for — and outcomes of — future cases.

Initiatives for attorneys and law professors include:

  • Campus Reps Program
    We train law professors to help scientists understand how to protect themselves from harassment and legal attacks. We created the program with the goal of building a national network of lawyers at public and private universities who can serve as the first point of contact for researchers with questions about legal issues. Campus Reps do not provide direct representation to scientists. Instead, they serve as an educational resource and direct scientists to us as needed. Each Campus Rep receives training, materials, and ongoing support from CSLDF to prepare and assist them in working with scientists on their campus. Learn more about the program.
  • Continuing Legal Education Workshops
    We offer a variety of continuing legal education (CLE) workshops to help the legal community understand the issues facing researchers and how to defend them against frivolous lawsuits. Our workshops meet the mandatory CLE requirements of state bars and are held around the United States.
  • Research Protections in State Open Records Laws: An Analysis and Ranking
    This comprehensive report is for scientists, lawyers, and policymakers. It includes specific guidance on each state’s FOIA laws, and a detailed legal guide including statutes, cases, decisions and other pertinent legal information. Learn more and download the report.
Want to be part of the movement?

We need firms willing to help out on a pro bono basis to help advise scientists on local open records laws and other related issues. Please send us a message if you’d like to become involved in our work.

Help us protect the scientific endeavor

Our opponents won’t go quietly. Your donation ensures that scientists can continue their work without harassment.
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