Access Now’s Legal team


Contact us

For general legal inquiries, including law enforcement requests and litigation, contact us at [email protected].

For privacy-related matters, including data subject access, deletion, or rectification requests, reach out to [email protected] and see How We Use Your Data.

For media usage and copyright-related inquiries, please see our Trademarks, Copyright, and Media Usage Policy.

We regularly collaborate with seasonal legal interns, externs, and fellows from a variety of different law schools and professional programs. See our Careers page for information about potential opportunities.


Legal partnerships & collaboration

The legal community provides generous support to Access Now and our partners, often on a pro bono, or cost-free basis. We have engaged outside counsel for thousands of hours of research, drafting, advice, and collaboration on a wide variety of advocacy, compliance, and governance matters. Reach out to [email protected] about opportunities to engage. 

We recognize a number of law firms, clinics, and partners who have helped advance our work on a pro bono basis:

Much of our work in litigation has been supported by local and regional law firms and lawyers who advocate for digital rights issues, including:

Cy pres award eligibility

Access Now is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and has been approved by courts as a cy pres recipient, as per the Perkins v. LinkedIn Corporation consumer privacy case. Consideration for cy pres awards enables us to continue to fight for privacy online and deter future violations.

To ensure our autonomy and integrity, Access Now only accepts support that conforms with our Funding Principles. We applied such criteria to the Perkins v. Linkedin Corporation cy pres award, and used these funds to further our organisation’s mission without unduly risking our integrity, independence, or the safety of our community.

If you have questions about whether Access Now might be appropriate for cy pres in a particular case, please contact [email protected].

Programmatic initiatives

While justice and accountability take time, and courts are not always the most available or appropriate fora to achieve certain goals, strategic litigation and engagement of international accountability mechanisms, such as the UN, are increasingly becoming some of the key tools in our digital rights advocacy toolbox.

Strategic litigation

While Access Now’s Legal team usually does not file lawsuits, we support and participate in litigation filed by our partners, allies, and other parties, that affects or has a potential to affect digital rights, by:

  • Submitting amicus curiae briefs – “friend of the court” written submissions – or third party interventions;
  • Submitting expert opinions, statements, testimonies, affidavits, and declarations;
  • Submitting Freedom of Information requests;
  • Conducting legal research (including with the  help of pro bono partners);
  • Providing overall guidance, resources, and expertise on litigation and other programmatic legal issues to Access Now and partners, including through:
  • Providing modest litigation funding, in cooperation with Access Now’s Grants team;
  • Coordination and convenings of other litigators,  plaintiffs, amici, experts, funders, and other litigation stakeholders, including through the Digital Litigators Network (DRLN).

Digital Rights Litigators Network (DRLN)

Access Now’s Legal team coordinates this network to connect and support lawyers  and legal experts around the world to advance digital rights through strategically engaging the courts and varied legal processes on a local, regional, and global level.

Since its launch in 2016, the Network has served as an active platform for learning, consultation, discussion, and networking on digital rights, helping to identify opportunities for litigation, joint submission of amicus briefs, and advocacy statements. The Network also periodically convenes at major events like RightsCon and the Internet Governance Forum.

Engagement with international accountability mechanisms

Regional and global forums offer opportunities to seek investigation, hearings, and redress for a variety of digital rights violations. Access Now and our community support efforts by individuals and organisations to develop and file complaints at entities like the UN Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures, UN Treaty Bodies, and the OECD to advance transparency and accountability. We advocate through written and oral interventions, ensuring international human rights law and norms become more responsive to and effective for those most at-risk in the digital age.

Global legal compliance and operations

As an integral function within Access Now’s operations, the Legal team provides ongoing support of all of Access Now’s programs through risk management and legal advising, as well as the facilitation of business process improvement and compliance vetting. Much of the Legal arm’s operational and compliance focus is driven by the continued growth of the organisation’s programs and operations, globally. 

Additionally, the Legal arm oversees Access Now’s contract processes and facilitates intellectual property, data privacy, regulatory, and national and global compliance with laws in a wide range of areas across many geographies. Access Now’s Legal team provides regular training to staff internally on key legal topics and manages significant external policies, including Access Now’s Data Usage Policy/ Privacy Notice, Website Terms of Use, Modern Slavery Policy, Trademarks, Copyright and Media Usage Policy, and more.

Key moments in our legal advocacy

For more than a decade, we have identified and acted on opportunities to intervene in local, national, and international courts and redress mechanisms to advance our mission. Thematically, we focus on promoting freedom of expression and access to information, advancing privacy, protecting our biometric data, and defending civic space. Collaboration with diverse partners is crucial for such outcomes and to make meaningful progress on these long marches toward justice. We recognize a number of related milestones below: