2013 Speaker Bios
Each year, the National LGBT Bar Association’s Lavender Law® conference provides a challenging and rewarding learning experience for our attendees and presenters. To cater to our highly diverse demographic of practitioners, legal scholars, members of the judiciary and law students, the latter of whom make up half of the conference attendees, both introductory and advanced content will be presented.
Experts including corporate counsel, members of the judiciary, academics, law firm partners and individuals representing the non-profit sector will be featured at the 2013 Lavender Law Conference. The diversity of speakers will be reflected in the topics discussed during the workshops and general attendance sessions.
Rebecca Bloomquist – Ms. Bloomquist has served as patent operations manager at Google for two years. Previously, she spent two years as the director of legal recruiting at Solutus & Google and another two years as a patent litigation associate at Quinn Emanuel. She earned her J.D. in 2007 from Columbia Law School and was named a James Kent Scholar. Ms. Bloomquist received her B.A. in Government from Georgetown in 2003, Phi Beta Kappa; magna cum laude. She is from Westchester County, NY. Currently, she is married and living in San Francisco. She is generally unathletic, but enjoys fundraising triathlons and arm-wrestling. Love ocelots and outer space – hope to combine the two someday.
Connie Brenton – Connie Brenton is the General Counsel’s Chief of Staff and Senior Director for Legal Operations at NetApp Inc. Prior to joining NetApp, she served as the Legal Operations Director at Oracle and the Chief of Staff to the General Counsel and Senior Director for Legal Operations at Sun Microsystems. Before going in-house, Connie was a civil litigator. Connie holds a JD, an MBA and a BA in Economics. She has an expertise in legal process outsourcing, frequently speaking and writing on the topic. She is a founding member of CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium), a bay area consortium of senior legal operations executives. Connie was born and raised in Colorado and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kunoor Chopra – Kunoor is a founding member of Elevate. Previously she was the Founder, President and CEO of LawScribe, Inc., one of the pioneer legal process outsourcing companies formed in 2004 providing litigation, corporate and intellectual property support services to law firms and corporations. LawScribe was acquired by UnitedLex in 2010, where she continued as Senior Vice President of Global Legal Services. Kunoor’s clients include AmLaw 100 law firms and global 1000 companies. Kunoor is a recognized authority in the area of legal process outsourcing where she has been interviewed by the press. She speaks internationally on the topic and has had a variety of articles published on the topic. She is on the Board of Governors for the Organization of Legal Professionals and on the Board of Directors for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Prior to LawScribe, Kunoor practiced as an attorney at Nossaman and Fulbright & Jaworski in Los Angeles.
Christian Dowell – Christian Dowell currently serves as Legal Director, Global Brand & IP Litigation at Yahoo!. As a member of Yahoo!’s Intellectual Property Asset Management team, Christian’s role is a global one, in which he is responsible for managing a heavy docket of trademark and patent litigation matters, as well as Yahoo!’s global trademark prosecution practice. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Christian practiced law at the firm of Keats McFarland & Wilson in Beverly Hills, California, which recently merged with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. While at KMW, Christian enjoyed the distinct opportunity to work with some of the world’s most recognizable brands and intellectual property content providers, including major motion picture studios, multi-platinum Grammy award-winning artists, and leading video game producers. Christian handled copyright, trademark, class action, and general commercial litigation matters, as well as providing a wide range of intellectual property counseling. Christian’s pro-bono activities include actively supporting The Trevor Project as Secretary of its Board of Directors. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Yahoo! Employee Foundation.
Erik Emro – Erik Emro serves as Employee Relations Associate Counsel at Target Corporation. In this role, Erik is responsible for creating and driving the defense strategy for all charges of employment discrimination filed nationwide against the company. Erik has worked to identify and engage a talented and diverse team of outside attorneys to ensure superior handling of Target’s administrative charge work. Erik served as a leader on Target’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally (LGBTA) Business Council– an employee resource group aimed at fostering an inclusive culture for Target’s LGBTA team members, guests, and communities, and remains an active member of the group. A 2010 graduate of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, Erik is also a proud member of the National LGBT Bar Association and its affiliate member, the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association.
Theodore Furman – Ted Furman is a Vice President in the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Legal Department managing a global team handling GSK’s Consumer Healthcare, Dermatology, and Ophthalmology patent matters, having joined GSK in 2002. Ted has a total of 31 years in the patent profession. Ted is co-chair of GSK Legal’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Team which includes members from around the world. Under Ted’s leadership that Steering Team has succeeded in implementing programs and practices including the leveraging of GSK’s external legal spend to promote diversity in the profession, providing summer internships for diverse law students, providing a Young Inventors Program for grade school children, and providing Career Days for law students, to name a few. These and related efforts have led to GSK being the first Pharma company to sign on to the Law Society’s (UK) Diversity and Inclusion Charter in 2010 and GSK scoring a 100 on HRC’s ‘Best LGBT Places To Work’ list for 7 consecutive years. GSK Legal’s Diversity efforts under Ted have also garnered the ACC’s 2011 award for Outstanding Commitment to Diversity by a Law Department in the Philadelphia area (DELVACCA) as well as the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2012 Out and Proud Corporate Counsel Award recently in Philadelphia. Also, for the past 8 years Ted has served as Executive Sponsor for GSK’s Philadelphia-area LGBT Employee Resource Group, SPECTRUM, and is proud to have led or sponsored successful efforts to obtain health coverage for gender reassignment surgeries for transgender employees, to provide Safe Zone training within GSK, and to include LGBT into GSK’s Supplier Diversity efforts.
Tristan Higgins – Tristan has a BA in Theater and went to law school to become an entertainment lawyer. She began her career as a prosecutor in San Diego, and went on to do entertainment law for the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles. After advising SAG in its video game contract negotiations, she joined Sega of America in San Francisco, where she oversaw Sega’s legal needs for North America. She left Sega to join Sony Electronics in San Diego, where she helped establish the Digital Cinema business worldwide. Tristan now advises the component sales division in Silicon Valley and works frequently with Sony’s headquarters in Tokyo on high tech licensing and sales. Tristan co-founded Sony’s LGBT employee resource group, organized Sony’s participation in San Diego Pride for the past four years, and spearheaded Sony’s participation in the HRC Corporate Equality Index (with annual scores in the nineties). Last year, Tristan received the National LGBT Bar Association’s Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award and was named one of the 10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz by POWER UP, a lesbian filmmaking group. On a personal note, Tristan has two young children. She loves writing, traveling, kayaking, musicals, bow ties, lattes and craft beer.
Greg McCurdy – Greg McCurdy is the Senior Policy Counsel advising Microsoft’s US government affairs team on legislation and policy including international IP issues based in Washington, DC. Greg joined Microsoft in 2000 in Paris and then Seattle from 2002 to 2009 managing US and international antitrust and commercial litigation. Before joining Microsoft, Greg practiced commercial litigation in New York City at Milbank Tweed from 1991-94 and at Proskauer Rose from 1996-99. In between, Greg also clerked for Judge Harold Baer, Jr. in the S.D.N.Y. and Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards at the D.C. Circuit. Throughout his career, Greg has been active in a number of bar associations having served as co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Antitrust Committee and on the National Leadership Council of Lambda Legal. He graduated from Harvard College and NYU Law School.
Tom Murray – Tom Murray is Counsel at Monster, Inc., one of the world’s preeminent consumer electronics brands, where he partners with all company functions on a wide range of business, legal, and compliance issues. His responsibilities include celebrity endorsement deals, manufacturing and distribution agreements, IP protection in marketing and social media, negotiating and managing sales relationships, and corporate operations. Previously, Tom was Corporate Counsel and Secretary at H5, a leading information retrieval company, where he created the legal function and managed the day-to-day legal affairs of the company. Tom holds a JD from Tulane Law School and a BA in Government and Russian & Soviet Studies (yes, he’s THAT old) from Cornell University. Tom lives in San Francisco with his partner Erik and their two dogs, Whiskey and Nemo (photos available upon request).
Jen Olmsted – Jen Olmsted is a highly accomplished technology sales executive. She is currently managing a team of five within the Legal Technology Solutions practice at Navigant Consulting, while also maintaining her own book of business. She has had documented success in building and managing high performance teams with some of the top technology companies in the Legal space. Prior to her success with Navigant, Jen was one of the top sales executives at a major technology company. She maintains experience in exceeding budgeted top and bottom line goals, fostering long-term growth, strategic planning & implementation, and maximizing contribution to the overall organization. She has expertise in information management technologies, SaaS and “behind the firewall,” Electronic Discovery solutions, Cyber Security, Data Breach, and Structured Data Analytics.
Barry Parsons – Barry M. Parsons is Associate General Counsel with Freddie Mac’s General Litigation and Investigations group. Barry litigates cases, advises clients, and manages outside counsel on a wide variety of litigation matters including employment, contract, insurance, intellectual property, fraud, and antitrust issues. He also conducts internal investigations, advises the company on document retention issues, and is a member of the Legal Division’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Pro Bono Working Group. In 2011, he received the General Counsel’s Impact Award. Before joining Freddie Mac, Barry was a litigator with Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, DC for nearly fourteen years. Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Barry was a judicial clerk for the Honorable William O. Bertelsman, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Before attending law school, he worked as a business consultant for major systems consulting company and as a financial analyst for a mid-Atlantic telecommunications company. Barry has served on the Board of Directors for the National LGBT Bar Association since 2010. He also recruited at Lavender Law for five years. Barry frequently speaks about LGBT diversity issues at Lavender Law and at the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s annual national conference. Barry received his J.D., with distinction from the George Mason University School of Law where he was Editor-in-Chief of the George Mason Law Review and a Dean’s Scholar. He also holds a M.B.A. from The American University Kogod School of Business and a B.S. in Economics from King’s College.
Pratik Patel – Pratik leads Elevate’s consulting practice focused on design, development and delivery of practical solutions to help corporate law departments and government agencies reduce legal spend, and help law firms improve profitability through use of value-based pricing (AFAs). Pratik joined Elevate as part of the acquisition of RFx LEGAL Analytics in 2012, prior to which he served as a founding member and partner at RFx LEGAL, a leading provider of legal spend management, analytics and sourcing intelligence solutions, which he led from inception to becoming a recognized legal spend management provider. Prior to RFx LEGAL, Pratik served as a senior managing consultant at Huron Legal, where he played a key role in the rapid growth of Huron’s Legal consulting practice. During his time at Huron Legal, Pratik worked closely with Fortune 500 General Counsel, Law Department Managers and Legal Finance Managers to develop strategic roadmaps for enhancing various areas of their legal operations, including outside counsel management, law firm sourcing and selection, legal matter management, e-billing, contract lifecycle management, legal holds, e-discovery and document management.
Ken Priore – Ken is a technology, securities, and corporate attorney for entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, and emerging brands with over 17 years experience: current focus on mobile application development, privacy, social networking and brand IP protection. Currently, Ken is General Counsel to Grindr and is in private practice in San Francisco. Ken’s past experience includes Paypal, MVC Capital and Charles Schwab. Ken is a graduate of Tulane Law School and Tufts University.
Melissa A. Romig – Melissa is a Senior Attorney practicing labor/employment law for American Airlines, one of the largest airlines in the world. Melissa provides legal counsel on all aspects of employment law, across the nation. Her work includes extensive preventative counseling; defense of employment discrimination/harassment matters (including those based on Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, and state/local equivalents); reductions in force and restructuring (including issues surrounding WARN and severance options); statutory leaves (such as FMLA and similar state obligations); employment contracts; wage/hour compliance; and the intersection of traditional employment law with collective bargaining rights and responsibilities. Most recently, her practice also has included labor/employment obligations to emerge from a successful bankruptcy restructuring, and an anticipated merger with another air carrier. Melissa also shares American’s deep commitment to diversity, and in 2013 was proud to accept on behalf of American’s Legal Department the National LGBT Bar Association’s “Out and Proud Corporate Counsel” Award, recognizing the Legal Department’s contributions to the LGBT community. Melissa’s position at American Airlines has allowed her to indulge her love of travel, seeing exotic (and not-so-exotic) locales ranging from Milwaukee to Bangkok, Indianapolis to Shanghai, and Tulsa to Buenos Aires. Melissa received her undergraduate and law degrees from The Ohio State University, and has been practicing law since 1996
Marya M. Rose – Marya M. Rose is Vice-President – Chief Administrative Officer of Cummins Inc. She joined Cummins in 1997 as a lawyer and served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Cummins from 2001 until August 2011, when she was named CAO. A graduate of Williams College, she received her J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. Prior to joining Cummins, Ms. Rose was an attorney with the firm of Bose McKinney & Evans in Indianapolis, assistant general counsel with the State’s largest agency (FSSA), and a senior aide to two Indiana Governors — Evan Bayh and Frank O’Bannon. At Cummins, Ms. Rose is responsible for seven global functions including legal, government relations, global security, corporate facilities and real estate, communications, information technology and Cummins shared service business. Ms. Rose is also on the Company’s senior leadership team. Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations.
Ken Sanchez – Ken Sanchez is a Director of Business Development and Strategic Relationship Management at Bloomberg Law, a division of Bloomberg LP offering subscription based online legal information services to law firms. In his position at Bloomberg Law, Ken’s responsible for working with senior partners and other law firm personnel to determine the best practices for business development and client retention. Ken is an active member of the Board of Directors of LeGaL – The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York. Prior to joining the Board, Ken was responsible for chairing LeGaL’s Social & Networking Committee, where he helped assemble a large committee of members that created a robust calendar of networking and social events for the Bar Association. He is also involved with the Financial Service Industry Exchange, Lambda Legal, The Hispanic Steering Committee for the New York State Republican Party and served as President of the Log Cabin Republicans of Massachusetts from 2003-2005. A native of New York City, Ken earned his Undergraduate degree in Political Science and Spanish Language & Literature at Fordham University in New York and his Law Degree at Boston College Law School. He currently resides in New York City.
Rick Schroder – Rick Schroder, Manager Inclusion & Diversity, GSK has worked in the field of Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) for 15 years. He is responsible for driving alignment of the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) with business strategies, expanding I&D communications, providing oversight for the Outreach strategy, and facilitating benchmarking and research opportunities. Prior to joining GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), he was with Campbell Soup Company, Shell Oil, and provided consulting services to BP, and Lockheed-Martin. He began his career in I&D in 1998 with Shell Oil Company. Prior to joining GSK, Rick drove strategy within the Office of Diversity at Campbell Soup Company. Rick came out at Shell in 1994. Over the years he has been active in LGBT workplace issues and creating more inclusive workplaces. Rick is author of “Finding The Energy – Coming Out In Corporate America,” which captures the key learnings and observations leading up to his decision to come out in the workplace in 1994 and the journey that followed. Rick has degrees from Idaho State University (ISU) and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Arts & Letters at ISU, and a member of the Disability Equality Index Advisory Committee – a joint venture between the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
John Sullivan – John was a member of Imation’s executive operations team, directed its worldwide legal staff and supported the Imation Board of Directors. John previously served as Vice President and General Counsel at Silicon Graphics Inc. and as General Counsel at Cray Research, Inc. John currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Regions Hospital Foundation and the Matthew Shepard Foundation and on the Board of Trustees for the Minneapolis Foundation. John is also a member of the Community Advisory Boards for both Theatre Latte Da and Frank Theater. John was a founding member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Business Council in 1997 and served as its co-chair from 2001 to 2003, during which time HRC published its first annual Corporate Equality Index. John previously served on the HRC Board of Governors from 1999 to 2003 and served on the HRC national Board of Directors from 2003 until 2007. He was recently invited to serve as an original member of HRC’s newly formed Emeritus Council. John holds a doctorate of jurisprudence degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School and a bachelor of arts degree in quantitative methods from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.
Julius Towers – Julius is the Chief Personal Care, Hill’s, and Licensing/Transactions Trademarks Counsel for Colgate-Palmolive Company. His practice focuses on all aspects of non-Patent Intellectual Property law (Trademarks, Copyrights, Unfair Competition, Internet Law). In addition, Julius supports the Brand Protection Unit of Colgate-Palmolive and is responsible for Social/Digital Media matters for North America. Prior to Colgate-Palmolive, Julius was Senior Trademark & Copyrights Counsel at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and an Associate in the NYC office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (JD ’03) and Florida State University (BA ’00), Julius is active in many community service and affinity group activities. At Penn Law, he was the President of Penn Law Lambda, and is currently serving on the Penn Law School Alumni Board of Managers. Other activities including chairing the Bristol-Myers Squibb Law Department’s Diversity Committee, and the Colgate-Palmolive Global Legal Organization’s Pro Bono Committee. Julius has participated in numerous panels focusing not only on Intellectual Property law practice, but diversity & the bar, specifically as it relates to GLBT & Multicultural concerns.
Bill Underwood – Bill Underwood is Senior Counsel for Target Corporation. He leads a legal team responsible for new and existing store real estate transactions. In addition, Bill leads the Law Pyramid Diversity & Inclusion Team at Target. Prior to joining Target in 2004, Bill was an Associate at Faegre & Benson LLP in the Environmental Law department from 1997-2001 and the Real Estate department from 2001-2004, specializing in environmental litigation, commercial real estate, land use and zoning. Bill received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (summa cum laude) and obtained his J.D. from the University of Oregon (Order of the Coif). He was a member of the Board of Directors of Theater Latte Da from 2001-2006 serving as President from 2002-2006, and rejoined the Board in 2009, serving as President since 2012.
Ashley Watson – Ashley Watson is senior vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer for Hewlett-Packard Company. She oversees the strategy and implementation of HP’s ethics and compliance program, which includes ethical decision making based on HP’s Standards of Business Conduct and both internal and external investigations. Her team is also responsible for social and environmental sustainability and compliance, privacy, global records management and the HP Foundation. Before joining HP in December 2008, Watson was vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Attenex. In this position, she was responsible for all company legal matters, including M&A, strategic alliances, IP policy, risk management and compliance. She also managed the legal department staff and outside counsel activities. She was previously senior litigation counsel at BellSouth Corporation, responsible for complex litigation. Watson holds a J.D. degree from the University of Georgia and her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jodi A. Argentino – Jodi Argentino is a Partner with Argentino & Jacobs, LLC, located in Morris County, NJ where she exclusively practices family law. She is also a State of NJ Family Law Mediator and is a member of the NJ Association of Professional Mediators. Jodi obtained her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law, where she also received a Certification of Specialization in Family Law and Social Policy and was a Teaching Assistant for The Children’s Rights and Family Law Clinical Program. She is a member of the Family Law Institute of the National LGBT Bar Association and is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the NJ Bar Association LGBT Rights Section. She has been appointed to the District X Fee Arbitration Committee of the NJ Office of Attorney Ethics and is an active member of the NJSBA’s Family Law and Solo and Small Firm Practice Sections. Jodi writes extensively on Family Law topics, was on the editorial board for the NJSBA LGBT Rights Section Newsletter, and was a speaker for the NJ LGBT 2013 Update. Jodi has a wife and three sons, the youngest two of whom she is proud to share are infant twins conceived via co-maternity.
Elise S. F. Baker – Elise Baker, Esq., created Placer Law Group, APC, after 25 years in the legal profession. Elise graduated from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, where she earned Traynor Society, Order of Barristers, and Order of the Coif honors and graduated with distinction. While a student at McGeorge, Elise took the school’s first Sexual Orientation and the Law course. She returned to McGeorge as an adjunct professor in the Appellate Advocacy practical skills course. Elise became a stay-at-home mom for several years after her first child was born. When she was ready to go back to work full-time, Elise decided to open a law practice that would allow her to continue spending time with her family. Transactional estate planning and administration allows her to do that. Elise presents regularly to professional and community organizations to raise awareness about the importance of quality estate planning. She has built a niche practice serving same-sex couples and enjoys the opportunity to speak at local PFLAG chapter meetings. Elise has also presented on this issue to the local Estate Planning Council, which she created in 2008.
Lauren Barros – Lauren Barros is the president of LRBFamilyLaw, a full service family law firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2013, the readers of the Catalyst magazine named her one of Utah’s “Catalyst 100,” as a catalyst within our community. Also in 2013, the Community Foundation of Utah selected her as one of its “Enlightened 50,” individuals who are “making a real difference in the lives of Utahns through innovation, collaboration and commitment to the common good.” Ms. Barros received the award of “Distinguished Family Law Practitioner” in 2005-2006 from the Utah State Bar and a “Most Fabulous Attorney” award from Q Salt Lake Magazine every year since 2007. She and her husband received Equality Utah’s Allies Award in 2006. In 2004, Utah Business Magazine gave her the “Top 40 Under 40 Rising Stars” award. She is consistently listed in Utah Business Magazine’s Family Law “Legal Elite.” Ms. Barros is a Fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, Chair of the Equality Utah Legal Panel, and a member of the Utah State Bar Family Law Executive Committee (Chair 2011-2012), the Utah Adoption Council, NCLR’s Family Law Advisory Council, and the Women Lawyers of Utah (President of the Board, 2001-2002). In the Fall of 2009, Lauren and other concerned attorneys and law students created Rainbow Law, the first pro bono LGBT Law Clinic in Utah.
Alan H. Boudreau – Alan H. Boudreau is a mediator and Collaborative attorney in Chicago, focusing on dispute resolution, family law and estate planning. Mr. Boudreau graduated from the University of California, Davis School of Law. Prior to law school, Mr. Boudreau worked for more than a decade in the software industry. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in psychology. Mr. Boudreau is a volunteer mediator and trainer for the Center for Conflict Resolution. He serves on the Board of the National LGBT Bar Association. Mr. Boudreau is the incoming Chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and was a Track Chair for the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s 2013 Conference. He is also a Fellow of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and the Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s LGBT Committee.
Joan Burda – Joan M. Burda is a lawyer who practices in Lakewood, Ohio. She is the award-winning author of Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples, Second Edition (ABA 2012) and Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Clients: A Lawyer’s Guide (ABA 2008). She writes about LGBT legal issues for online and print publications. Ms. Burda speaks on LGBT issues at conferences and workshops around the country. Ms. Burda is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and teaches Sexual Orientation and the Law. She also teaches Contracts, Civil Procedure and Administrative Law in the Legal Studies Program at Ursuline College. Ms. Burda lives in Lakewood with her spouse, Betsy.
Dominic Campodonico – Dominic Campodonico is a partner in Gordon & Rees’ San Francisco office. He has more than 15 years of experience representing healthcare-related clients. Mr. Campodonico has served as national litigation coordinating counsel, regional counsel, and local counsel in litigation involving a variety of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. He also assists clients with high-stakes matters that frequently occur simultaneously with litigation, such as risk management and compliance, FDA/regulatory issues, government investigations, suits under the federal and California False Claims Act, insurance, and crisis communications. In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Campodonico is an active member of the Bar Association of San Francisco including serving on the Board of Directors of the Justice & Diversity Center and being involved with the Equality Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues. He is also a member of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom where he has participated on its Judiciary, Dinner, and Amicus Committees, as well as serving, twice, as a co-chair of the annual fundraising/awards event. Mr. Campodonico has been published in the San Francisco Daily Journal, and has presented at national and local seminars, concerning LGBT issues that impact the legal community.
Patience Crozier – Patience Crozier is a principal of Kauffman Crozier LLP, a family law firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Polly’s practice focuses on all areas of family law, particularly adoption, divorce, dissolution, domestic partnership agreements, assisted reproductive technology, paternity and guardianship. In addition to her practice, Polly has served as co-chair and board member of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, on the Steering Committee of the Boston Bar Association’s Family Law Section, and as an appointed member of the MBA/BBA Joint Alimony Task Force. Polly also speaks and writes on topics related to her work. Polly’s chapter entitled “Parental Rights After Relationship Dissolution” was included in GLAD’s book Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy. Polly is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New York. She earned her J.D. magna cum laude from Boston College Law School and her B.A. with distinction from Yale University. Polly has been honored with the BC Law School Recent Graduate Award (2010) and the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Up and Coming Lawyer Award (2010). She has been recognized by the National LGBT Bar Association as a Top LGBT Lawyer Under 40 (2011) and by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in 2009-2012.
Lisa Damon – Ms. Damon is the National Chair of Seyfarth’s Labor & Employment Department, where she represents management in the area of labor and employment law. Her practice has a particular emphasis on litigation of discrimination and harassment claims, in the context of single-plaintiff actions and multiple plaintiff claims. Ms. Damon was one of the founding partners of Seyfarth’s Boston office which opened in 1999 with seven lawyers. The office is now over 80 lawyers. Ms. Damon has considerable experience litigating and advising clients concerning all aspects of employment law. Ms. Damon is also on Seyfarth’s Executive Committee and leads the Seyfarth Lean Six Sigma program throughout the Firm. Seyfarth has trained GreenBelts to lead client teams to deliver high value, predictably priced legal services to meet our client’s needs. Ms. Damon is a certified GreenBelt. Ms. Damon speaks extensively, both on a local and national level. Within the past year, Ms. Damon has been recognized with four prominent national accolades: She was named one of the top 10 Agents of Change in the Financial Times U.S. Innovative Lawyer Report 2012; she was featured among the 10 most innovative attorneys in the country by the ABA Journal’s “Legal Rebels: Big Change in Big Law”; she was honored by Chambers USA as the 2012 Woman Employment Attorney of the Year, in large part due to her efforts with SeyfarthLean; and, she was recognized by the Association of Corporate Counsel as a 2012 ACC Value Champion.
Nicole Dogwill – Nicole Dogwill is a litigation partner that advises and defends leading established and emerging companies, as well as their directors and officers, on matters involving fiduciary duty, corporate governance, securities, fraud, antitrust/unfair business practices, trade secret and related business litigation claims. She has significant experience defending claims against directors and officers. Ms. Dogwill received a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Michigan in 1994 and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law in 1998, where she was managing editor of MSU College of Law Review. Ms. Dogwill was included as a “future star” in both the 2012 and 2013 editions of Benchmark Litigation. She is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Board of Directors, and is their current Treasurer and President-Elect.
Chris Dolan – Chris is an associate in the Minneapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and specializes in environmental and natural resources litigation, environmental review, and administrative proceedings. His litigation practice is focused on complex environmental litigation arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and a variety of state statutes. Chris has also developed a strong pro bono practice focusing on civil rights issues affecting the LGBT community as well as child custody and adoption matters. Chris also serves as a trustee of The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Prior to joining Faegre Baker Daniels, Chris worked as a McCleary law fellow with the Human Rights Campaign and as a legal and policy associate with Workplace Flexibility 2010, a policy initiative of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Georgetown University. In 2010, Chris was named as an inaugural recipient of the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 Award. He is also a recipient of the Equality and Justice Award from the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association and was honored as a 2012 Attorney of the Year by the Minnesota Lawyer magazine.
Kate Fitzgerald – Kate Fitzgerald oversees the business development for Squire Sanders’ Global Litigation Practice, which consists of more than 250 litigators throughout the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. Kate brings over 15 years of legal marketing, business development and executive coaching experience to her work and has led numerous initiatives focused on revenue generation, regional expansion, vertical marketing, practice expansion, lateral integration, as well as marketing department re-organizations. For several years, Kate ran her own consulting firm, Deane Marketing & Communications, where her clients included regional, national and international law firms, such as DLA Piper, Lindquist & Vennum, Littler Mendelson, McDonough Holland & Allen, Nixon Peabody, Orrick, Preston Gates, Tomlinson Zisko. Other clients included BuzzBack Market Research, Clear Impact, LyonMartin Health Services and PacificTherX. Kate has written and spoken extensively on marketing and business development. She was a contributing columnist to the Daily Journal’s EXTRA magazine for several years. She is also an adjunct faculty member of Berkeley City College. Prior to working with law firms, Kate worked in the book and magazine publishing industry.
Thomas E. Gaynor – Thomas Gaynor’s practice includes structuring and negotiating complex international corporate transactions. Thomas has handled public and private international company mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, venture and private equity financings, joint ventures and domestic/offshore investment fund creation. He represents companies from initial start-up stages through various exits, as well as multinational entities and has provided a broad range of legal services and business strategy advice. His international practice focuses on Italy and France. Thomas has guided several mediation and litigation matters to successful conclusions for clients with his team of specialty counsel. Thomas is co‐author of “The Top Ten for Start‐up Entrepreneurs,” Points & Authorities, Winter 2010/2011. Thomas is a member of the Association of Corporate Growth in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Gavin Gray – Gavin Gray is the Chief Information Officer at Perkins Coie, a national firm of 900 lawyers headquartered in Seattle, Washington. He has more than 15 years of organizational leadership and project management experience in large international law firms. Gavin’s background includes a variety of management roles in and outside of technology which affords him a unique perspective on law firm operations and organizational dynamics. Gavin joined Perkins Coie in 2010 and is based in New York.
Wendy Hartmann - Wendy E. Hartmann was born in Brooklyn, New York and received her B.S. in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Oswego. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of LaVerne College of Law and her LL.M in Taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law. Ms. Hartmann is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the United States Tax Court. Ms. Hartmann is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Specialist Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and has been selected for 2011, 2012 and 2013 as one of the top attorneys in Southern California. Prior to receiving her J.D. and LLM degrees, she practiced for more than twenty years in the areas of taxation, accounting, estate planning, business management and development, and human resources, as well as serving for several years as a Vice President at a nationwide human resource consulting firm. Ms. Hartmann now specializes in the areas of estate planning, trust administration, probate, taxation, business formation and development, adoption and family formation, with a large portion of her practice devoted to advising the LGBT community. She is a frequent lecturer in the areas of estate taxation as well as the evolving laws affecting the LGBT community
Valerie L. Hletko – Valerie Hletko is a partner in the Washington, DC, office of BuckleySandler LLP. Ms. Hletko represents financial institutions in examinations, investigations, and administrative enforcement actions initiated by the DOJ, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Board, the CFPB, HUD, and state bank regulatory agencies and state attorneys general. Her enforcement practice is focused on a broad range of consumer finance issues, including fair and responsible lending, financial products trade practices, mortgage fraud, and mortgage loan servicing. Ms. Hletko has represented financial institutions in individual and private class action litigation alleging violations of federal and state fair lending laws, mortgage fraud, and unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. Ms. Hletko also counsels financial institutions on risk management, loss mitigation, and residential mortgage loan modification programs, and compliance with consumer protection laws. She lectures and publishes on subjects of interest to financial institutions, including fair and responsible banking practices, regulatory enforcement trends, and short-term, small-dollar loan products. Ms. Hletko received her B.A. from Kenyon College (magna cum laude), her M.T.S. from Harvard University, and her J.D. from the University of Chicago.
Michael R. Jarecki – Michael R. Jarecki is the principal of the Law Office of Michael R. Jarecki in Chicago, a firm concentrating in U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law. He represents businesses, employees, families, and individuals before government agencies within the country and at U.S. consular posts worldwide. Mr. Jarecki is Secretary of the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He has served as Chair of the National LGBT Working Group of AILA and as a member of various AILA liaison committees with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Chicago. Mr. Jarecki has the honor to serve on the Advisory Committee to Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois’ 5thCongressional District, advising on issues related to immigration and LGBT rights. Mr. Jarecki has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a Rising Star in Illinois for Immigration and was named one of the Best LGBT Attorneys Under the Age of 40, Class of 2012, by the National LGBT Bar Association, an affiliate of the American Bar Association. Mr. Jarecki is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was a member of the law review. Contact information may be found at www.jareckilaw.com.
Tamara E. Kolz Griffin – Tamara Kolz Griffin is a solo practitioner in Wayland, Massachusetts. Her practice primarily focuses on estate planning and probate with a particular expertise in serving the needs of same-sex couples and non-traditional families. Tamara is also a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School where she teaches estate planning and serves as the Associate Director of the Estate Planning Clinic through which she collaborates with the LGBT Clinic to serve the estate planning needs of LGBT clients. Tamara is a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a nonprofit association of lawyers whose members are elected to the College by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as trust and estate counselors. Prior to establishing her own solo practice, Tamara was a partner in the Boston office of Holland & Knight, LLP, where she practiced for 15 years. Tamara received her B.S. from Northeastern University summa cum laude in 1990, where she graduated first in her class. She earned her J.D. degree cum laude in 1993 from Harvard Law School and an L.L.M. in taxation from Boston University School of Law in 2002. She may be reached at email@example.com.
Noah Kressler – Noah Kressler is a senior associate in the Capital Markets practice group of Weil, Gotshal, & Manges. Mr. Kressler advises issuers, underwriters and selling stockholders in connection with public and private offerings of securities, including initial public offerings, follow-on and secondary equity offerings, PIPEs and debt offerings. He also advises clients regarding corporate governance issues and securities law compliance. He has practiced in the firm’s New York and London offices. He represented STR Holdings, Inc. and GlobeOp Financial Services in their initial public offerings, as well as issuers or underwriters for proposed initial public offerings for companies in the internet, restaurant, health care and pharmaceutical industries. He has also represented Univision Communications, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc. and Universal Hospital Services, Inc. in high yield debt offerings and the underwriters in offerings by Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., Lear Corporation, Frontier Communications and USIS, Inc. Mr. Kressler has experience in private equity and acquisition finance, representing Berkshire Partners and OMERS Private Equity in their acquisition of Husky International (IFLR 2011 Private Equity Deal of the Year), Thomas H. Lee Partners in their acquisitions of Ceridian Corporation, MoneyGram International and Party City, NBC Universal in their acquisition of The Weather Channel and HM Rivergroup PLC in their acquisition of Houghton Mifflin. He also has a range of experience in corporate matters, including representing Trump Entertainment Resorts in their restructuring, AutoTrader Group in their acquisition of an interest in Bitauto and Ceridian Corporation in their acquisition of Dayforce.
Karen Langsley – Karen Langsley is a solo practitioner and a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist. Her practice consists primarily of Child Welfare Law, Collaborative Law, traditional family litigation, and emphasizes the importance of alternative dispute resolution for non-traditional families (i.e. LGBT families, unmarried families, married parents in non-recognition states). She serves on the Texas State Bar Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, and is a past chair of the State Bar’s LGBT Law Section. A San Francisco native now living in Central Texas (thanks to the best wife on the planet), she truly appreciates the opportunity to come back and savor Pacific Cafe.
Lisa Linsky – Lisa Linsky is a partner in the Trial Group of McDermott Will and Emery and is resident in the Firm’s NY office. Lisa is an experienced trial attorney whose practice includes product liability, toxic torts, environmental litigation, all aspects of commercial litigation, internal investigations, business counseling, civil rights and asylum work. Lisa came to McDermott in 2000. Previously, Lisa ran the Special Prosecutions Division of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. In addition to her litigation practice at McDermott, Lisa is the partner in charge of firm-wide LGBT Diversity and Inclusion. In 2006, Lisa founded the Firm’s LGBT Diversity and Inclusion Committee which has been recognized across the country for its innovation and commitment to workplace equality and inclusion. Lisa is an officer on the national Board of Directors for Lambda Legal. She writes a blog for the Huffington Post, “Out and About LGBT Legal”, and was voted one of NY City’s Top Power Gays by the New York Observer. Lisa was recently honored by the New York City Bar Association with its prestigious Art Leonard Award for her contributions to the broader LGBT community. Lisa’s pro bono work on behalf of LGBT asylum-seekers who have fled their home countries due to persecution has twice won her and McDermott the Safe Haven Award from Immigration Equality.
Michael A. Lundberg – Mike Lundberg is a fifth-year litigation associate at Latham & Watkins LLP. His practice focuses on white collar investigations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and securities and professional liability. Mike is an active member of Latham’s Pro Bono Committee and also serves on the Associate Leadership Board for Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. Mike has taken part in Latham’s on-campus recruiting efforts for many years, including as part of previous Lavender Law conferences. Prior to attending law school, Mike worked as an investigator and campaigner for a non-governmental organization based in London, England, for which he conducted on-site investigations into arms trafficking, natural resource extraction and human rights abuses in West Africa, Europe and Asia. A native of Southern California, Mike earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Yale University, his MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Laura J. Maechtlen – Laura Maechtlen is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and serves as a Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity Action Team. Ms. Maechtlen’s practice is focused on employment litigation and includes the defense of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions under federal and California state law. Ms. Maechtlen also has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation. Ms. Maechtlen also has trial experience, and was a member of multiple trial teams that have secured defense verdicts in the California Superior Courts in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda and Santa Clara. Ms. Maechtlen is a past President of the National LGBT Bar Association, was honored with the James C. Hormel Philanthropist Award from the San Francisco AIDS Legal Referral Panel in 2013, named Seyfarth Shaw’s Pro Bono Partner of the Year in 2012, honored in 2011-2012 as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine in Employment Litigation, and named one of the country’s “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association in 2011.
Joseph M. Manicki – Joseph Manicki is a partner in Sidley Austin LLP’s Chicago Office and counsels clients in a wide variety of industries with respect to the design, implementation and administration of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements, including in connection with mergers and acquisitions. He has been designated a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Mr. Manicki regularly speaks on LGBT matters and was recognized in 2012 as one of the “40 Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association. Mr. Manicki received his LLM in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 2006, with distinction, his JD from Tulane Law School in 2003, cum laude, and his BBA from Loyola University Chicago in 2000, summa cum laude. While at Tulane, he served as the Senior Managing Editor of Volume 12 of the Journal of Law & Sexuality, and his case note, Myers v. San Francisco: Satisfactory C’s on the Domestic Partnership Benefits Report Card – The Constitutionality of Contingent City Contracts Under the Commerce Clause, was published in Volume 11.
Allison Mendel – Allison Mendel practices in a boutique law firm in Anchorage Alaska, Mendel & Associates, Inc. The firm emphasizes family law, alternative family law, adoptions and ART, and appeals. Allison was formerly co-chair of the National LGBT Bar (when it was the NLGLA) and currently sits on the National Center for Lesbian Rights National Family Law Advisory Council. She has received numerous awards for pro bono and civil rights work, including for her involvement in many landmark cases involving LGBT rights in the State of Alaska. She is also active in her state Bar, including two terms on the Bar Board of Governors. She raised four children in Alaska, and now has four grandchildren with another on the way. She married in California two days before California ended same-sex marriages – and hopes that by the time this is published it will again be legal.
Janice Mock – Janice Mock is a partner in the San Francisco office of Nossaman LLP with 20 years of practice in complex commercial litigation matters, including products liability, banking, employment, real estate and constitutional law. Her clients range from small businesses to internationally recognized corporations and partnerships, and span both the private and public sectors. Ms. Mock was appointed to serve on the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Judiciary Committee, and is a member of Lambda Legal Defense Fund’s San Francisco Leadership Council. She serves on Nossaman’s Diversity Committee and is a frequent speaker and author on current issues and developments in litigation and employment law. Ms. Mock has been consistently recognized as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” for business litigation.
James Moore – James Moore is part of the O’Melveny and Myers Talent Development team serving as the firm’s Career Development Advisor. Jim provides confidential personal guidance to O’Melveny associates and counsel regarding all aspects of career growth and development. Jim helps attorneys develop tools and strategies to make the most of their careers and provides meaningful support throughout their careers at O’Melveny and beyond. Jim brings ten years of large law firm experience to this position. Prior to joining O’Melveny as litigation counsel in 2008, he was an associate with Gray Cary (now DLA) and later Thelen in their Silicon Valley offices. He was honored in 2009 and 2010 as a “Rising Star” in intellectual property litigation in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. During law school, Jim served as a legal intern with the Human Rights Campaign. Before becoming an attorney, Jim was an admissions counselor at the University of Rhode Island and Manhattan College. Jim received his JD from The George Washington University Law School in 2001 and graduated magna cum laudeand Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rhode Island in 1988 with a B.A. in Journalism.
Karen Moulding – Karen Moulding is an attorney in private practice in Brooklyn, New York focusing on family law, alternative family law, and real estate. She is also the Author of Sexual Orientation and the Law, a comprehensive national treatise and practitioner’s guide on lgbt legal issues. She has a J.D. from Columbia Law School and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia, and also writes fiction.
Lynda Murray-Blair – Lynda Murray-Blair is Manager, Diversity & Inclusion for Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. She has responsibility for creating and implementing long term diversity strategies and goals; advising firm leaders on current diversity issues, including Diversity Council and Women’s Initiative leaders. Lynda serves as an external liaison for the firm in the diversity community and collaborates with clients regarding diversity initiatives. Prior to joining Kilpatrick Townsend, Lynda was Manager of Talent Sustainability & Inclusion for PepsiCo – Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade division. At PepsiCo, Lynda collaborated with members of Equal – PepsiCo’s LGBT employee resource group – to create PepsiCo’s first LGBT Inclusion training program. She was awarded the PepsiCo Harvey Russell Inclusion Award in 2006 and 2008 for her role in helping to establish the PepsiCo Women of Color Alliance, and planning PepsiCo’s 1st Global Multicultural Inclusion Summit. Lynda has also held various HR roles at Motorola, GE, and Baxter Healthcare. Lynda earned her JD from Florida A&M University, received her BS from Tuskegee University, holds an MBA, and is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). In addition she has earned a Certificate in African American Leadership from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Lynda is a member of the State Bar of Georgia Diversity Programs Steering Committee, National Association of Women Lawyers, and the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals. Lynda is married to Marlow Blair. Lynda and Marlow have two sons, Johnathan and Reed.
Tiffany Palmer – Tiffany L. Palmer, Esq. is a shareholder with Jerner & Palmer, P.C. who focuses her practice on LGBT family law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Tiffany graduated from Rutgers University School of Law. Tiffany is an adjunct professor at Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law teaching Sexual Orientation and the Law. Tiffany is a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of best legal practices in the area of assisted reproduction. She is also a member of the National Center for Lesbian Rights Family Law Advisory Council, a group of experienced family law and estate planning attorneys from around the country that meet annually to discuss LGBT family formation and protection issues, evaluating national trends and state-by-state cases. Tiffany authored of the chapter Assisted Reproductive Technology in Pennsylvania in a book entitled Representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Clients in Pennsylvania, published by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Tiffany has been named as a “Pennsylvania Rising Star: Top Young Lawyers in Pennsylvania” by the publishers of Super Lawyers, Philadelphia Magazine and was named one of the nation’s “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” in 2011 by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Zack Paakkonen – Zack Paakkonen is a co-owner of West End Legal, LLC, a two-attorney general practice law firm in Maine that concentrates on representation for the Maine transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, queer, and allied community. His practice includes family law, bankruptcy, criminal defense, discrimination law, education law, and civil litigation and occasional community advocacy. He also serves as a Guardian ad Litem in the Maine courts. Zack graduated from the University of Southern Maine and received his law degree from Cornell Law School. He was raised on the coast of Maine and now resides in Portland, Maine. Zack belongs to the National LGBT Bar Association and serves on the Executive Committee of the LGBT Bar’s Family Law Institute.
Andrew Parlen – Andrew Parlen is a partner in O’Melveny’s Los Angeles office and a member of the Restructuring practice. He specializes in creative, responsive, multidisciplinary solutions to his clients’ financial challenges and strategic priorities. Whether representing businesses fighting to remain solvent, equity holders defending stakes, creditors protecting interests, or acquirers buying distressed assets, Andrew understands that clients require flexible, individually tailored guidance to navigate the fluid, fast-evolving restructuring field. He has represented companies, investment funds, and lenders in high-profile chapter 11 proceedings. He has also helped clients through prepackaged bankruptcies and out-of-court restructurings, devising and implementing value-maximizing strategies that spare them the disruption, expense, and publicity that may accompany an in-court proceeding. For his ability to craft complex and innovative solutions that win broad support even in the most contentious circumstances, Law360 named Andrew a 2013 “Rising Star”—one of just five bankruptcy attorneys under 40 nationwide to be recognized. Within O’Melveny, he is the recipient of a Warren Christopher Values Award, an honor bestowed on those who exemplify the Firm’s legacy of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Andrew also is co-chair of the Legal Council of UCLA’s Williams Institute, a national think tank dedicated to independent research on LGBT law and policy.
Robert Raben – Robert Raben is the founder and president of The Raben Group, a diverse collection of professionals with deep roots in law and progressive public policy who identify opportunities and solve problems for clients in the corporate, nonprofit, foundation and government sectors. Robert’s aggressively bipartisan approach was honed during a highly respected legislative career that began on Congressman Barney Frank’s (D-MA) staff and culminated in House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde’s (R-IL) endorsement of his appointment to the Justice Department as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs. After graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law, Robert was an associate with the law firm of Arnold & Porter. Soon after, he joined the faculty of Georgetown University Law School as an adjunct professor – a position he held until his confirmation as Assistant Attorney General. Robert is the President of the Hispanic Bar Association of DC Foundation and currently chairs the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Endorsement Committee. He serves on the boards of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project.
Lori Rifkin - Lori Rifkin is a civil rights attorney based in Oakland, California where she recently opened a solo practice, Rifkin Law Office. She has worked on LGBT, juvenile justice and school-to-prison pipeline, and education issues as a staff attorney at the ACLU and a senior trial attorney in the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Lori has also litigated civil rights cases as an attorney at the San Francisco-based public interest law firm Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld, and at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center. In 2012, she was named one of the 40 top LGBT lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Richard Segal – Mr. Segal is the managing partner of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s San Diego and San Diego North County offices. He has litigated in state, federal and bankruptcy courts on a variety of issues at both the trial and appellate levels. His practice emphasizes commercial and business litigation with particular concentrations in consumer finance, employee benefits, unfair competition, false advertising, securities, antitrust and banking matters. He represents benefit plans and trustees in ERISA cases in courts throughout California. He also has substantial litigation experience representing vehicle finance and leasing companies in class actions and private attorney general actions challenging their practices, and advises vehicle sales companies regarding state statutory, common law and regulatory compliance. Other significant matters include his representation of public corporations and/or inside or outside directors in various class action securities cases in state and federal courts. Additionally, Mr. Segal is the leader of Pillsbury’s firmwide LGBT attorney network and is a member of Lambda Legal’s National Leadership Council.
William S. Singer – William S. Singer, a partner of Singer & Fedun, LLC, has been in the private practice of law in New Jersey for over 41 years. His practice concentrates on the creation and protection of non-traditional families and as counselor to non-profit organizations. He has served as the General Counsel for the National LGBT Bar Association since its founding in the 1980’s and serves as General Counsel to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the ACLU-NJ, the New Jersey Sierra Club and the New Jersey Association for Justice. Bill is the founder and Director of the LGBT Family Law Institute, an organization for attorneys who specialize in LGBT family law. He is the legal advisor to Family By Design, the community of parenting partnerships. http://www.familybydesign.com/ He is a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys and a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In 2012, Bill was awarded the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union – New Jersey, the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the Presidential Award from the New Jersey Association for Justice, Inc.
Michelle Seldin Silverman – Michelle Seldin Silverman is a labor and employment attorney with Morgan Lewis and Bockius. Ms. Silverman’s practice is focused on employment litigation, including the defense of class, collective, and multi-plaintiff actions. Ms. Silverman also has significant experience handling matters involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various state agencies, including claims of systemic discrimination. In addition, a large part of Ms. Silverman’s practice involves counseling clients regarding best practices for managing leaves of absence, disability accommodations, gender stereotyping, and LGBT issues. Ms. Silverman has been an adjunct professor of gender and the law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she received her J.D. cum laude and Order of the Coif, and where, as a student, she was a founding member of the Clinic for LGBT Civil Rights. She earned her M.A., with distinction, in women’s and legal history from the University of Michigan in 1998 and her B.A., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1995. From 1996-1997, Ms. Silverman was the LGBT Coordinator at Princeton University, leading the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts in support of its LGBT students and employees.
Brian P. Simons – Brian Simons is a litigator in the Philadelphia office of Saul Ewing LLP, where he is a member of the White Collar Defense group, and the Insurance group. Prior to joining Saul Ewing, Brian served as the Managing Director of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s statewide LGBT civil rights organization, and before that was a sexual health educator with Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey. Brian is was also a Point Scholar with Point Foundation, a national merit- and need-based scholarship organization for LGBTQ students. Brian can be reached at BSimons@Saul.com.
Scott Skinner-Thompson – Scott Skinner-Thompson is a litigation associate at Dorsey & Whitney in Seattle and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ingersoll Gender Center. Scott has extensive experience advancing the rights of LGBT individuals and those living with HIV. Scott represented a transgender woman in an employment discrimination suit against the federal government and another transgender woman who was denied insurance coverage for a mammogram in violation of ERISA. He also successfully represented an HIV-positive boy in an ADA discrimination suit. Recently, Scott drafted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor on behalf of the American Sociological Association explaining that children fare just as well when raised by same-sex parents. Scott has authored multiple articles on constitutional law, LGBT rights, and HIV rights. Scott served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dolores Sloviter of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Robert Chatigny of the District of Connecticut. Previously, he was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb in New York. Scott received a J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Duke Law School in 2008. In 2005, he received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Whitman College.
Paul Smith – Paul Smith heads the Appellate & Supreme Court practice at Jenner & Block LLP. He is a veteran Supreme Court advocate who is perhaps best known for arguing Lawrence v. Texas as co-counsel with Lambda Legal. He has also argued several important Supreme Court cases involving voting rights and the First Amendment. Recently, he has worked with GLAD on two challenges to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He is a former member and Co-Chair of the Lambda Legal Board. He is a current member and former chair of the Board of the American Constitution Society, as well as a member of the ABA House of Delegates. In 2010, Mr. Smith received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the ABA Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities for his work promoting civil rights and civil liberties. He graduated from Amherst College and Yale Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for Judge James Oakes of the Second Circuit as well as Justice Lewis Powell Jr.
Todd Solomon – Todd A. Solomon is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP based in the Firm’s Chicago office. As a member of the Employee Benefits Practice Group, Todd’s practice is concentrated primarily on designing, amending, and administering pension plans, profit sharing plans, 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans, 403(b) plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. He also counsels privately and publicly-held corporations and tax-exempt entities regarding fiduciary and plan investment issues under ERISA, employee benefits issues involved in corporate transactions, executive compensation matters, and the implementation of benefit programs for domestic partners of employees. Todd is the author of the First-Seventh Editions of Domestic Partner Benefits – An Employer’s Guide, which were published by Thompson Publishing Group, and is a frequent speaker on employee benefits issues resulting from domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages.
Scott Squillace – Scott Squillace is an estate planning attorney with over 25 years of experience. He is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, New York and Washington D.C. and has been admitted to the Bar in Paris, France as an Avocat. Scott began his career as a corporate and transactional attorney with Skadden, Arps and also spent a number of years as an in-house corporate attorney. Scott is now the principal of Squillace & Associates, P.C. – a boutique law firm in Boston’s historic Back Bay specializing in life & estate planning matters for individuals and families. He specializes in planning needs for international clientele, corporate executives and small business owners. He is a member of WealthCounsel and works in collaboration with other attorneys nationally on life & estate planning matters. His practice includes a focus on planning needs for same sex couples and their families and his firm provides a full range of probated and trust settlement services. Scott holds his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in New York; has studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris and earned his J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is married and resides in Charlestown, MA.
Kimberly Surratt – Kimberly Surratt owns Surratt Law Practice, PC where she maintains an exclusive family law practice. Her comprehensive family law practice involves all areas of assisted reproductive law (egg donation law, embryo donation law, sperm donor law, surrogacy law and gestational carrier law), adoptions, guardianships, paternity actions, divorce, child custody and support and family formation. Kimberly is trained as a mediator, collaborative practitioner and collaborative trainer. She often speaks to groups of professionals and the general public about family formation choices and LGBT family law issues. Kimberly published the first article ever in the Nevada Lawyer titled Parenthood Through Technology. She has been lobbying at the legislature since 2005 on matters such as the passage of the Nevada Domestic Partnership Act and an Assisted Reproductive Technology bill that is all inclusive, gender and marital status neutral. Her extracurricular pursuits are as a wife, a mother of an awesome four year old, member of the Reno Rodeo Association executive committee, a member of the Nevada Justice Association Board of Governors, a member of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section Executive Council, a photographer and horseback rider. firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Thorndal – Paul W. Thorndal is a partner at Wald & Thorndal, P.C., and he is certified as a Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Paul is a senior litigation attorney with broad experience in both trial and appellate litigation. He works as a litigation attorney and mediator in the resolution of marital and domestic partnership disputes and disputed parentage cases, and in civil litigation of non-marital property claims. Paul’s practice also includes assisted reproductive technology (ART) litigation and transactional work. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1995. He is a member of the Family Law Practice Section of both the State Bar of California and the Bar Association of San Francisco. He also is a member of the National LGBT Law Association and the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. Paul obtained his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Paul and his husband have lived together in San Francisco for many years.
David Tsai - David is a Counsel in Perkins Coie LLP’s San Francisco and Taipei offices and a member of Perkins’ Commercial Litigation Practice Group. David’s practice focuses on trade secret and patent litigation involving the Internet, software, semiconductors, set-top boxes, smartphones, LEDs, pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, and medical devices. In 2011, David helped Perkins open its Taipei office and has since represented numerous Taiwanese companies on intellectual property matters. David is the immediate Past President of the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association and previously chaired the ABA LGBT Litigator Committee and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), San Francisco’s LGBT Bar association. In 2013, David was selected as one of the top “Five Associates To Watch” in California by the Daily Journal, one of the “50 Lawyers on the Fast Track” in California by The Recorder, and a Super Lawyer in intellectual property litigation. David has also been recognized by the Bar Association of San Francisco Barristers Club with the “2012 Diversity Award,” the National LGBT Bar with the 40 Best Under 40 in 2011, and the Santa Clara County Bar Association with the 2010 Barrister of the Year Award. David is committed to serving pro bono clients. He has worked on LGBT immigration pro bono matters with the Asian Law Caucus and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, including successfully representing a number of LGBT clients in immigration court. He has also led the filing of five amicus briefs related to the California same-sex marriage cases for which more than 100 organizations signed. David is a graduate of Harvard, Stanford, and Santa Clara University.
Michael J. Tucker – Michael Tucker, a State Bar of Arizona Certified Specialist in Estate and Trust Law, attended the University of Texas at Austin (B.A. cum laude, 1984) and the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., 1988). Licensed in Arizona and California, he is included in Best Lawyers in America in the trusts and estates category. Michael is a past president of Valley Estate Planners and the Planned Giving Round Table of Arizona. He has chaired the State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Committee, and the Maricopa County Bar Association Estate Planning and Probate Section. Michael has long participated in pro bono projects of the Maricopa County Bar Association, and particularly of the HIV/AIDS Law Project. Michael was honored by the Maricopa County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program as its 1994 Attorney of the Year and its 2003 HIV/AIDS Project Attorney of the Year, and by the Arizona Bar Foundation as the recipient of its 1995 Pro Bono Service Award. A longtime columnist on legal and financial matters for ECHO Magazine, Arizona’s leading gay and lesbian biweekly news magazine, Michael is experienced in estate planning for gay and lesbian couples and other nontraditional families.
Denise M. Visconti – Denise Visconti currently serves as the San Diego Office Managing Shareholder for Littler Mendelson. Prior to that, she served as a representative to the Firm’s Associates Committee. In addition to her management role within the firm, Denise continues to handle a broad variety of employment litigation matters, most often stemming from claims arising under the California Labor Code and the Fair Labor Standards Act for overtime, misclassification, and other wage and hour violations. She also has experience handling claims involving wrongful termination, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, and accommodation. Denise appears in state and federal courts and has handled arbitrations in various forums, including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the American Arbitration Association, and JAMS. Denise also regularly provides advice and counseling to clients regarding gender identity and gender expression-related issues, gender transitions in the workplace, and various issues relating to domestic partnerships and same-sex couples. She also has given a number of presentations to human resource professionals, managers, and employees on valuing diversity and creating and maintaining a diverse workplace.
W. Kirk Wallace – Kirk Wallace is a partner with Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP. His practice covers a broad range of federal income tax matters, including U.S. and international financings, private and 1940 Act-registered investment fund offerings, M&A transactions and financial product development and structured finance transactions. Mr. Wallace has represented a wide variety of investment managers and financial institutions in the development of a variety of publicly and privately offered RICs, BDCs, REITs, debt and equity derivatives, and other financial products, as well as underwriters and issuers in connection with a variety of asset-backed securitization transactions. In addition, Mr. Wallace has worked on behalf of a variety of underwriters and collateral managers in the structuring, offering and restructuring of a number of “cash flow,” “market value” and “synthetic” collateralized bond, loan and debt obligation securitizations. Mr. Wallace also has advised with respect to a variety of insurance- and reinsurance-related matters, particularly with regard to so-called side cars, protected cell companies, and catastrophe bond and catastrophe swap transactions. Mr. Wallace has been included repeatedly in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2013; has lectured or presented on panels for the Practising Law Institute, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Tax Section and the ABA Section of Taxation; and was for many years a member of the Executive Committee of the NYSBA Tax Section.
Joshua D. Wayser – Joshua Wayser serves as Managing Partner in the Los Angeles (Century City) office of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. Mr. Wayser focuses his practice on litigation, with a substantive concentration in the field of real estate, banking and insolvency. Mr. Wayser’s real estate litigation experience is significant, representing lenders, financial institutions, developers, and property owners in all types of litigation matters, including workouts, foreclosures, bankruptcy and purchase and sale disputes. He also regularly defends financial institutions against claims of lender liability. Mr. Wayser has appeared before state, federal and bankruptcy courts on real estate and banking matters around the country and has argued several appeals on matters of particular interest to the real estate and banking industry. He also lectures frequently on issues of creditors’ rights, real estate and lender liability litigation, and has been a presenter at the annual meetings of the State Bar of California, as well as various continuing education seminars. In 2009, Mr. Wayser handled over $4 billion in foreclosure of real estate. Mr. Wayser is co-chair of Katten’s GLBT Coalition and is a nationally recognized speaker on diversity issues in the legal profession and workforce.
Keith Wetmore – Keith Wetmore is the Chair Emeritus of Morrison & Foerster LLP. From 2000-2012, Mr. Wetmore was Chair and chief executive partner of the firm, taking the lead in setting policy and providing strategic direction to the firm. During his twelve-year tenure, the firm’s gross revenue more than doubled, its net income tripled, and the firm was ranked on the American Lawyer A-List nine consecutive years. Before becoming Chair, Mr. Wetmore was Managing Partner of the firm’s San Francisco office. He also led the firm’s 50-lawyer Finance and Infrastructure practice, bringing to his engagements 20 years’ experience in debt and lease finance, both domestic and international. Mr. Wetmore has been openly gay throughout his career and, as such, has found himself engaged over time in a number of issues affecting the LGBT community, including domestic partner benefits in the legal profession. Most recently, Morrison & Foerster was the first law firm to offer additional benefit payments to assist with the tax obligations that employees pay when they elect health benefits for their domestic partner. In addition, through his own work and as part of the Morrison & Foerster team, he has contributed for almost 20 years to the fight against HIV and AIDS. In the mid-1980s, Mr. Wetmore helped organize teams of lawyers at the firm who wrote wills and durable powers of attorney for people with AIDS, handling several dozen cases himself, as part of the important work of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. He personally organized and incorporated a number of HIV-related nonprofit corporations in San Francisco, including The Names Project (sponsors of the AIDS Memorial Quilt). He served for six years on the board the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, chairing its finance committee. Mr. Wetmore has lived in San Francisco for over 25 years and for the past five years has divided his time between Manhattan and San Francisco.
Donna Wilson – Donna Wilson leads BuckleySandler’s West Coast litigation practice. Recognized in 2013 as one of the top women litigators in California by the Daily Journal and for her privacy and data security practice in the Legal 500, she has extensive experience in bringing and defending high-dollar, big stakes cases, particularly on behalf of clients in highly regulated industries and activities. She consults with and advises clients on an ongoing basis regarding legal strategies and their practical business impact. Her practice focuses on three primary areas: Consumer class and individual actions and counseling, with a focus on mortgage/financial services and data security/privacy; government enforcement actions; and other complex business litigation and related counseling. Ms. Wilson has defended scores of class and individual actions alleging violations of consumer protection laws, including RESPA/YSP, ECOA/FHA, FCRA, FDCPA, HOEPA, TILA, as well as alleged consumer privacy violations. She has defended her clients in litigation across a wide range of substantive practice areas, including antitrust, bankruptcy, securities, environmental, insurance coverage, business contracts, and torts. She also has conducted reviews with respect to fair lending, UDAP, and other regulatory compliance issues. Ms. Wilson received her JD from the University of Virginia.
Brian Winterfeldt – Brian J. Winterfeldt is a partner at the Washington office of Steptoe. Brian’s practice involves most aspects of IP law, including domestic and international trademark counseling, clearance, prosecution, enforcement, and litigation, as well as trade dress, Internet governance and domain name issues. Brian assists clients create trademark and branding strategies, and programs to enforce and protect IP rights. He represents clients seeking to protect against infringement of their copyrights, trademarks, and trade dress in the US and internationally. Brian’s practice includes significant work in Internet governance, domain name law and new media counseling and enforcement, including assisting clients with domain name portfolio management and securing domain names that incorporate clients’ trademarks. Brian has counseled clients on cutting edge issues such as the new gTLD program and social media, including strategies for brand promotion and protection in these spaces. Brian has written numerous articles on trademark law and has been selected as Special Advisor for INTA’s Internet Committee and Co-Chair to several major INTA conferences. Brian serves as Co-Chair of Steptoe’s GLBT Forum and as a member of Steptoe’s Diversity Committee. Brian is a prominent and frequent speaker at industry events on topics including trademark issues, Internet governance and social media.
Daniel Winterfeldt –Daniel is Head of International Capital Markets at CMS and a US securities lawyer with over fourteen years of experience in London and New York. His practice focuses on representing US, UK, European and Asian investment banks and corporate issuers in a wide range of securities transactions, including Rule 144A and Regulation S equity and debt offerings; Regulation S, Category 3 transactions for US companies listing in the United Kingdom; rights offerings; exchange offers; equity-linked securities offerings; initial public offerings and secondary and follow-on offerings of equity securities, including SEC-registered transactions. Daniel also provides ongoing US securities advice to The London Stock Exchange on Regulation S, Rule 144A and Regulation D. Daniel is the founder and co-chair of the Forum for US Securities Lawyers in London a trade association representing over 1,500 US-qualified lawyers and market participants from law firms and financial institutions in the London capital markets. He is the Diversity and Inclusion Partner for CMS and the founder and co-chair of the InterLaw Diversity Forum. Daniel was named the Legal Innovator of the Year at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards in 2012. In 2013 he was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Kathleen Womack – Kathleen Womack graduated from Emory Law School in 1986, and opened her own solo law firm in 1990 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her law practice focuses on Wills & Estate Planning, Probate, and Domestic Partnership issues, including Second Parent Adoptions. Kathleen has served as President of the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia, and as a former Chairperson of the Atlanta Bar Association Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section, she was elected as the first openly gay member of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Bar Association. She currently serves as an Out Lesbian on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia, the governing body for all lawyers in Georgia.
Jeffrey A. Wortman – Mr. Wortman is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He specializes in labor and employment law and has represented employers in discrimination and wage and hour class actions, as well as cases regarding allegations of wrongful discharge, retaliation and discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, filing of workers’ compensation claims, sexual harassment, whistle-blowing and related matters. Mr. Wortman has also represented clients in traditional labor matters under the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act, and has experience litigating claims of retaliation for employees exercising their statutory right to choose union, representation, advising clients with regard to collective bargaining negotiations and union organizing campaigns, drafting employment contracts, and defending employers in arbitration of claims under collective bargaining agreements. He has appeared in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies. Mr. Wortman also has extensive experience advising employers with regard to personnel policies and procedures, reductions in force, employee privacy rights, wage and hour issues, drug and alcohol testing, employment agreements, independent contractor issues, and protection of employer trade secrets and non-competition issues. He frequently conducts training seminars on diverse employment law issues, including sexual harassment, discrimination, workplace violence, and supervision and discipline of employees.
Michele Zavos – Michele is a partner in the Zavos Juncker Law Group, PLLC, which practices in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. She has been a pioneer for over 30 years in creating legal protections for LGBT headed families. Michele has given presentations on LGBT family issues to all kinds of audiences, both national and local. She has also written extensively on LGBT family law, sexual orientation and the law, and AIDS and the law. Her Firm recently won the case of Port v. Cowan, which conclusively established that Maryland must recognize marriages between same-sex couples that are validly entered into in another jurisdiction. She also initiated new divorce and adoption laws in the District of Columbia to provide protections for LGBT families. She is a founder of the National LGBT Bar Association, a selected member of the National Family Law Advisory Council for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. She was named her an “Angel in Adoption” in 2009, and has taught as an adjunct professor for the Women’s Studies Program at the George Washington University and the Washington College of Law at American University. American University named her Outstanding Adjunct Professor in 1999. She has won many awards for her work in the LGBT community.
Megan Hey – Megan Hey is a Deputy Attorney General in the Environment Section of the California Department of Justice. Her duties include representing the state and state agencies on matters concerning the California Environmental Quality Act, hazardous substances control and hazardous waste laws, and state regulation of nuclear energy facilities, among other things. Prior to government service, she litigated and advised public and private clients on complex issues about the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, CERCLA, RCRA, California’s Proposition 65, and the California Environmental Quality Act. Meg has also represented public and private entities on a variety of commercial litigation matters regarding contracts, product liability/mass tort, land use, eminent domain, real property and asbestos.
John C. Hummel – As an attorney John C. Hummel has focused on civil rights, equal employment opportunity, and employment law, with a specialty in LGBT rights, including significant work in transgender law and policy. His career has included government service for three states (Idaho, Colorado, and now Minnesota), work with LGBT nonprofit organizations in three states (Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon), and private legal practice in Idaho. Hummel is licensed in the state and federal courts of Idaho and Colorado, and admitted to practice before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He was the first openly gay attorney in Idaho, where he co-founded Your Family Friends & Neighbors (YFFN) in 1990, which produced the state’s first public LGBT Pride Celebration. He was also a leader in the successful campaign against the Idaho statewide anti-gay ballot measure known as Proposition One in 1994. From 2004 to 2007, Hummel served as the Legal Director of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of Colorado. Hummel is the principal author of the interpretative regulations promulgated by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2009 to interpret the state’s antidiscrimination protection based upon sexual orientation, inclusive of transgender status. He is currently serving a one-year appointment as an Investigator and Equal Opportunity Consultant with the Minnesota Department of Human Services in St. Paul.
Brad Jacklin – Brad Jacklin works for Representative Sean Patrick Maloney and is a representative for the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to joining Mr. Maloney and the Equality Caucus in 2013 Brad was with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for three years working on federal administrative agency policy to impact how LGBT people and families are treated by and interact with federal government programs. Previously Brad worked with the Human Rights Campaign, AIDS Legal Services at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, and on both state and local candidate and issue campaigns. Brad earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his JD from Santa Clara University.
Sen. Ted W. Lieu – Sen. Ted Lieu has served more than 11 years as an elected public servant: Torrance City Council, California state Assembly and, for the past two years, in the California state Senate. Sen. Lieu represents nearly 1.3 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. Before public service, Sen. Lieu served four years on active duty as an officer in the Air Force. He remains in the Air Force Reserves. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Georgetown Law School. Among his legislative accomplishments are a first-in-the-nation law ban on sexual orientation conversion therapy for children and a halt on the use by teens of cancer-causing tanning salons. On Jan. 1, 2013 a whopping 13 new laws took effect that he authored last year. These include laws on protecting bears and bobcats from being hunted by packs of hounds, a job training bill labeled a job creator by the California Chamber of Commerce, and putting an end to disruptive protests at military and private funerals. Governing Magazine in 2012 named Ted Lieu, for the second consecutive year, one of 12 lawmakers nationwide – and the only lawmaker from California – as ‘worth watching’. Sen. Lieu and his wife and two sons call Torrance home.
Therese M. Stewart – Since 2002, Ms. Stewart has served as Chief Deputy City Attorney under San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis J. Herrera, overseeing the City and County’s civil litigation and representing San Francisco and its officials in key cases. From 2004 through the present, Ms. Stewart has led San Francisco’s team in litigation in the state and federal courts seeking marriage equality under the state and federal constitutions. In 2008, she and other advocates obtained a California Supreme Court ruling holding California’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage unjustifiably discriminates against lesbians and gay men and denies them of fundamental liberty and autonomy privacy interests guaranteed by the California Constitution. Since Proposition 8 was enacted to overturn that decision, Ms. Stewart has led a team of deputy city attorneys representing the City as a Plaintiff-Intervenor in Hollingsworth v. Perry. She and her team participated fully in the pre-trial, trial and appeal phases of the case and were instrumental in obtaining rulings from the district court and the Ninth Circuit holding that Proposition 8 violates the federal Constitution. The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in the case and is expected to issue a decision in June 2013. Prior to 2002, Ms. Stewart was a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Howard, Rice, which recently merged with Arnold & Porter. She was the first openly gay president of the Bar Association of San Francisco in 1999. She has received numerous awards, including the American Bar Association Commission on Women’s Magaret Brent Award in 2013 and the California Bar Journal’s California Lawyer of the Year Award for Civil Rights in 2009. She and her team have been profiled in publications from the American Lawyer to the New York Times, and she was recognized by the Daily Journal as one of “10 Lawyers Who Helped to Shape a Decade” in 2010.
William R. Tamayo – Bill Tamayo was appointed in 1995 as the Regional Attorney for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, San Francisco District. He currently directs the Commission’s litigation and legal program in Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. From 1995-2005 he directed the program in Northern and Central California, Hawaii, American Samoa, Wake Island, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. During his tenure the San Francisco District has obtained significant resolutions including among others, Arnett & EEOC v. California Public Employee Retirement System ($250 million for disabled public safety officers); EEOC v. Walmart ($3.5 million for disabled workers denied accommodations or jobs); EEOC v. 3M Company ($3.0 million for older workers laid off); EEOC v. Lockheed-Martin ($2.5 million for black avionics electrician harassed and retaliated against); EEOC v. Fry’s Electronics ($2.3 million for an employee fired after reporting harassment and for the harassed employee) another employee who was harassed) EEOC v. Les Schwab Tires ($2.0 million for women denied sales and service jobs); EEOC v. Tanimura & Antle($1.855 million for sexually harassed and retaliated farm workers), EEOC v. Lowe’s Home Improvement ($1.72 million for sexual harassment of store workers), EEOC v. Kovacevich “5” Farms ($1.68 million for female farm workers denied hire) and EEOC v. Herrick Corporation ($1.11 million for 4 Pakistani Muslims harassed at work), and a nearly $1 million verdict for a farm worker who was sexually harassed and retaliated against, EEOC v. Harris Farms. J.D. University of California, Davis.
Suzanne Taylor – Suzanne Taylor is a Senior Civil Rights Attorney in the San Francisco Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the United States Department of Education. OCR enforces the federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination against students in public schools on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and disability. Suzanne has served as lead OCR attorney on a number of OCR cases presenting novel questions regarding Title IX’s application to issues affecting gay and transgender students. In 2011, Suzanne was part of a team that negotiated a joint settlement between OCR, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Tehachapi Unified School District to resolve a complaint of harassment of a middle school student who took his own life after enduring severe and pervasive harassment at school based on his gender nonconformity and sexual orientation.
Jaime Wojdowski – Jaime Wojdowski is an Equal Opportunity Specialist and Investigator at the D.C. Office of Human Rights, investigating claims of discrimination under the D.C. Human Rights Act and inquiries into discriminatory practices within the District. Jaime also oversees OHR’s Gender Neutral Restroom Project, which enforces D.C.’s regulation requiring public single-stall restrooms to be gender neutral. Before joining the Office of Human Rights, Jaime served as a law clerk for the Senior Judges Chambers at the D.C. Superior Court and completed a post-graduate fellowship at the Alliance for Justice, where she researched and drafted reports on the civil rights records of judicial nominees to the federal appellate bench. Jaime currently serves as a member of Burgundy Crescent Volunteers, volunteering for various GLBT organizations in D.C., and is a volunteer attorney at Whitman Walker’s Name and Gender Change Clinic. Before moving to D.C., she spent two years serving as a Student Board Member for the Georgia Stonewall Bar Association. Jaime graduated magna cum laude from the Georgia State University College of Law in 2007, and received her B.A. as the valedictorian of the class of 2003 at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Andrew Sta. Ana – Andrew Sta. Ana is the supervising attorney at Day One’s direct legal services program. Through advocacy and direct representation in cases concerning family law, immigration, and criminal justice advocacy, Andrew works to protect the rights of young survivors of intimate partner violence. His practice emphasizes community partnership, cultural competency, and an analysis that centers the experiences of young people and survivors. At Day One, Andrew provides training on dating violence, the rights of young people within the legal system, and the use technology intimate partner violence. He is a proud graduate of the City University of New York School of Law, where he received the school’s Twentieth Anniversary Scholarship. In 2007, Andrew was the recipient of an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to confront intimate partner violence in NYC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities. As a staff attorney at Sanctuary for Families, Andrew implemented the LGBT Initiative, a program to safeguard the rights of LGBT survivors through a combination of direct services, outreach, education, and policy advocacy. Andrew utilized these experiences to enrich the work of advocates around the country by training thousands on legal remedies for survivors of intimate partner violence, LGBT rights, and cultural competency. In September 2011, he was awarded a Courage award from the NYC City Anti-Violence project for his work to set up and administer a free legal clinic for LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence. He serves on the advisory board of the Staten Island LGBT Center.
Andrew Blotky – Andrew Blotky serves as the Director of Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, where he directs American Progress’s work around legal policy issues including judicial nominations and constitutional interpretation. Blotky joined American Progress after serving as the program manager at the HJW Foundation, where he directed the foundation’s progressive infrastructure and legal and public policy programs. Previously, from 2003 to 2006, Blotky served as the communications director for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and former Rep. Jim Turner (D-TX). From 2006 to 2009, while attending Stanford Law School, he worked at the law firm O’Melveny and Myers in Los Angeles and for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on education, climate change, and health initiatives. Blotky has served on the national board of directors of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, and on the Stanford University Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Policy, Planning, and Management. He also worked in the White House Office of Presidential Speechwriting during the Clinton administration. Blotky received his B.A. degree in political science with honors in international security studies from Stanford University and his law degree from Stanford Law School. He is an adjunct professor at Stanford University’s Washington, D.C. program and is a member of the California State Bar.
Tara Borelli – Tara Borelli is a Staff Attorney in the Western Regional Office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. Borelli coordinates Lambda Legal’s work on health care fairness, which includes litigation to obtain equal access to family health benefits and enforce antidiscrimination protections in health care settings. Borelli was co-counsel in Esquivel v. Oregon, a challenge to the State of Oregon’s refusal to provide equal health insurance coverage to transgender employees, which resulted in the removal of all discriminatory exclusions from the State’s health plan. Borelli is lead counsel in Diaz v. Brewer, a federal challenge seeking to protect family health insurance for Arizona state employees after the legislature voted to strip that insurance from lesbians and gay men. Borelli’s work also includes litigation seeking greater relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Borelli is currently co-counsel in Sevcik v. Sandoval, a federal case seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in Nevada.
Denise Brogan-Kator – Denise Brogan-Kator the Senior Legislative Counsel for the Family Equality Council, a national LGBT family rights organization. She is the immediate past Executive Director of the statewide LGBT advocacy organization, Equality Michigan. A 2006 graduate of the University of Michigan’s Law School, Ms. Brogan-Kator was the first openly transgender law student to matriculate at the law school. She now teaches Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Law at the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to joining Equality Michigan, Denise and her spouse, Mary Kator (UM Law class of 1984), founded the Rainbow Law Center to serve the legal needs of the gay and transgender populations of Southeast Michigan. Prior to law school, Ms. Brogan-Kator worked as the Chief Financial Officer for several small-medium size businesses, having earned her MBA from the University of Colorado in 1986. She served in the US Navy Submarine Force from 1972-1976.
Helen J. Carroll – Helen Carroll is the Director of the National Center for Lesbian Right’s Sports Project, which aims to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender players, coaches, and administrators receive fair and equal treatment—free of discrimination. She joined NCLR in 2001 after spending 30 years as an athlete, coach, and collegiate athletic director. Carroll is well known in the sports world as an acclaimed National Championship Basketball Coach from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. She was a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Athletic Director at Mills College for twelve years, and now devotes all her efforts to helping the sports world recognize that the inclusion of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender or intersex, diversifies and strengthens the sport experience. Carroll works closely with major national sport organizations including the Women’s Sports Foundation and the NCAA. She has been a featured speaker on panels with Nike, ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’, The New York Times, and many others. She is featured in Dr. Pat Griffin’s book, Strong Women, Deep Closets and The Outsports Revolution by authors Jim Buzinski and Cyd Ziegler Jr. and is co-author with Dr. Griffin for On the Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student Athletes and the NCAA Guide for Transgender Athlete Inclusion. Carroll is currently assisting state athletic associations in adopting policies for the inclusion of their high school student-athletes.
Currey Cook – Currey Cook is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project in the National Headquarters Office of Lambda Legal. Before joining Lambda, Cook was the Co-Director of the Bronx office of The Children’s Law Center New York (CLCNY), a non-profit law firm representing children in custody, visitation, guardianship, domestic violence, and related abuse and neglect proceedings. Cook has served as a consultant to The National Juvenile Defender Center in Washington, D.C. and worked in Burundi with an ABA Rule of Law Initiative assisting former child soldiers. In 2009, he was a visiting professor for the Child Advocacy Clinic at Rutgers Law School Newark. Before relocating to NYC, Cook lived in Anchorage, Alaska and worked in the child advocacy section of the Office of Public Advocacy (OPA) for twelve years as a juvenile defender and guardian ad litem and later as supervising attorney. Cook was the recipient of the Alaska Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award for a Public Sector Attorney and Light of Hope Award for his advocacy on behalf of Alaskan children. Cook graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Journalism and received his law degree, cum laude, from Mercer University in 1994.
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland – Duncan Crabtree-Ireland is chief administrative officer and general counsel of SAG-AFTRA, the world’s largest entertainment and media artists union, representing actors and performers, news and entertainment broadcasters, and recording artists. SAG-AFTRA was formed in 2012 by the merger of the former Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA. He is responsible for SAG-AFTRA’s legal affairs, strategy and administration. Crabtree-Ireland serves as an officer of the SAG-Producers Pension and Health Plans and as a member of the boards of royalty distribution organizations SoundExchange, the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, and the SAG-AFTRA & Industry Sound Recordings Digital Payments Distribution Fund. Crabtree-Ireland is also a SAG-AFTRA delegate to the International Federation of Actors (FIA), and the convenor of FIA’s LGBT Equality Working Group, in addition to being the staff leader for the SAG-AFTRA LGBT Committee. He is also an adjunct professor of law at the University of Southern California Law School, focusing on international law, and a judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court. Crabtree-Ireland received his Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis, School of Law, where he was inducted into the Order of Barristers.
Ez Cukor – Ez Cukor is an Irving R. Kaufman fellow at New York Legal Assistance Group working in the LGBT and Justice at Work Projects representing low wage workers in employment matters. Ez focuses on outreach and providing culturally competent representation to transgender, gender non-conforming, lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers. Ez is on the New York City Bar Association LGBT Rights Committee and is admitted to the bar in New York and the U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York.
Jon W. Davidson – Jon Davidson is the Legal Director of Lambda Legal, the largest and oldest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people and those living with HIV. Based in the organization’s Western Regional Office in Los Angeles, Davidson is responsible for strategically guiding Lambda Legal’s legal work nationally and supervising the organization’s attorneys, Legal Help Desk specialists, and legal assistants in all five of Lambda Legal’s offices. He has worked on a broad range of LGBT and HIV-related legal matters for more than 25 years, and was honored with the National LGBT Bar Association’s Dan Bradley lifetime achievement award in 2010. Over the last decade, Davidson has been actively involved in fighting to win and defend legal protections for same-sex couples and their families and challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of the federal “Defense of Marriage Act,” including co-authoring amicus briefs to the Supreme Court in both the Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. United States cases. A Stanford University and Yale Law School graduate, Davidson previously was a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella and a senior staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California.
Shelbi Day – Shelbi Day is a Staff Attorney in the Western Regional Office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. Day has devoted her career to civil rights work, focusing exclusively on LGBT- and HIV- related issues since 2007. During this time, she has worked on a diverse range of issues affecting the LGBT community. Last year, Day filed an amicus curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit, arguing that a peremptory strike based on juror’s sexual orientation is impermissible pursuant to Batson v. Kentucky and its progeny. She also recently was a guest lecturer for the National Criminal Victim Law Institute on the unique hurdles LGBT people face in accessing criminal and civil justice. Prior to joining Lambda Legal in 2012, Day worked as a Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Florida, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Southern Legal Counsel. From 2002-2003, she was a law clerk for Hon. Charles R. Wilson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Q. Todd Dickinson – Q. Todd Dickinson is the Executive Director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, a bar association of over 15,000 members and one of the world’s leading policy and advocacy organizations in the field of intellectual property. He has over 30 years of experience, including having served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office under President Clinton. Mr. Dickinson has also been both Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for the General Electric Company, and a partner in the Howrey law firm. Mr. Q. Todd Dickinson has served as an officer of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the American Bar Association and on the Executive Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association. He has been named as one of the “50 Most Influential People in Intellectual Property” by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine and was recently inducted into the IAM IP Hall of Fame. Mr. Dickinson earned his B.S. from Allegheny College in 1974, and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977. He is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Iván Espinoza-Madrigal – Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Legal Director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy, is a civil rights attorney specializing in legal issues affecting the LGBT community and those living with HIV, particularly in immigration law. His cases have been featured in the New York Times and New York Law Journal. He speaks nationally on civil rights issues, and provides legal commentary to CNN, Univision, Telemundo, and the Huffington Post. Most recently, Espinoza-Madrigal worked at Lambda Legal, where he focused on marriage equality, immigration, and issues affecting LGBT and HIV-affected people of color. Previously, he handled MALDEF’s immigrants’ rights docket, including a challenge to Arizona’s immigration law, and a landmark Supreme Court voting rights case. He also worked at Fried Frank, where he defended the municipal identification card of New Haven, Conn., against an attempt to dismantle the program – a case that had a direct impact on cities across the country. Espinoza-Madrigal clerked for Judge Clay in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Judge Ellis in the U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y. He received a JD from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, and a BA, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania. The National LGBT Bar Association has recognized him as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.
James D. Esseks – James Esseks is Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project. James oversees litigation, legislative lobbying, policy advocacy, organizing, and public education around the country that aims to ensure equal treatment of LGBT people by the government; equal protections for LGBT couples and families; protection from discrimination in jobs, schools, housing, and public accommodations; and fair treatment by the government of people living with HIV. James was counsel in United States v. Windsor, which challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act; in In re Marriage Cases before the California Supreme Court; in Schroer v. Billington, where a federal court ruled that Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination covers transgender people; and in successful challenges to Florida, Arkansas, and Missouri’s bans on adoption and foster parenting by lesbians and gay men. He graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, and the Honorable James R. Browning, United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
Praveen Fernandes – Praveen joined Justice At Stake in March of 2012. He comes from the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy (ACS), where he worked for six years, most recently as Director of Programs for National Security, Technology, Labor, and the Environment. Before working at ACS, Praveen counseled clients at Patton Boggs LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP on regulatory, legislative, and public policy matters, with a focus on health care and Food and Drug Administration issues. Praveen also served as a lobbyist and legislative lawyer for the Human Rights Campaign, where he worked on judicial nominations, relationship recognition, appropriations, HIV/AIDS, and other LGBT equality issues. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) School of Law, has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and holds a B.A. in biomedical ethics from Brown University. The National LGBT Bar Association named Praveen to its 2010 “Top 40 under 40” list, which recognizes LGBT lawyers under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves through their work for LGBT equality.
Shawn Gaylord – Shawn Gaylord is the Director of Public Policy for GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and has been with the organization for eight years. GLSEN’s policy work is focused on legislative and policy change at the federal, state and local level to make schools safer for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Shawn received his undergraduate degree from the University of Buffalo and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He previously served as the Deputy Director for the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) and as an associate at Harmon, Curran, Spielberg and Eisenberg, LLP. In addition, Shawn has worked extensively on the intersection of LGBT rights and human rights through his work as a staff member and volunteer for Amnesty International’s OUTFront Program.
Alison Gill – Alison Gill is the Government Affairs Director at The Trevor Project, where she coordinates advocacy for LGBTQ youth mental health and well-being through policy initiatives at the federal, state, and local level. Prior to joining The Trevor Project, Alison worked at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, where she provided technical assistance and resources to advocates seeking policy change at the state and local level. Alison also engages in local trans advocacy in Washington, DC, through organizations such as the DC Trans Coalition and Trans Legal Advocates of Washington. Alison received her J.D. from George Washington University Law School.
David Godfrey – David Godfrey is a senior attorney at the ABA Commission on Law and Aging in Washington DC. He is responsible for the ABA’s role in the Administration on Aging funded National Legal Resource Center. Prior to joining the Commission he was responsible for elder law programming at Access to Justice Foundation in Kentucky. Mr. Godfrey earned his B.A. with honors at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and his J.D. cum laude from the University Of Louisville School Of Law in Kentucky.
Virginia Goggin – Virginia Goggin spearheaded NYLAG’s LGBT Law Project at NYLAG in 2008 after receiving the Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Community Responsibility Fellowship. Virginia represents and advises LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community members in a variety of legal areas including child custody, domestic violence, second parent adoption, succession rights in housing, wills and advanced directives. She received NYC’s Anti-Violence Project’s Courage Award for her work in forming the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic at AVP. Prior to NYLAG, Virginia worked at The Legal Aid Society in the Disability Advocacy Unit. She was an AmeriCorps Service Member for two years serving in a low-income housing project in Columbus, Ohio. Virginia graduated from New York Law School in 2008. She received the Hank Henry Judicial Fellowship from the LGBT Law Association of Greater New York (LeGaL) in 2005 and was awarded the Joseph Solomon Public Service Fellowship in 2007.
Jamison Green – Jamison Green, PhD (Law), MFA (Writing), is internationally known as a leader in transgender health, policy, law, and education. He is the author of the prize-winning book Becoming a Visible Man (Vanderbilt University Press, 2004), and led FTM International from March 1991 to August 1999, helping to inspire the contemporary global transgender movement. He has served as a director of such organizations as the International Foundation for Gender Education, TransYouth Family Allies, Gender Education & Advocacy, Inc., the Transgender Law & Policy Institute, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Jamison has appeared in over a dozen educational documentary films, including the award-winning You Don’t Know Dick and Trans. His work on anti-discrimination legislation, policy work on healthcare access and insurance reform has impacted governments, healthcare administration and delivery systems, and businesses throughout the world. He has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists’ Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to LGBT mental health, the Transgender Advocacy Award from the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Vanguard Award from the Transgender Law Center. He will serve as President of WPATH from 2014-2016.
Currey Hitchens – Currey works to ensure access to justice and opportunities out of poverty for low income individuals in rural Georgia through direct client representation as an attorney with the Georgia Legal Services Program. She and a dedicated group of LGBTQ advocates are attempting to queer up GLSP and make sure GLSP is inclusive of low-income LGBTQ Georgians in the 154 mostly rural counties served by GLSP. Currey was born in Georgia and has worked as a teacher and as an attorney with GLSP for the past 3 ½ years. She enjoys being a parent and running with her dog when she finds time.
Alesdair Ittelson – Alesdair Ittelson is a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Alesdair’s work addresses anti-LGBTQ bias as experienced by individuals or groups facing intersectional axes of oppression. Alesdair combines education and legal advocacy in an effort to promote equity in schools, correctional facilities, and health care settings. In his current capacity, Alesdair travels throughout the Deep South where he has trained school officials, counselors, court staff, parole officers, youth detention officers, and prison guards, among others. He is also the lead SPLC attorney on M.C. v. Aaronson, the first-of-its kind lawsuit challenging a genital “normalizing” surgery performed on an infant with an intersex condition while the child was in foster care. Alesdair received his B.A. from Brandeis University and his J.D from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was a member of the California Law Review and the chair of the Boalt Hall Queer Caucus.
Danny Kirchoff – Danny Kirchoff is currently the Helpline Manager at the Transgender Law Center. He graduated from Antioch College in 2000, after which he moved to San Francisco, CA, where he worked at Horizons Foundation & Equality California & served on the LGBT Advisory Committee of the SF Human Rights Commission & board of directors of Transgender Law Center. Danny attended the City University of New York School of Law where he was both a Haywood Burns Fellow in Civil & Human Rights & Point Foundation Scholar. During law school, he interned at Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the Economic Justice Project, Transgender Law Center, & Disability Rights Project of NY Lawyers for the Public Interest. After graduating in 2009, Danny was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Transgender Law Center, focusing on increasing access to social services, homeless shelters & public benefits for trans* Californians.
Ben Klein – Ben Klein is a Senior Attorney and has been the AIDS Law Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) since 1994. He has litigated cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts establishing legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and people living with HIV. Ben was lead counsel in Bragdon v. Abbott, a 1998 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established protection against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act for all people with HIV. He argued the Connecticut marriage litigation, Kerrigan & Mock v. Department of Public Health, 289 Conn. 135 (2008). He has also been co-counsel in numerous cases involving the rights of transgender persons, including O’Donnabhain v. Commisioner of Internal Revenue (134 T.C. 34 2010), a U.S. Tax court decision ruling that gender reassignment surgery is “medical care” for the purpose of tax deductions, and Doe v. Clenchy, a case involving a transgender fifth grade girl’s access to the girls’ restroom at school, currently pending before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He is a 1982 graduate of Oberlin College and a 1987 graduate of Boston University School of Law.
James G. Leipold – James Leipold is the Executive Director of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), a position he has held since 2004. Prior to joining NALP, he worked at the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for five and a half years. Prior to joining LSAC in 1998, he was the director of admission at Temple University School of Law, where he was also an instructor in legal writing and research. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University and Temple University School of Law. He speaks and writes frequently on trends in legal employment for recent law school graduates.
Eric Lesh – Eric Lesh is the Fair Courts Project Manager for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the rights of LGBT people and people affected by HIV. Lesh focuses his work on judicial independence and access to justice issues. In his capacity, he engages the LGBT community on the importance of state and federal courts. Lesh works on initiatives to promote diversity on the bench, combat bias in the legal system, and defend the judiciary from attacks that threaten LGBT and HIV-related civil rights. Lesh received a B.F.A. in Musical Theater from the Boston Conservatory and his J.D. from Hofstra Law School, where he was an LGBT Rights Fellow. Prior to his work at Lambda Legal, Lesh worked for the Wall Street firm of Beigelman, Feiner & Feldman, where he focused on appellate practice. Lesh served as the director of a nonprofit organization, which implemented bullying prevention strategies in New Orleans public schools. He appeared in plays across the country, including the original workshop of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening. Lesh is licensed to practice law in New York and his articles have been published in the Family Court Review and Artificial Intelligence and Law.
M. Dru Levasseur –M. Dru Levasseur is the Transgender Rights Project Director for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. Levasseur focuses his work on impact litigation, advocacy and community education to advance the civil rights of transgender people nationwide. Before joining Lambda Legal, Levasseur was staff attorney for Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, where he advocated for transgender equal rights through test-case litigation, public policy efforts, community organizing and public education. Prior to that, Levasseur served for two years as law clerk to 12 Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court. In 2007, Levasseur co-founded the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money to fund gender-confirming surgeries. He serves as Chair of the Legal Issues Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). In 2011, Levasseur was a recipient of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyer Under 40 Award. He received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies from the University of Massachusetts, and his law degree from Western New England College School of Law.
Robin Maril – Robin Maril serves as legislative counsel for administrative advocacy at the Human Rights Campaign. Her work focuses on federal programs and administrative policies that impact the LGBT community. Prior to joining HRC, Maril served as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. While at HUD, Maril worked on Section 8 voucher policy development, specifically focused on deconcentrating poverty and increasing mobility for voucher holders. Also at HUD, Maril worked as a regulatory attorney in the Legislation and Regulation Division of the Office of the General Counsel, where she assisted in drafting the 2010 HUD implementing rule for the Violence Against Women Act conforming amendments. Maril graduated with her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma, where she was also selected for Phi Beta Kappa. Maril received her law degree from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where she was named a Rubin Public Interest Law Fellow.
Seth Marnin – Seth M. Marnin is the Assistant Director of Legal Affairs at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). His substantive areas of responsibility include discrimination, campus concerns, LGBT issues, and bullying (including cyberbullying). He also serves as civil rights regional counsel to the ADL’s New York Regional Office. Prior to joining the ADL, Seth was an associate at Outten & Golden LLP. Mr. Marnin was a member of the firm’s Practice Groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Rights, Whistleblower Retaliation, Disability Discrimination, and Family Responsibilities Discrimination. Before joining Outten & Golden LLP, he was the Director of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Resources for the University of Connecticut, where he provided leadership to the University of Connecticut’s ten campuses on all issues related to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Allied Community (LGBTQQA). Prior to UConn, Mr. Marnin worked at the University at Albany in Student Affairs for nearly ten years. Mr. Marnin earned his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He received his B.A. from the University at Albany, SUNY in Women’s Studies and Sociology, and his M.A. in Liberal Studies. During law school, Mr. Marnin clerked for the Honorable Lois Tanzer, Connecticut Superior Court Judge.
Hilary Meyer – Hilary Meyer is the Director of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, the country’s only resource center focused on improving the quality of services and supports offered to LGBT older adults nationwide. Funded by a historic grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration on Aging (AoA), the Resource Center on LGBT Aging was created by Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) in partnership with 14 national organizations. Meyer provides leadership for the Center and the activities of its staff, advisory council and national partner organizations, guides content development and tools to ensure ongoing audience engagement with the Center, and lectures frequently on a number of issues related to LGBT aging. Meyer earned her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark and graduated magna cum laude and With Honors in Psychology from Colgate University. She has provided pro bono legal assistance through the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Civil Court Resource Center to self-represented litigants with pending cases in Civil and Small Claims Courts, and serves on the board of directors of Big Apple Performing Arts, the umbrella group to the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus.
Shannon Minter – Shannon Price Minter is the Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). Minter was lead counsel for some plaintiffs in the 2008 California marriage equality case, resulting in the first state supreme court decision holding that sexual orientation discrimination must receive heightened scrutiny under the state’s equal protection clause. In 2012, Minter argued Chatterjee v. King before the New Mexico Supreme Court, securing a landmark decision holding that couples who raise children together are both legal parents regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or marital status. Currently, he represents the Tennessee Equality Project and the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition in Howe v. Haslam, a lawsuit challenging a discriminatory Tennessee law that stripped transgender people of protection under the Tennessee Human Rights Act and also prevents localities from enacting laws prohibiting gender identity or sexual orientation discrimination. Minter is also counsel in Griego v. Oliver, which seeks the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in New Mexico. In 2009, Minter was named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer. In 2008, he was named among six Lawyers of the Year by Lawyers USA and among California’s Top 100 Lawyers by the legal publication The Daily Journal. He also received the 2008 Dan Bradley Award from the National LGBT Bar Association. Minter serves on the boards of CenterLink, Gender Spectrum, Faith in America, and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute. He previously served on the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Minter received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1993. He is originally from Texas and currently splits his time between San Francisco and Washington D.C.
Brian Moulton – Brian Moulton is Legal Director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. He leads HRC’s team of lawyers and fellows working on federal policy and personally focuses on the issues of employment, health, marriage and relationship recognition and federal tax and benefits. He also coordinates HRC’s advocacy efforts as amicus curiae in litigation affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Moulton speaks frequently to legal and non-legal audiences on LGBT issues and is regularly featured in national news media speaking on legal and policy matters. Prior to joining the HRC staff in 2004, Moulton served as a legal intern to the State Legislative Lawyering and Transgender Civil Rights Projects at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; a judicial intern to the Hon. Deborah A. Batts of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; and as an HRC McCleary Law Fellow. He received his bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from The George Washington University Law School.
Aaron Merki – Aaron is responsible for providing strategic leadership for Maryland’s only legal service and advocacy organization dedicated to the low-income LGBT community, and for overseeing the operational, development and strategic growth of the organization. Aaron’s involvement with FreeState Legal Project can be traced to FreeState’s inception. In 2007, Aaron helped found FreeState with a small group of law students and legal practitioners. He went on to build FreeState’s Board of Directors, assist with its incorporation, oversee the first needs assessment of Baltimore’s low-income LGBT community, and lead FreeState as President of the Board of Directors. Aaron left his corporate litigation practice in 2012 to become FreeState’s Executive Director. He received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2008, and clerked on the United States District Court for Maryland from 2008-2009.
Aaron Morris – Aaron is the senior staff attorney at Immigration Equality. He provides direct representation to indigent LGBT and HIV-positive foreign nationals in asylum proceedings, at adjustment-of-status and naturalization interviews, and in the federal courts. He also represents transgender individuals in marriage-based green card applications and in obtaining gender-appropriate identity documents from U.S. immigration authorities. Aaron mentors pro bono attorneys as a part of Immigration Equality’s asylum program, and he is Of Counsel to the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. Aaron is a graduate of the American University’s Washington College of Law and the University of Oklahoma. Before joining Immigration Equality, he was an immigration staff attorney in the Office of Legal Affairs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Currently, Aaron serves as a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on LGBT Rights.
Asaf Orr – Asaf Orr joined the National Center for Lesbian Rights in February 2012 as a Staff Attorney and works on issues related to families, youth, and schools. He recently co-authored a chapter on the legal and ethical obligations of school personnel to create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ students and families, which was published in an edited volume entitled Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments: A Guide for Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth and Families. Prior to joining NCLR, Asaf was a solo practitioner in Los Angeles where he represented students in education-related matters including special education, discrimination, constitutional rights and discipline. Asaf began his legal career as a Staff Attorney and Tom Steel Fellow at a non-profit legal services organization, where he directed the Rainbow Rights Project, a project that represents youth in education-related matters who are denied their right to an education on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to representing youth, Asaf also provided trainings to students, parents, educators, health care providers, and lawyers on special education issues and the rights of LGBTQ youth in schools. He has provided those trainings in California and around the country.
Jennifer C. Pizer – Jenny Pizer is Senior Counsel and Director of Lambda Legal’s Law & Policy Project. She has been dedicated to freedom and equality for LGBT people since November 4, 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected President and she came out as a lesbian. Since joining Lambda Legal in 1996, Pizer has litigated many cases seeking fair conditions for LGBT people in health care, employment and education, challenging the use of religion to discriminate, and protecting family relationships including with the freedom to marry. Pizer previously directed Lambda Legal’s National Marriage Project and often is quoted in the national media on LGBT family equality issues. In her current role, she also drafts legislation, advises policymakers, and works with community advocates to advance nondiscrimination and family law protections. Pizer has received many professional and community service awards, including being named one of the top women litigators in California seven times. From 2011 to 2012, she served as Legal Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Before joining Lambda Legal, Pizer practiced intellectual property litigation with a large San Francisco firm. She is a graduate of NYU School of Law and Harvard/Radcliffe College.
Nancy Ramirez – Nancy Ramirez is the Western Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (“MALDEF”), the nation’s leading Latino civil rights law firm. As Regional Counsel, she oversees the litigation and public policy priorities for the western states. The regional office represents Latinos in education, employment, voting, and immigrants’ rights cases. Ms. Ramirez is co-lead counsel in Fisher, Mendoza et al. v. Tucson Unified School District, a desegregation lawsuit filed by MALDEF in 1974 on behalf of Latino students. Ms. Ramirez successfully represented Latino plaintiffs in a racial profiling class action lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio and served as lead counsel in C.A. v. Bear Valley Unified School District, et al. Under her leadership, MALDEF successfully represented the largest number of victims of police misconduct during the immigrants’ rights rally at MacArthur Park. Prior to joining MALDEF, Ms. Ramirez served as the Executive Director and Managing Attorney of the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (“LACLJ”), a nonprofit community law office that provides free legal services to indigent residents and has taught legal writing at University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Ms. Ramirez is a graduate of Harvard Law School and U.C. Berkeley.
Elana Redfield – Elana Redfield is a Staff Attorney with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and the Director of SRLP’s Survival and Self Determination Project. Elana received her Bachelor’s degree from New York University in 2003, and her J.D. from the City University School of Law in 2009 with a clinical focus on immigration law. A longtime advocate for grassroots organizing strategies and community leadership in legal work, Elana co-authored “The Role of Lawyers In Trans Liberation: Building a Transformative Movement For Social Change” with Pooja Gehi and Gabriel Arkles. In her role as staff attorney, Elana assists hundreds of community members each year in name change proceedings, government identification issues, health care challenges and immigration proceedings. Elana is also one of SRLP’s primary trainers, having trained over 500 service providers in transgender awareness, criminal justice, disability justice, and immigration issues. In her free time, Elana is an avid surfer and performs in a country & western band.
Peter Renn – Peter Renn is a Staff Attorney in the Western Regional Office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and people with HIV. His work at Lambda Legal covers a wide range of issues, including marriage, relationship recognition, discrimination in employment and public accommodation, youth and schools, and government misconduct. Peter is counsel in Cervelli v. Aloha Bed & Breakfast, a case on behalf of a lesbian couple turned away from a Hawai‘i business due to the owner’s religious beliefs; Harris v. Millennium Hotel, a case seeking survivor’s benefits in Alaska on behalf of the same-sex partner of a shooting victim; and Sevcik v. Sandoval, a federal case seeking marriage equality in Nevada. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Texas at Austin. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Lawrence K. Karlton in the Eastern District of California. Before joining Lambda Legal, Peter was a litigation associate at the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles.
David M. Rosenblum – David M. Rosenblum is the Legal Director at Mazzoni Center, overseeing direct legal services to members of the Pennsylvania LGBT community. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, teaching a clinical course on sexual orientation and gender identity law, and co-instructs an advanced legal writing practicum at Rutgers School of Law- Camden. Prior to Mazzoni Center, he practiced in the field of employment law for over twenty years, serving as a Trial Attorney at the EEOC, a New Jersey Deputy Attorney General, and the EEO Officer for the NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development. He has served as the Chair of Gay And Lesbian Lawyers Of Philadelphia, co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar’s LGBT Committee, on the board of the National LGBT Bar and chaired the 2002 Lavender Law conference in Philadelphia. He was a founding member of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, the New Jersey Bar’s LGBT Committee, and Proud2WorkNJ. He is a 1988 graduate of Brandeis University (B.A. in philosophy with a legal studies minor), and a received his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 1991.
Richard Saenz – Richard Saenz is the staff attorney for the HIV/LGBT Advocacy Project at Queens Legal Services, Legal Services-NYC, the nation’s largest civil legal services provider and proud member of Legal Services Staff Association (LSSA) Local 2320, where he serves as Delegate at Large on the Executive Committee. Richard identifies as a queer, Latino, poverty and HIV/LGBT attorney. His practice areas include poverty law, discrimination, government benefits, family and matrimonial law. Richard is a member of the Family Law Institute (FLI) of the National LGBT Bar Association. Richard has over a decade of experience in community organizing and education on HIV issues, LGBT issues and anti-violence. Richard is a graduate of Georgetown University and Fordham Law School, where he was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest and a recipient of the Archibald Public Service Award, for performance of over 1000 hours of public service. Richard was awarded the Fordham University School of Law, OutLaws Alumni Award (2012).
Cathy Sakimura – Cathy Sakimura is the Family Law Director and Supervising Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Cathy also runs NCLR’s Family Protection Project, which improves access to family law services for low-income LGBT parents and their children, with a focus on increasing services to families of color. This project provides free legal information to low-income LGBT parents and their children; trains and supports attorneys providing free and low-cost services to these families; and works in coalition with organizations serving communities of color to provide culturally competent services to families of color. Cathy joined NCLR in 2006 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. She received her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2006 and her B.A. from Stanford University in 2001. Prior to law school, she worked at Gay-Straight Alliance Network, where she empowered young people to combat harassment in their schools. Cathy was also previously a member of the Board of Directors of COLAGE, a national movement of children, youth, and adults with an LGBTQ parent. In 2012, she was named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Scott A. Schoettes – Scott Schoettes, who is openly HIV-positive, has successfully litigated cases involving the discriminatory denial of medical care to an incarcerated woman living with HIV in Wisconsin; the eviction of a 75-year-old man from an assisted living facility in Arkansas; and recently prevailed in an appeal before the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of an HIV-positive man denied the opportunity to serve on the Atlanta police force. He was a member of the legal team that represented Lorenzo Taylor in his successful effort to lift the State Department’s blanket ban on hiring people with HIV for the Foreign Service and recently co-authored an amicus brief filed on behalf of people living with HIV in the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Schoettes was also the point-person for Lambda Legal’s work on the repeal of the HIV travel ban and is currently working on the reform of laws criminalizing conduct based on HIV status. Before joining Lambda Legal as the HIV Project Staff Attorney in 2007, Schoettes spent four years at Latham & Watkins (Chicago). He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and clerked in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Brad Sears – Brad Sears is the Roberta A. Conroy Scholar of Law and Policy and Executive Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. He is also an Assistant Dean and Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law, where he teaches courses on sexual orientation law, disability law, and U.S. legal and judicial systems. Sears has published a number of research studies and articles, primarily on discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace and HIV discrimination in health care. Sears has given hundreds of academic and community presentations on HIV/AIDS and LGBT legal issues. He has testified before Congress and state legislatures, authored amicus briefs in key court cases, helped to draft state and federal legislation, and been cited by a number of media, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, and CNN. He has been recognized on Advocate’s Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list and on OUT Magazine’s 2012 most influential LGBT leaders in the country. In 2012, he was the Shikes Fellow in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at Harvard Law School.
Liz Seaton – Liz started at JAS in March 2012. Liz comes from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where she served as State Policy Director, as well as Managing Attorney and Director of Projects. She is the former Deputy Director of Programs at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the former General Counsel and Legal Director of the Human Rights Campaign. She earlier practiced law at Silber & Perlman in Takoma Park, Maryland, and with the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington D.C. She also served as Board Chair and first Executive Director of Equality Maryland. She sits on the board of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute. She is a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law, and holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Women’s Studies from The George Washington University.
Terra Slavin – Terra Slavin is the Lead Staff Attorney for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Legal Services Department and Project Manager of their Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project. Slavin has been responsible for overseeing the delivery of comprehensive and holistic legal services to LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and has provided trainings on these issues to hundreds of attorneys, judges and advocates across the country. Attorney Slavin is a Governance Committee of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), a coalition of more than 40 programs across the country addressing LGBTQ crime victimization. Slavin has been representing NCAVP on the Steering Committee of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, the main coalition of service providers that worked to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act, which included LGBTQ-explicit protections for the first time, an effort which Slavin Co-Chaired. Attorney Slavin has co-authored several pieces on LGBT anti-violence, and is regular faculty for ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and recently served as an advisory member in their curriculum development to address issues of sexual violence in intimate partner relationships. Slavin graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts.
Phillip Tahmindjis – Dr Phillip Tahmindjis A.M. is the Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute in London, UK. A long-time LGBTI rights activist, he was instrumental in gay law reform in his home state of Queensland, Australia, and is a former trustee of the Queensland AIDS Council. Phillip has produced the HRI resolution on decriminalisation of homosexuality and the IBA resolution on non-discrimination in legal practice. He has also undertaken human rights training of lawyers in Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Pakistan, Nepal, Jordan, Dubai and the Former Yugoslavia, and has compiled a Human Rights Training Manual in conjunction with the UN High Commission for Human Rights. He has conducted human rights fact finding missions to Russia, Nepal, Pakistan, Swaziland and Syria, and co-ordinated the project to establish global guidelines for human rights fact finding. Admitted to the bar of New South Wales in 1978, Phillip is the former Head of the School of Law at Queensland University of Technology and a former member of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. He has been a consultant to private industry and government with respect to the implementation of human rights and is the editor of four books and the author of several articles in this area, including Sexuality and Human Rights: A Global Overview. In 2012 Phillip was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the international community and to the law.
Anne Tamar-Mattis – Anne Tamar-Mattis, J.D., is the founder and Executive Director of Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC), the first organization in the country focusing on legal advocacy for the civil and human rights of children born with intersex conditions or DSD. She is currently serving as counsel in M.C. v. Aaronson, representing a child with an intersex condition forced by the state to undergo sex assignment surgery at age 16 months. She has served for many years as an organizer in the LGBTQI communities, and teaches as adjunct faculty at UC Berkeley School of Law. Ms. Tamar-Mattis is in demand around the country as a speaker on topics relating to legal and ethical issues affecting children with intersex conditions, including UCSF Children’s Hospital, Yale Law School, and the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, to name a few. Her articles have been published in such venues as the Journal of Pediatric Endocrine and Metabolism, and the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice.
Wayne Thomas – Wayne Thomas is the creator of the GLBT Domestic Violence Attorney Program in Boston, MA, where he practices as the Managing Attorney. He handles civil protection order cases and family law matters, provides advocacy to victims and witnesses in criminal matters and represents clients in discrimination cases. Wayne served on the advisory board of the American Bar Association’s Legal Assistance and Education for LGBT Victims of Domestic Violence Project from 2007-2009. He has presented on LGBT domestic and sexual violence legal issues at national conferences and trainings on behalf of the ABA and the National LGBT Bar Association. He is a co-chair of the GLBT Domestic Violence Coalition in Boston and is a member of the LGBT Subcommittee that successfully advocated for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity protections in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He is also a co-author of a chapter on intimate partern violence in GLAD’s book: Transgender Family Law. He is a graduate of the Northeastern University School of Law.
Harper Jean Tobin – As Director of Policy, Harper Jean coordinates all aspects of advocacy on federal administrative policies and regulations for the National Center for Transgender Equality. When she is not engaging with federal agencies and the current administration, she works to provide information for the public about laws and policies that affect transgender people. Harper Jean previously worked at the National Senior Citizens Law Center’s Federal Rights Project, where she maintained a large attorney listserv, provided training and technical assistance to public interest lawyers, and wrote about court access issues for legal, policy and general audiences. Harper Jean’s academic and general writing on LGBT issues, reproductive justice, and other issues has been widely published. She received degrees in social work and law from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is an alumna of Oberlin College.
Daniel Torres – Daniel Torres is a Program Director at California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) where he oversees civil and human rights advocacy on behalf of rural LGBT communities. He also manages Proyecto Poderoso—Project Powerful— a CRLA partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights aimed at improving legal services for low-income LGBT residents of rural California. Previously, Daniel worked at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center organizing LGBT immigrants, conducting Know Your Rights presentations and providing technical assistance to legal services and pro bono attorneys. He represented clients as a staff attorney at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation in Sacramento, worked as a clinical instructor at the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic, and served as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Ilona Turner – Ilona Turner is Legal Director of Transgender Law Center, the leading national legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people. The organization’s litigation and policy advocacy focuses on employment and health care access, and includes work on behalf of transgender students, immigrants, and prisoners. Transgender Law Center’s legal team represented the complainant in Macy v. Holder, which led to the EEOC’s groundbreaking decision in April 2012 confirming that transgender people are protected by Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination. Ilona previously worked as a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and as the lobbyist for Equality California, where she helped pass legislation that prohibited housing and employment discrimination against transgender people and significantly expanded the rights of domestic partners in California. She has written numerous articles on transgender and LGBT rights issues. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Witold (“Vic”) Walczak – Vic joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in 1991 and became its Legal Director in 2004. His recent nationally significant cases include victories in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first case challenging the teaching in public schools of “intelligent design” creationism; Lozano v. Hazleton, the first case challenging a municipality’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants; and Miller v. Mitchell, the first legal challenge to a prosecutor’s attempt to charge minors with child pornography for sexting. In 2012, Vic led a team of lawyers in Applewhite v. Commonwealth, which successfully blocked implementation of Pennsylvania’s restrictive Voter ID law for the 2012 Presidential election. Vic is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County. He was named Federal Lawyer of the Year in the Western District of Pennsylvania (2003) and is the Western Pennsylvania Representative to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals Bar Association’s Board of Governors. He is a graduate of Colgate University and Boston College Law School.
Karin Wang – Karin Wang is the Vice-President of Programs and Communications, overseeing the Asian Pacific American Law Center’s direct services, litigation, policy, leadership development and communications work. Wang is active in organizations that seek to improve the legal system for immigrants and low-income communities. She also is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County; past board member of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association; and past co-chair of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Pro Bono & Community Service Committee. In addition, Wang has been involved since 2005 in the struggle for marriage equality. She is a founding Steering Committee member of API Equality-LA, leading the coalition’s media efforts against Proposition 8 in 2008 and also helping to file amicus briefs in the California Supreme Court in support of marriage equality, including one brief on behalf of 63 Asian American organizations. Wang has received the Lambda Legal “Liberty Award”; the “Pioneer in Community Service” award from the Taiwanese American Citizen League/Taiwanese American Professionals; the “Local Hero” award from KCET in Los Angeles; and the “Woman of the Year” award from California Assembly member Mike Eng. She also was named by NAPABA as one of its “Best Lawyers Under 40.”
Shannan Wilber – Shannan Wilber joined NCLR in 2013 to direct NCLR’s Youth Project, bringing over 20 years of experience advocating for vulnerable children and youth. Early in her career, Shannan helped launch Legal Advocates for Children and Youth, an agency in San Jose, California that now serves hundreds of children a year in state court proceedings. Her experience representing individual children in juvenile court inspired her to join the Youth Law Center in 1992, where she engaged in policy advocacy and impact litigation to reform child welfare and juvenile justice systems for nine years. Between 2001 and 2012, Shannan served as the Executive Director of Legal Services for Children, a nonprofit law office in San Francisco that represents children in foster care, guardianship, education and immigration proceedings. She served for many years as a member of NCLR’s Board of Directors and as co-counsel on cases protecting LGBT youth against forced institutionalization and cases asserting the rights of children. She also worked with NCLR and others to create professional standards governing the care of LGBT youth in state custody, and to launch the Equity Project, dedicated to ensuring equal and respectful treatment of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system.
Samuel Wolfe – Sam Wolfe is a civil rights lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center where he launched the LGBT Rights Project and continues to help lead the nationwide project. He is a lead attorney who investigated and is litigating the first-ever civil suit seeking to hold practitioners of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts liable for their practice. Sam’s work, often set in the Deep South, focuses on achieving greater respect and equality for LGBT people. He investigated and took a primary role in achieving successful resolution of a landmark case on behalf of five students who endured anti-LGBT harassment in Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District. That case resulted in the most far-reaching agreement of its kind to protect students from such harassment. He also has helped resolve other disputes ensuring LGBT and student rights. These disputes frequently involve freedom of expression. Sam previously was a litigation associate at a prominent international law firm in New York City. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the Alabama and New York bar associations. The National LGBT Bar Association recognized Sam as one of the best LGBT lawyers under 40 in 2011.
Matt Wood - Matt Wood is a Staff Attorney at the Transgender Law Center where his work focuses on health and employment law. Prior to working at TLC, Matt was an associate at a small civil litigation firm in San Francisco that served the LGBT community, and worked in development for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. He was the lead attorney on the 2012 EEOC decision, Macy v. Holder, which confirmed that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination applied to transgender employees.
Keren Zwick – Keren Zwick is the managing attorney for the National Immigrant Justice Center’s LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative. Keren is Chair of the LGBT Committee of the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is a key contributor to the Chicago LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition. Keren represents LGBT immigrants and asylum seekers in all stages of the legal process including before Federal Courts. She also advocates for changes to immigration policies that have a disparate impact on LGBT immigrants. Keren joined NIJC following two years of clerking for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and is a graduate of Columbia Law School.
Todd Brower – Todd Brower is the Judicial Education Director for the Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA School of Law. He is a professor of Constitutional Law at Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California. He has an LL.M from Yale Law School, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an A.B. from Princeton University, and was a Fulbright scholar in France. Professor Brower served on the California Judicial Council – Access and Fairness Advisory Committee and is the author of various law review articles, research studies and publications on the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons in the courts of the United Kingdom, California and New Jersey. He has worked with the courts of many states and federal agencies on judicial education programs and with the National Judicial College, the National Association of State Judicial Educators, the National Association of Women Judges, the National Center for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the California Center for Judicial Education and Research.
Erin Buzuvis – Erin Buzuvis is a professor of law at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. She researches and writes about gender and discrimination in sport, including such topics as the interrelation of law and sports culture, intersecting sexual orientation and race discrimination in women’s athletics, retaliation against coaches in collegiate women’s sports, the role of interest surveys in Title IX compliance, participation policies for transgender and intersex athletes, and Title IX and competitive cheer. Additionally, she is a co-founder and contributor to the Title IX Blog, an interdisciplinary resource for news, legal developments, commentary, and scholarship about Title IX’s application to athletics and education. Professor Buzuvis currently serves as the Director of the law school’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies. She also teaches courses on administrative law, employment discrimination, Title IX, torts and property.
Pat Cain – Patricia A. Cain is Professor of Law at Santa Clara University and the Aliber Family Chair in Law, Emerita, at the University of Iowa. She is a graduate of Vassar College and received her J.D. from the University of Georgia. She began her academic career at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a member of the faculty for 17 years, before moving to Iowa in 1991. She has been at Santa Clara since 2007. She is the author of Rainbow Rights: the role of lawyers and courts in the lesbian and gay civil rights movement (Westview Press 2000) and Sexuality Law, 2nd Edition (Carolina Academic Press 2009)(with Arthur S. Leonard). Professor Cain is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. She teaches courses in federal taxation, property, wills and trusts, and sexuality and the law. Most of her recent scholarship focuses on tax planning for same-sex couples. She maintains a blog called Same Sex Tax Law. See http://law.scu.edu/category/
Leonore Carpenter – Leonore Carpenter is an Assistant Professor of Law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Professor Carpenter teaches Legal Research and Writing, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Law, and Introduction to Public Interest Law. Her scholarship focuses on LGBT rights and on public interest lawyering. Professor Carpenter was recently named one of the 40 best LGBT lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. Prior to joining the Temple Law faculty on a full-time basis, Professor Carpenter served as Legal Director at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, a public interest agency that provided direct legal services, education, and policy reform advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pennsylvanians. At Equality Advocates, Professor Carpenter provided oversight of statewide litigation strategy and coordination of direct representation and amicus curiae participation. Professor Carpenter also oversaw Equality Advocates’ statewide legal hotline, and acted as an adjunct clinical instructor to Temple Law students in an LGBT-rights clinical course that she designed. Professor Carpenter began her employment at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania in 2001 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, representing LGBT victims of hate crime and domestic violence. Professor Carpenter is a graduate of Temple Law, where she received the Beth Cross Award for commitment to underserved populations. Following graduation from law school, Professor Carpenter completed a clerkship with the Honorable Harold B. Wells, III of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.
Jackie Gardina – Professor Jackie Gardina teaches at Vermont Law School where she specializes in four main areas: civil procedure; administrative law; bankruptcy, with a special emphasis on environmental obligations in bankruptcy; and sexual orientation and gender identity issues. Professor Gardina graduated magna cum laude from Boston College Law School. Upon graduation, she clerked for Chief Judge William Young of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and then for the Honorable Levin Campbell of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, she was an associate at the Boston firm of Choate, Hall, and Stewart, where she practiced in the commercial litigation department. In addition to her teaching duties, Professor Gardina has spoken and written on a variety of topics including the Defense of Marriage Act, the interstate recognition of same-sex relationships, the Solomon Amendment and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. She is currently the co-president of Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and she has served on the AALS Government Relations Committee and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Board.
Julie Greenberg – Professor Greenberg is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Her path-breaking work on gender identityand intersexuality has been cited by a number of state and federal courts, as well as courts in other countries. Her work has been quoted in hundreds of books and articles and she has been invited to speak at dozens of national and international conferences on the subject. She joined the TJSL faculty in 1990 and was the Associate Dean for Faculty Development from 2003-2005. She serves on a number of nonprofit organizations’ boards of directors and has also been involved in a variety of community service projects relating to the rights of women and sexual minorities. Professor Greenberg’s work on behalf of LGBTI rights was recognized by the Tom Homann LGBT Bar Association in 2006 when it presented her with the “Friend of the Community” award. She also was voted by her peers as one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys in Academics for 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Sharra E. Greer – Sharra Greer has been an adjunct faculty member at American University – Washington College of Law since 2011. Ms. Greer is also the Policy Director for the Children’s Law Center. Children’s Law Center provides legal services to at-risk children and their families focusing on children who face instability as a result of abuse, neglect or extreme parental conflict, as well as children with special education or health needs. The Policy program takes knowledge gained from representing individual clients to advocate for changes in the law and its implementation. Previously Ms. Greer developed the policy department at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). In addition to creating and supervising that policy department, she supervised the group’s successful legal services and impact litigation efforts. Ms. Greer began her legal services work while at Rutgers Law School, when she worked at Camden Regional Legal Services. After law school, she was an associate with the firm of Weissman & Mintz, specializing in plaintiffs’ side employment discrimination and labor law. Ms. Greer left Weissman & Mintz to serve as a staff attorney with the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). There, Ms. Greer worked on cases before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and represented plaintiffs’ in two class actions through NVLSP’s Agent Orange Resource Center. Recently, Sharra helped design and create Lawyers Serving Warriors, a program which provides pro bono legal services for returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Sharra graduated with honors from Rutgers in 1994 and received her BAs from the University of Washington.
Marty Grenhart – Marty Grenhart is the Recruitment Programs Manager at UC Berkeley School of Law. She manages both the Fall and Spring On-Campus Interviewing Programs, and is the primary liaison between employers and the law students they seek to recruit. She advises employers on ways to convey their unique strengths to their target population, and in doing so, helps them develop long-range outreach strategies to maximize their recruiting potential. Ms. Grenhart is an active member of both NALP (National Association for Law Placement) and BALRA (Bay Area Legal Recruiters Association), and has served in leadership positions in both organizations.
Jody Herman – Jody L. Herman holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from The George Washington University, where she also earned her M.A. in Public Policy. She is the Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow and Manager of Transgender Research at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. She has worked on issues of poverty, women’s rights, and anti-discrimination policy development with non-profit research, advocacy, and direct-service organizations in the United States and Mexico. Before joining the Williams Institute, she worked as a research consultant on issues of voting rights in low-income minority communities and gender identity discrimination. She also served as a co-author on the groundbreaking report Injustice at Every Turn, based on the National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Elizabeth L. Hillman– Elizabeth Hillman is Provost, Academic Dean, and Professor of Law at University of California Hastings College of the Law. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Provost Hillman attended Duke University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, earned a degree in electrical engineering, and served as a space operations officer and orbital analyst in the U.S. Air Force. She taught history at the Air Force Academy and Yale University and law at Rutgers University School of Law at Camden before joining the UC Hastings faculty. Her scholarship focuses on military law, history, and culture, topics about which she has published two books, Military Justice Cases and Materials (2d ed. 2012, LexisNexis, with Eugene R. Fidell and Dwight H. Sullivan) and Defending America: Military Culture and the Cold War Court-Martial(Princeton University Press, 2005), and many articles. She has testified before Congress, served as an expert at trial, and commented in the media about military justice, sexual orientation, and gender in the U.S. armed forces. She is president of the National Institute of Military Justice, a non-profit dedicated to promoting fairness in and public understanding of military justice worldwide, co-legal director of the Palm Center, a public policy research institute that played a key role in ending the “don’t ask/don’t tell,” and a member of an independent panel chartered by Congress in 2013 to review and assess the military’s response to sexual assault.
Nan D. Hunter – Nan D. Hunter is Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. In addition, she is Legal Scholarship Director at the Williams Institute at UCLA. Dean Hunter writes primarily in two fields: state regulation of sexuality and health law. She co-authored the casebook Sexuality, Gender and the Law, now in its third edition with a new Fall 2013 Supplement. Her articles in both fields have appeared in the Michigan Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Minnesota Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, and the NYU Law Review, among others. From 1993 to 1996 she served as Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; after leaving HHS, she was a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. Dean Hunter received the Pioneer of Courage award from the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the first Dan Bradley award from the National LGBT Bar Association. She blogs at www.hunterofjustice.com.
Courtney Joslin – Courtney Joslin is a Professor at UC Davis School of Law. Professor Joslin received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Prior to joining the faculty at UC Davis, Professor Joslin served as an attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), where she litigated cases on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families. Professor Joslin’s areas of interest include family and relationship recognition, particularly focusing on same-sex and nonmarital couples. Professor Joslin’s publications have appeared in the Boston University Law Review, the Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, and the Southern California Law Review. Her article, Modernizing Divorce Jurisdiction: Same-Sex Couples and Minimum Contacts was selected as a winner of the 2011 AALS New Voices in Gender Studies Paper Competition.
Nancy Knauer – Professor Knauer is the I. Herman Stern Professor of Law and Director of Law & Public Policy Programs at Temple Law School where she teaches Political & Civil Rights, Property, and Taxation. Her scholarship examines the role of the law in the regulation and production of identity. Professor Knauer has written and lectured widely on the legal recognition of same-sex relationships and the unique challenges facing LGBT elders. Drawing on materials from law, history, and social theory, her book, Gay and Lesbian Elders: History, Law, and Identity Politics in the U.S., outlines reforms that are necessary to ensure equity and dignity in aging regardless of sexual orientation. Professor Knauer received a Dukeminier Award and the Stu Walter Prize from the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School for LGBT Elder Law: Toward Equity in Aging, 32 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 1 (2009). Professor Knauer was one of only 25 law professors selected for a nation-wide study, What the Best Law Teachers Do, which will be published by Harvard University Press in 2013. Selections were made from more than 250 nominees teaching at over 100 law schools. Professor Knauer has received numerous awards for her teaching, scholarship, and service.
Arthur S. Leonard – Arthur Leonard, a professor at New York Law School since 1982, graduated from Cornell University (1974) and Harvard Law School (1977). He teaches Contracts, Employment Law, Employment Discrimination Law, and Sexuality & the Law. Prof. Leonard started New York’s LGBT Law Association in 1978 and served as its first elected president (1984-1988). He edits the Association’s monthly newsletter, Lesbian/Gay Law Notes, which is archived on NY Law School’s Justice Action Center website. His free monthly podcast discussing leading cases from Law Notes can be found at http://legal.podbeam.com or on itunes. Prof. Leonard writes for Gay City News, a NYC community newspaper, and is co-author of the first law school casebook on AIDS Law and of the casebook Sexuality Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2nd edition, 2009). He provides commentary on LGBT and HIV-related issues on his blog, http://www.artleonardobservations.com. He was a founding member of the National LGBT Law Association, has spoken at many Lavender Law Conferences, and in 2005 received the Dan Bradley Award from the Association for his contributions to LGBT law.
Larry Levine – Professor Larry Levine teaches Torts and Sexual Orientation and the Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California. He was a founding member of the California State Bar’s Committee on Sexual Orientation Discrimination, co-founded Sacramento Lawyers for the Equality of Gays and Lesbians, served on the board of the LGBTBAR, and was the chairperson of the Law School Admission Council’s Subcommittee on Sexual Orientation Issues. A frequent speaker and author on LGBT legal issues, Professor Levine recently published an article about Justice Kennedy and marriage equality as part of a McGeorge Law Review-sponsored symposium on the Justice.
Diane Mazur – Diane H. Mazur, University of Florida Professor of Law Emeritus, is the author of a book explaining why the military needs to embrace civilian constitutional values: A More Perfect Military: How the Constitution Can Make Our Military Stronger (Oxford University Press). Her research and teaching interests include constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility. She is Legal Co-Director of the Palm Center, a University of California research institute devoted to study of military policies affecting sexual minorities. Professor Mazur is also an advisor to the National Institute of Military Justice, a senior editor for the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, and a former aircraft and munitions maintenance officer in the United States Air Force. She lives in Davis, California.
Douglas NeJaime – Douglas NeJaime is Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law, where he teaches in the areas of family law, law and sexuality, and constitutional law. Before joining the UC Irvine faculty, he was Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and the Sears Law Teaching Fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. He is a two-time recipient of the Dukeminier Award, which recognizes the best sexual orientation legal scholarship published in the previous year, and the 2011 recipient of Loyola’s Excellence in Teaching Award. NeJaime has provided commentary on issues relating to sexual orientation and same-sex marriage to numerous press outlets, including the New York Times, L.A. Times, NPR, and NBC News. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Brown University.
Julie Nice – Julie Nice is the Herbst Foundation Professor of Law and Dean’s Circle Scholar at the University of San Francisco where she has taught since 2008, after serving as the Delaney Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Her scholarly expertise focuses on analyzing constitutional law in the contexts of sexuality and poverty. Professor Nice’s recent publications regarding sexuality include articles on religion and sexual orientation in the law school context (available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1769863) and on the “responsible procreation” defense of same-sex marriage bans (available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1990554.) Professor Nice has won twelve awards for law teaching excellence and was selected as one of the nation’s top-25 law teachers in the evidence-based study What the Best Law Teachers Do (edited by Schwartz, Sparrow & Hess, forthcoming 2013 Harvard University Press). She taught an international course on Comparative Relationship Recognition at the 2012 Barcelona Sexual Orientation Law immersion program sponsored by UCLA’s Williams Institute and Whittier Law School. Professor Nice recently received the University of San Francisco’s coveted Gender Justice Award in honor of over thirty years of work addressing gender and sexual justice. She is a frequent media commentator and public speaker on issues related to sexuality and constitutional law.
Marc R. Poirier – Marc R. Poirier is Professor of Law and Martha Traylor Research Scholar at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. He teaches in the areas of law and sexuality, property, administrative law, and environmental law, and has also taught First Amendment. He has twice been awarded the prestigious Dukeminier Award for the best legal scholarship in the field of law, sexuality and, and gender identity. Seton Hall University is a diocesan Catholic university. Professor Poirier has advised Lambda Law Alliance, the LGBTQ group at Seton Hall, since its formation in 2002. He also served for three years on the Law School’s Diversity Council. Professor Poirier has been an active member of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) for more than twenty years, in the areas of environmental justice, LGBTQ issues, and legal education. He has practiced Zen Buddhism for more than thirty years, and is an authorized Zen teacher in the Ordinary Mind School founded by Charlotte Joko Beck. He is involved in efforts to bring meditation and other contemplative practices to the legal profession. Professor Poirier holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Yale, a J.D. cum laude from Harvard, and an LL.M. from Yale.
Robert Salem – Rob Salem is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Toledo College of Law. He has published articles on bullying, discrimination and education issues in the Cleveland State Law Review, Louisiana Law Review and Albany Law Review. Professor Salem was recently appointed by the United States Commission on Civil Rights to serve on its Ohio Advisory Committee. He also recently served as an expert panel member for a United States Department of Education study on state bullying laws and school policies. He was one of seven experts from around the country chosen by the Department of Education to work on the study. He created an anti-bullying training curriculum for teachers and school administrators and a model anti-bullying policy that has been used by schools around the state. He has trained thousands of students, teachers and administrators in bullying prevention and has presented his work nationwide. Professor Salem serves on several non-profit boards and advisory panels, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, the Toledo Bar Association, Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio, The Toledo Public Defenders Office.
Ryan Scott – Ryan Scott is an Associate Professor of Law at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, where he teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Federal Jurisdiction. His scholarship focuses on criminal sentencing, judicial discretion, and constitutional law. He is also co-chair of the LGBT Committee of the ABA Criminal Justice Section. Before joining the faculty, Mr. Scott served as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General, an associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Washington, DC, and a law clerk to Judge Michael McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He earned his J.D. in 2005 from the University of Minnesota.
Giovanna Shay – Giovanna Shay is a Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law. She writes and teaches about criminal law, with her current work focusing on issues of gender and sexuality in the criminal legal system. Prior to joining the WNE Law faculty in 2007, Professor Shay was a Robert M. Cover Clinical Teaching Fellow at Yale Law School. She also served as a Staff Attorney at the Public Defender Service for D.C., and was a Soros Justice Fellow at the ACLU National Prison Project. From 1997-98, she served as a law clerk at the Connecticut Supreme Court. From 2011-2013, Professor Shay was a Co-Chair of the Corrections Committee of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. In 2013, Professor Shay is the Secretary of the Criminal Justice Section of the Association of American Law Schools.
Kelly Strader – Kelly Strader is Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. He received a B.A. from the College of William & Mary, a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia, where he served on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review. Professor Strader has an extensive background in criminal litigation and has also worked as a pro bono attorney on gay rights litigation. He has written substantial scholarship relating to both criminal law and LGBT rights including, most recently, Queer (In)Justice: Mapping New Gay (Scholarly) Agendas (Book Review), 102 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 171 (2012) (with Giovanna Shay). He has also written and lectured about legal issues relating to HIV/AIDS. At Southwestern, Professor Strader serves as the faculty advisor to OUTLaw, and has been named the Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professor of Law and has received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Professor Strader has chaired the Law School Admission Council’s (LSAC) Subcommittee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Issues and the AALS Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues.
Scott Titshaw – Scott Titshaw is an Associate Professor at Mercer University Law School. Prior to joining the faculty at Mercer, Professor Titshaw practiced immigration and transactional law,winning awards from both the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia and the ACLU of Georgia for his pro bono work. He has led the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia and the American Immigration Lawyers Associations (AILA) Georgia-Alabama Chapter. He currently serves as chair of the AILA LGBT working group. Professor Titshaw earned a B.A. from Georgetown University, a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law, and an LL.M. magna cum laude, from the Universität Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany. Professor Titshaw clerked with U.S. District Court Judge Adrian Duplantier in New Orleans, and worked as a legal translator with Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court. He teaches a course on Sexuality and the Law, and his scholarship focuses on immigration, comparative law, and issues concerning sexual minorities. His most recent publications include The Meaning of Marriage: Immigration Rules and Their Implications for Same-Sex Spouses in a World Without DOMA, 16 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 537 (2010), A Modest Proposal to Deport the Children of Gay Citizens & etc: Immigration Law, DOMA and the Children of Same-Sex Couples, 25 Geo. Immigr. L. J. 407 (2011), and The Reactionary Road to Free Love: How Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage are Destroying the Institution They Seek to Defend, 115 W. Va. L. Rev. 205 (2012) (all available at http://ssrn.com/author=1237700).
Tony Varona – Dean Tony Varona teaches Contracts, Administrative Law, Media Law, and Introduction to Public Law, in addition to serving as associate dean for faculty and academic affairs at American University Washington College of Law. Before becoming associate dean, he was the director of the SJD Program. Prior to joining the WCL faculty in 2005, he was an associate professor of law at Pace Law School in New York. Before that, he served as general counsel and legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay civil rights organization. He built HRC’s legal department, directed its legislative and regulatory lawyering and appellate amicus work, launched national law fellow and pro bono attorney programs, and served as counsel to HRC’s board of directors and the organization’s corporate, educational, and media initiatives. Dean Varona taught as an adjunct law professor for three years at Georgetown University, and served as a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School. He serves on the board of directors of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and is a member of the Society of American Law Teachers and the Hispanic Bar Association of Washington. He has served on the boards of the Human Rights Campaign and the Alliance for Justice, was on the New York Advisory Board for the American Constitution Society, was founding chairperson of the AIDS Action Council’s Legal Advisory Council, and served as a member of the Judicial Selection Steering Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Jillian Weiss – Dr. Jillian T. Weiss has a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Law, Policy & Society. Currently Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey, her research area is gender identity and law. She has authored over 50 academic publications, presentations and other scholarly works, as well as approximately 40 articles and interviews for media organizations including The New York Times and Associated Press. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the nation’s largest and oldest LGBT civil rights legal organization, and of the Board of Directors of GetEqual, a direct action non-profit organization dedicated to LGBT rights, as well as a member of The Williams Institute Advisory Board, an LGBT rights think-tank at UCLA Law School, and former member of the Board of Advisors of the National Center for Transgender Equality. She also provides consulting services for private and public employers, including Harvard University, Boeing and New York City, and pro bono legal representation in cases involving gender identity and gender expression discrimination. She is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association, and co-Chair of the Planning Committee for the 2013 Transgender Law Institute.
Tobias Barrington Wolff - Tobias Barrington Wolff writes and teaches in the fields of civil procedure and complex litigation, the conflict of laws, federal jurisdiction, and constitutional law. He is co-author (with Linda Silberman and Allan Stein) of Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice (Aspen, 4th ed 2013) and his recently published articles include Civil Rights Reform and the Body (Harvard Law & Policy Review), Redeeming the Missed Opportunities of Shady Grove (with Stephen Burbank) (University of Pennsylvania Law Review), andFederal Jurisdiction and Due Process in the Era of the Nationwide Class Action (University of Pennsylvania Law Review). Wolff has served as counsel or counsel for amici curiae in many civil rights cases seeking equal treatment under law for LGBT people, and he was chair of the LGBT policy advisory committee to candidate Barack Obama in the 2007-08 presidential campaign.
Judge Mark Cady – Justice Mark S. Cady, Ft. Dodge, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1998 and was named Chief Justice in 2011. He was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. Chief Justice Cady earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Drake University. After graduating from law school in 1978, he served as a judicial law clerk for the Second Judicial District for one year. He was then appointed as an assistant Webster County attorney and practiced with a law firm in Fort Dodge. Cady was appointed a district associate judge in 1983 and a district court judge in 1986. In 1994, he was appointed to the Iowa Court of Appeals. He was elected chief judge of the Court of Appeals in 1997. Chief Justice Cady is a member of the Order of Coif (honorary), American Bar Association, Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa Judges Association, and Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers (honorary). Chief Justice Cady is the coauthor of Iowa Practice: Lawyer and Judicial Ethics (Thomson-West 2007). He is also the coauthor of Preserving the Delicate Balance Between Judicial Accountability and Independence: Merit Selection in the Post-White World, 16 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 101 (2008), and the author of Curbing Litigation Abuse and Misuse: A Judicial Approach, 36 Drake L. Rev. 481 (1987). He is married and has two children. His current term expires December 31, 2016.
Judge Linda Colfax – A member of the San Francisco Superior Court, Judge Colfax was elected in 2010. As a judge, Linda presided over civil trials for the first 9 months, juvenile dependency matters for 15 months, and for the last 8 months has been serving as a family law judge. Prior to taking the bench, Linda was a San Francisco Public Defender for over 13 years. In addition to being a public defender, she served as the vice president of the Municipal Attorneys Association, the collective bargaining unit for San Francisco’s city employed attorneys. Linda also served on the board of the ACLU of Northern California and is a past board member of BALIF, the Bay Area LGBTQ legal organization and past president of Women Defenders, a networking and education group for Bay Area women defense attorneys. Judge Colfax received her B.A. in 1990 from Harvard and her J.D. in 1996 from the University of Michigan. Linda resides in San Francisco with her wife, Kristin, and their children Hannah and Elias.
Judge Michael Fitzgerald – Judge Fitzgerald currently serves as a United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Judge Fitzgerald was born and grew-up in Southern California. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1981 and from the School of Law of the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1985. He was elected to the Order of the Coif, received the American Jurisprudence Award in Criminal Law, and served as Managing Editor of the Industrial Relations Law Journal. He clerked for the Honorable Irving R. Kaufman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In Los Angeles, Judge Fitzgerald worked both as a federal prosecutor and in private practice. He was trial counsel in Buttino v. FBI, a pro bono case that caused the FBI to change its policy of viewing a homosexual orientation as a security risk. He served pro bono as Deputy General Counsel of the Rampart Commission, which investigated the Los Angeles Police Department. Before his appointment, Judge Fitzgerald was a partner at Corbin, Fitzgerald & Athey LLP, handling criminal and civil cases. Upon Senator Barbara Boxer’s recommendation, President Obama nominated him to the United States District Court on July 20, 2011. The Senate confirmed the nomination on March 15, 2012, and the President appointed him that same day.
Judge Phyllis Frye – Phyllis Randolph Frye is an Eagle Scout, a former member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, a US Army veteran (1LT-RA 1970-72), a licensed engineer, a licensed attorney, a father, a grandmother and a lesbian wife. She is the first out transgender judge in the nation. Now having lived almost sixty percent of her life as the woman she always felt herself to be, Phyllis remains on the cutting edge of LGBTI and especially transgender legal and political issues. When the “gay” community was still ignoring or marginalizing the transgender community in the early 1990’s, Phyllis began the national transgender legal and political movement (thus she is known as being the movement’s “Grandmother”) with the six annual transgender law conferences (ICTLEP) and their grassroots training. Attorney Frye is one of the Task Force’s 1995 “Creator of Change” award winners. In 1999 she was given Int’l Fndn Gender Education’s Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement award. In 2001 she was given Lavender Law’s highest honor, the Dan Bradley Award. She was honored beginning in 2009 by Texas A&M University with an annual Advocacy Award given in her name. In 2013 the Houston Transgender Unity Committee gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010 Phyllis was sworn-in as the first out transgender judge in the nation, as a City of Houston Associate Municipal Judge. She retains her senior partnership with Frye, Steidley, Oaks and Benavidez, PLLC, (liberatinglaw.com) which is an out LGBTI-and-straight-allies law firm. While the members of the firm practice law in a variety of areas, Phyllis devotes her practice exclusively to taking transgender clients – both adults and minors – through the Texas courts to change the clients’ names and genders on their legal documents.
Judge Linda Giles – A graduate of McGill University (B.A., Economics, 1974) and New England School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1977), where she served as Case Comment Editor of the Law Review, Judge Giles was engaged in the private practice of law, specializing in trial practice, before joining the bench. In 1991, she was appointed as the first openly lesbian judge in Massachusetts to be an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court by Governor William F. Weld; and, in 1998, she was elevated to the Superior Court by Governor Argeo Paul Cellucci. Judge Giles has served as chair of the Massachusetts Trial Court’s Gender Equality Advisory Board and president of the International Association of LGBT Judges. She has participated in many educational programs on a variety of topics, such as gender equality, substance abuse, the enhancement of the judicial system, and access to justice, and has done much work in the area of domestic violence, serving on a number of committees and panels and authoring the Judicial Commentary in the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education book, Obtaining, Enforcing and Defending 209A Restraining Orders. She formerly was an Adjunct Professor of Law at New England School of Law, teaching “Children and the Law,” and presently teaches “Trial Practice” at Suffolk University Law School. Judge Giles is a recipient of the Massachusetts Judges Conference’s Judicial Excellence Award (President’s Award), the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Public Service Award, Boston College Law School’s Lambda Student Association’s “Courage in Coming Out” Award, and the North Shore Gay Alliance 15th Anniversary Award.
Judge Victoria Kolakowski – Judge Victoria Kolakowski is the first openly transgender trial judge in the United States; she was elected to the Alameda County Superior Court in November 2010. Judge Kolakowski was an attorney for twenty one years in Louisiana and California, serving as a sole practitioner, attorney in a small firm, as general counsel for a publicly traded company, as a senior government utility regulatory attorney, and as an administrative law judge for two different California agencies. Since coming out publicly in 1989, Judge Kolakowski has been a leader in numerous local, state and national LGBT legal, political and spiritual organizations. Her many accomplishments include co-authoring Berkeley, California’s domestic partner public registration ordinance in 1991 and co-chairing the board of directors of the Transgender Law Center, an organization focused on the well-being and protection of transgender individuals. She was also honored as an “Outstanding Woman of Berkeley” (1995) by the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women. In 2011, Judge Kolakowski served as a Community Grand Marshal for San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride and was named by the Equality Forum as one of 31 international Icons for LGBT History Month.
Judge Debra Silber – Debra Silber was elected to the NYC Civil Court in 1997 and was re-elected in 2007. She is currently an Acting Justice by designation presiding in the Supreme Court, Kings County, where she hears both jury and non-jury trials and divorce trials. In her 16 years on the bench, she has presided over the Integrated Domestic Violence Court, which handles Criminal Court, Family Court and divorce cases, spent a year trying felony trials in Supreme Court, Criminal Term, and for several years sat in a custody and visitation part in the Kings County Family Court. From 1999 – 2004 she sat in Kings County Civil Court, handling all types of trials, including personal injury and landlord and tenant. Before her election, Judge Silber was in private law practice, and served on many boards and commissions. From 1992 to 1996 she was a (part-time) Commissioner on the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, which is the agency that hears complaints of Police misconduct. She served on her local community planning board, on the board of her synagogue, and has been active in community affairs her entire life. She is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law (1982) and New York University. A native of Brooklyn, New York, she lives in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn with her partner and two kids.
Judge George Silver – George J. Silver was recently elected as a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Justice Silver was elected to Civil Court bench in November 2004. He was initially assigned to Civil Court, Kings County until he was re-assigned in April 2009 to Family Court, Bronx County where he presided over juvenile delinquency matters. In January 2010, Judge Silver was appointed a Supreme Court Judge by designation and assigned to Supreme Court, New York County where he presides over the approximately two thousand motor vehicle cases pending in New York County. In April 2011, Justice Silver was asked to preside over the Trial Assignment Part in Supreme Court, New York County in addition to his current assignment. In 2012, Justice Silver was also asked to handle potential early settlement of Medical Malpractice Cases as part of a specialized grant program. His current assignments include the Trial Assignment Part, the Medical Malpractice Early Settlement Part and an IAS Part handling general matters including Asbestos litigation. Justice Silver is also involved in many community-based and Bar Associations including the NAACP, the International Association of Gay and Lesbian Judges where he currently serves as Vice -President and the Jewish Lawyers Guild.
Judge Zeke Zeidler – Judge Zeidler was elected to the bench of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2004. Prior to that, he served as a Superior Court Referee for over six years, presiding over cases that involve child abuse and neglect. Judge Zeidler has chaired the committee that creates anti-bias curriculum for judicial officers and court staff throughout California, and teaches new judge orientation and juvenile law overview courses for judicial officers in California. He has also presented nationally on diversity, child welfare, and LGBT domestic violence issues. He is currently in his second term as President of the International Association of LGBT Judges. Before taking the bench, Judge Zeidler was as an attorney representing abused and neglected children. He has served as an officer in NLGLA (now the National LGBT Bar Association) and was the co-chair of NLGLA’s law student arm. In addition to his legal involvements, Judge Zeidler has been very active on education issues. He was first elected to the Redondo Beach School Board in 1995, becoming only the tenth openly Gay or Lesbian school board member in the country, and he was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1999. Judge Zeidler resides in Los Angeles with his husband, attorney Jay Kohorn.