Our mission is twofold:
First, we offer programming, publications, and a forum to discuss and learn about cutting-edge litigation and other legal developments affecting the LGBT community. We partner with groups across the ABA and country and work to keep our members informed. Topics include same-sex marriage litigation, school bullying, transgender developments, same-sex adoptions, implicit bias issues in selecting a jury and much more.
Second, we provide a forum for our members to network and to discuss the unique issues that LGBT litigators and allies face. We also work with other ABA groups to support policy statements promoting full equality for LGBT persons and provide ample networking opportunities.
By joining our committee, you will receive our newsletter, LGBT Litigator, which provides updates on legal developments and valuable practical tips on all fronts. You will also receive periodic emails from the Committee with case notes, information on programs, and networking opportunities, and information on how to get involved. You will also receive advance notice of roundtables and CLE programming sponsored by the Committee.
Membership in our committee is open to all members of the Section of Litigation, whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. We hope that you will join us and that we will see you at an upcoming event.
Message from the Chairs
As cochairs of the 2020–2021 LGBT Law and Litigator Committee, we are delighted to welcome you to our Committee.
For the coming ABA year, we have many exciting opportunities for you to network and learn alongside other LGBT litigators and their allies across the United States. Coronavirus will not stop our activities, and various webinars, roundtables, virtual happy hours, and even opportunities to earn CLE are on offer.
If you’re looking to network, there is no better way than to join in one our virtual happy hours, each of which will feature fun themes and activities, starting with a Halloween happy hour on October 27. Further happy hours are planned for December, January, March, and June. We are also hosting “Boomer to Zoomer” networking events quarterly, which will encourage LGBT litigators across the generations to share their experiences, offer advice, and create community.
ABA Roundtables offer an opportunity to dive into a topic of interest for 30–60 minutes, hear a speaker, and pose questions. This coming year we are planning a Roundtable in December to highlight the intersection of LGBT rights and considerations of religious liberty, an especially hot topic after the Supreme Court’s decision this past summer recognizing that Title VII provides workplace protections to LGBT persons (which was the topic of a previous Roundtable in July 2020). Additional Roundtables currently planned for May and June will consider the state of LGBT rights in the new presidential administration and the intersection of LGBT identities with other identities like race.
We also have on tap a number of Webinars and hope to offer CLE credit for some of these. Topics we are planning to cover include current developments of LGBT rights in family law and a round-up of the 2020–2021 Supreme Court term.
Our ongoing series Sound Advice interviews with prominent LGBT litigators will also continue this year, and we hope to expand to cover substantive legal topics as well.
The LGBT Law & Litigator Committee is also partnering with the other Diversity & Inclusion “Core” Committees for a monthly Diversity Leads Series. The LGBT Law & Litigator Committee will be contributing at least two panels for this new monthly program for the Section of Litigation on broadly applicable diversity topics.
We would very much welcome your ideas and participation this year, particularly in the following ways:
- We are actively proposing panels for Section of Litigation conferences, national and regional, and we are looking for LGBT litigators who are subject matter experts in their respective areas of practice to share their expertise on these panels. If you have an idea for a panel, please let us know! This is a wonderful way to network with other litigators and get your name out there as an expert in your field.
- Members are also invited to write on issues in their area of expertise or issues of concern to the LGBT community—we are always looking for authors and speakers, and these opportunities can be a great career-building exercise.
- We are developing the mentorship program, which will allow us all to share our experiences as LGBT litigators with others and start developing a strong network of LGBT litigators that can support and assist each other professionally.
- We are also trying to reach out and cosponsor virtual events with law firm affinity groups, local state bar association LGBT groups, and LGBT law school groups. If you are tied into any of the above and have an interest in cosponsoring a virtual event or participating in one of our events, please reach out to us and let us know!
We also look forward to resuming our normal in-person interactions at the Section Annual Conference, currently planned for Houston in May. But until that time, the ABA has an exciting array of virtual conferences planned, and these too should provide opportunities for the members of our committee to interact.
Do join us, whenever and however you can. We look forward to hearing from you.
Michal, Wade, and Nate
Subcommittee Structure for 2020-2021
Programming: Hunter Lewis, Lauren Dinner
Marketing & Membership: Ashley King, Geoffrey Warner
Virtual Networking: Nicholas “Nico” Brancolini, Mario Choi