LGBT Law & Litigator


Learn while you’re on the go. Access the LGBT Law & Litigator Committee’s recordings on this archive page.

Sound Advice

An Interview with Transgender Lawyer and Activist Joanne Wheeler Bland: Part 2
Joanne Wheeler Bland discusses the public turn her coming out story took after interviews with her were published in the newspaper, the role she assumed as spokesperson for the trans community and a guide and counselor to other trans persons, and how her career changed. (20:02 min)

An Interview with Transgender Lawyer and Activist Joanne Wheeler Bland: Part 1
Joanne Wheeler Bland discusses coming out as transgender in the midst of a busy law practice in Kentucky, and how she handled her relationships with judges, opposing counsel, and clients. (22:34 min)

Being a Successful Out Attorney
By Gerald L. Shoemaker, Jr.
This Sound Advice focuses on the various ways LGBTQ attorneys can use diversity as a positive in practice and life. (7:33 min)

Diversity: Translating Talk into Action
This Sound Advice focuses on the various ways LGBTQ attorneys can use diversity as a positive in practice and life. (7:59)


State of the Union: An LGBTQ Issues Update
This Roundtable is a comprehensive update on a variety of LGBTQ+ related legal and legislative updates, including Pres. Biden's executive order to combat discrimination against LGBTQ persons in health care, housing, and education, as well as on Title IX anti-discrimination protections in the educational environment. In addition, we will discuss the ongoing legislative efforts in many states to preclude transgender youth from participating in organized team sports, as well as barring transgender youth from obtaining access to gender-affirming care. Our panel will discuss the various proposals and the likelihood/prospects for their passage and enforcement. (1:04:32 hr)

Diversity Leads: Model Rule 8.4(g): Eliminating Bias, Discrimination, and Harassment in the Practice of Law
ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) has been receiving some attention of late. In early December 2020, a federal judge enjoined the enforcement of Pennsylvania's version of Model Rule 8.4(g) that bans lawyers from knowingly manifesting bias or engaging in discrimination in the practice of law. And earlier that same year, the ABA issued Formal Opinion 493 to offer guidance on the purpose, scope, and application of Model Rule 8.4(g). This Roundtable provided a civil yet lively and informative discussion regarding this model rule. (57:35 min)

Diversity Leads: How Mentorship Advances the Careers of Diverse Lawyers
Mentorship is an extremely valuable relationship when building a legal career. The right relationship can benefit, and be rewarding to both the mentee and the mentor. Finding the right match and creating a mutually beneficial relationship can be overwhelming. This panel discussion will help both parties understand what it takes to cultivate and sustain a successful mentorship relationship.

During the discussion, we will look at both sides of the mentorship relationship, and talk about what works and does not work in developing the relationship.

As part of the ABA Section of Litigation’s ‘Diversity Leads’ series, this roundtable is open to all law students, law school graduates, and lawyers alike. Mentors and Mentees will share some highlights from their career path as well as how their mentor-mentee relationship(s) helped guide them along the way. (1:03:42 hr)

Diversity Leads: The Role of Intersectionality in DE&I Efforts in the Legal Profession
The next installment in the Litigation Section's Diversity Leads Roundtable series, this session focuses on Intersectionality and how intersectional identities have shaped pathways within the legal profession. We have amazing speakers who will discuss their own experiences, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal profession and what their firms have done in particular to promote diversity during the COVID-19 pandemic. (1:02:08 hr)

Diversity Leads Roundtable Series: Championing Diversity During Times of Crisis
The chaotic events of 2020 have made diversity and inclusion the hottest topic in the legal profession. Some law firms are embracing these courageous discussions and proactively making changes. Meanwhile, other firms are ignoring the topic altogether or have moved on after making a "one and done" statement. Join us as Joseph K. West, Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Duane Morris leads the insightful discussion about successfully managing diversity during times of crisis. Come prepared to learn how his experiences can help your office have these difficult discussions, how you should properly address your concerns and how to keep the diversity momentum going. (58:26 min)

The Bounds of Sex Revisited: Implications of the Supreme Court's Title VII Ruling
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court issued an unexpected landmark ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 protects gay and transgender employees from workplace discrimination, establishing sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the law.

In honor of Pride Month, join our prestigious panelists once again as they review their predictions from last year and analyze the implications of this decision for the future. Joshua Matz, Counsel at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP is a former law clerk to Justice Kennedy and a Supreme Court practitioner. Cory Struble is an associate at Quinn Emanuel and author of amicus briefs submitted as part of the Title VII litigation. And Jocelyn Samuels is the Executive Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, a premier LGBTQ think tank. Last June they gathered to discuss their expectations for this very decision. On Tuesday, June 30th, join us again to examine what this decision tells us about our new Supreme Court and what it may mean for other LGBTQ-related cases coming up before the Court. The Roundtable will be moderated by Wade Kolb, a member at Wyche and co-chair of the LGBT Law and Litigator Committee. (1:01:11 min)

For those of you who missed last year's Roundtable on this topic, it can be found here.

The Bounds of Sex: The Supreme Court's Review Next Term of Title VII's Breadth
On April 22, the Supreme Court accepted review of three cases that present the issue of whether the prohibition of employment discrimination on account of sex under Title VII extends to sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

In honor of Pride Month, Joshua Matz, Counsel at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, a former law clerk to Justice Kennedy and Supreme Court practitioner; joined by a Cory Struble, an associate at Quinn Emanuel, who is a litigator and has been involved Title VII litigation raising this issue; and Jocelyn Samuels, the Executive Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, a premier LGBTQ think tank, will discuss the impact of such discrimination on workers, strategies to appeal to the Justices, potential outcomes and their impact on litigation strategies to protect LGBTQ workers and to pursue other LGBTQ rights protections. The Roundtable will be moderated by MC Sungaila, a partner at Haynes & Boone and appellate practitioner. (1 hr)

When Facts and Feelings Compete over Transgender Rights: Legislation, Litigation and the Ballot
Activists and supporters of transgender rights have seen an upsurge in opposing rhetoric about privacy and safety concerns in public restrooms. A recent study has shown that such concerns are unfounded and that crime in such spaces is unrelated to nondiscrimination laws. Nevertheless, facts and public opinion can interplay in complex ways when dealing with controversial issues. Come join a discussion with the lead researcher on the study, a leading litigator on transgender rights, and the president of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition on legislation, litigation and an upcoming ballot measure to repeal a statewide nondiscrimination law. (51:31 min)

Understanding and Addressing Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias is a major problem within the legal profession, hurting diversity and reducing opportunities for and retention of diverse lawyers. According to a recent survey of lawyers by Bloomberg Law, unconscious bias was ranked the #1 challenge to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. How does it work? How can you spot it? What can you do about it? Join our panel of experts in the field to better understand and learn strategies for confronting unconscious bias. (60:44 min.)

Toolbox of Success: Is Diversity in Your Toolbox?
Join us for a discussion with lawyers of diverse backgrounds who each have faced these challenges and harnessed their diversity as the strength that it is to empower their success and build a pipeline for others. They will identify practical tools any lawyer can use to take his or her career to the next level. (1:08:24 min.)

At the Crossroads of the LGBTQ and the Civil Rights Movements
At a time when civil rights are capturing significant media attention, it is important to learn from past lessons and think about how to move forward in ways that benefit multiple groups. (1:00:11 min.)