About Us

National LGBT Bar Association

We are a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals that works to promote justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community.

The LGBT Bar provides programming for LGBT legal professionals such as national lecture series, corporate counsel institute and the annual Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair. Additionally, the organization hosts networking events, works with special interest attorney groups and creates advocacy resources for the LGBT community.

The LGBT Bar aspires to improve the quality of life for LGBT legal practitioners until the time that LGBT legal professionals are recognized without discrimination, stigma or negative bias.

OUR HISTORY

The National LGBT Bar Association was founded twenty-nine years ago by a small group of family law practitioners. At the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, this core group of volunteers saw an overwhelming need to have an organization to serve as the legal voice of the lesbian and gay community. The creation of a national lesbian and gay bar association would allow them to share resources and educational opportunities nationwide, and open the dialogue regarding laws affecting the lesbian and gay population. The idea of creating the bar association was formally introduced at the 1987 Lesbian & Gay March on Washington and enthusiastically supported by the group.The first Lavender Law® Conference took place the following year in 1988 at the Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Historic transcripts of that conference, including sessions “Where after Hardwick ?,” “Contested Custody Litigation,” and “Military Law for Gays and Lesbians” can be found in the LGBT Bar audio archive. In 1989, at the American Bar Association’s Mid-Year meeting, bylaws were presented, and a nonprofit board of directors was formalized. At the second board meeting in 1989 in Boston, the LGBT Bar, then known as the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (NLGLA), had 293 paid members, and initiated a campaign to ask the ABA to include protection based upon on sexual orientation to its revision of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct for Judges. In 1992, the LGBT Bar became an official affiliate of the American Bar Association and it now works closely with the ABA’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities and its Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.