2014 Concurrent Workshops
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.
In addition to day-long seminars focused on family law and transgender issues (the LGBT Family Law Institute and the Transgender Law Institute), the 2014 conference will feature workshops on cutting edge legal issues affecting LGBT individuals, families and the community.
Current Workshop List
Please check back for a complete schedule of workshops. Titles, descriptions and speakers subject to change:
Friday, August 22 | 10:45am – 12:15pm
Connecting and Disconnecting Marriage and Parentage
In the courts, the battles over same-sex marriage often revolve around arguments about the well-being of children raised by LGBT families. Laws about parentage and laws about marriage are distinct, however. This session will highlight these distinctions, looking at and evaluating the practical tools available to establish parentage in both recognition and nonrecognition states and for both same-sex married couples and other family forms.
Basic Estate Planning with Windsor Tied In
This introductory estate planning session will focus on basic documents required to prepare a comprehensive plan for LGBT individuals & couples. Presenters will address the basics and how the Windsor decision has altered the landscape for estate planning in the LGBT community.
Nuts And Bolts Of Charge Filing & Litigation: A Workshop For Employment Counsel
This panel will provide a practical approach to EEOC and state-discrimination charge filing, including 360-degree perspectives on practice. Speakers will focus on the nuts and bolts of how to file a charge that includes LGBT discrimination/harassment issues and the various legal issues around how to present those claims and/or defend against them at the administrative level. The discussion will include hypotheticals, giving each stakeholder the opportunity to present their approach to the issue. The audience will also be encouraged to participate on various topics to make the session interactive. Each side will take a different view, allowing the audience to see varying perspectives and value differences between the stakeholders.
CAUCUS: Legal Aid Services for Low-Income LGBT Clients
This caucus is a networking and informational meeting for legal aid and legal services advocates interested in providing services to low-income LGBT clients. All advocates involved in providing services to low-income individuals are invited to attend. In this caucus, we will discuss issues such as the challenges in serving and reaching the LGBT community, tips for providing competent services, strategies for effective outreach to the LGBT community, and examples of successful LGBT-focused projects started by legal services organizations. The organizers will provide an overview of a pilot LGBT competency training curriculum for legal aid offices being developed by the speakers.
What do the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, Anna Nicole Smith, Abraham Lincoln, the City of Detroit, and M.C. Hammer All Have in Common?
This program is designed to appeal to law students and practitioners. The panelists bring diverse perspectives in the restructuring field: two private practice lawyers (one moderating the panel), two in-house lawyers, and two bankruptcy judges. Each panelist will explain his/her respective role in the bankruptcy/restructuring field generally and in notable cases. The panel will walk through a hypothetical chapter 11 case and illustrate the legal issues a distressed company may face before, during, and after a bankruptcy filing. The hypothetical case will allow the panel to casually educate the practitioners on bankruptcy-related legal issues such as the automatic stay, the claims process, and bankruptcy-related litigation. The panel will engage in an open dialogue about the challenges LGBT professionals face in the restructuring field.
Scrutinizing our Future: LGBT Americans, Footnote 4, and the Judiciary
Courts, advocates, and scholars are engaged in an ongoing discussion about what sort of scrutiny level is appropriate for sexual orientation classifications dealing with sexual orientation. What is the state of play in the federal and state courts? What do experts predict? What should the proper scrutiny level be? Does the “discrete and insular minority”formulation properly apply or should a new framework be forged? Finally, what does the concept of heightened scrutiny (whether intermediate or strict) and Footnote 4 of Carolene Products v. US continue to tell us about why the courts are important to political minorities and how this branch of government is inherently different from the elective branches?
LGBT Individuals in Jail: Toward an LGBT and HIV Criminal Justice Agenda
Forty-five years after Stonewall, queer identities continue to be criminalized and punished, and LGBT people and those living with HIV continue to experience discrimination in the criminal justice system. Police misconduct and abuse remain among the most urgent issues facing the LGBTQ/HIV community. In 2013, the first national LGBTQ/HIV criminal justice convening to examine these issues brought together advocates, activists, and academics from fifty organizations to Columbia Law School, resulting in a white paper and a set of federal policy recommendations for the Obama Administration. Drawing from this year-long project and white paper, the panel will highlight areas where federal government agencies can take action and encourage state and local authorities to reduce the harms of criminalization. The panel will explore how LGBTQ and HIV-affected folks come into contact with criminal and immigration systems, what they experience while in those systems, work being taken up to address these problems, and how other advocates can incorporate this work in their own advocacy. The panel will also examine queer experiences as criminal suspects, prisoners, and survivors of crime.
Transgender Rights under the United States Constitution
Recently, the field of transgender rights has expanded with restroom restriction legislation, transgender divorce settlements, and workplace discrimination suits. Yet, these civil rights victories have left unsettled significant questions of privacy and personal liberty, which the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly cited in order to enumerate the civil rights of gays and lesbians. This panel will address these questions of Constitutional liberty and privacy interests for the transgender community.
Opportunity, Diversity & Change in the U.S. Armed Forces
Following repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the first generation of openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service personnel are beginning to make their mark on our nation’s armed services. Yet, transgender patriots are still turned away from service. The LGBT Bar has assembled a panel of veterans, military scholars and JAG professionals to discuss opportunities now available to LGB legal professionals in the armed forces; to look at the real-world impact of increased diversity in the ranks; and to strategize how to positively impact change in the military, especially in the area of service by the transgender community. Following DA, DT’s repeal, and the landmark support of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for reviewing the military’s anti-transgender regulations, this panel will look at present conditions within the ranks and discuss successful models for changing Defense Department policies and regulations.
Friday, August 22 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Where Babies Come From: Helping LGBT Prospective Parents Build Their Families Through Surrogacy
LGBT individuals and couples must rely on alternative reproductive strategies when building a family. As surrogacy becomes an increasingly popular option, it is important for prospective parents to understand all aspects of the process. Panelists will discuss terminology, medical procedures, matching and coordinating processes, legal proceedings, ethical questions, interstate and international issues, and best practices for surrogacy programs. Additionally, they will share their experiences as a judge and as attorneys, focusing on special considerations in working with members of the LGBT community seeking to become parents; drafting, monitoring, and advocating for gender and sexual orientation neutral legislation; and understanding the Hague process which may lead to regulating international surrogacy.
Student Privacy: A Multiple Choice Test?
A panel of practitioners from across the profession will discuss emerging trends in student privacy protections. The panel will examine the federal statutory framework (COPPA, FERPA) and new state laws, including anti-bullying protections. We’ll also provide a litigation update/forecast.
Personal, Political and Corporate Aspects of Tax for Same-Sex Couples
Whether you live in a recognition or non-recognition state, the lack of conformity can affect you as an individual taxpayer, employer, attorney representing an employer or as a spouse of an employee. This panel will examine the tax policies of various states including the political motivation behind the decisions. This panel will also address whether employers are required to withhold additional tax on benefits provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse and if not required whether the employer is violating state tax and withholding laws and/or employees’ rights by doing so.
LGBT Diversity in Law Firms: Managing Partners
Managing partners are often among the most senior and well-respected attorneys in law firms. Along with the title comes diverse and intricate responsibilities ranging from overseeing the firm’s finances to managing committees and developing goals and strategies for employees. Managing partners from some of the largest firms in the United States will discuss their role within the organization as well as the professional path they took to achieve their current title.
The New Normal: Legal Issues With LGBT Athletic Participation
Can LGBT athletes compete in athletics on an equal footing with their straight counterparts? How can sports stakeholders – players, teams, leagues, associations, owners, media and fans – be more welcoming and inclusive of LGBT athletes? And how can the law help facilitate open participation by LGBT athletes? As more athletes choose to compete openly, at all levels, issues of fair play; ensuring equal access; protecting against harassment, bullying, and discrimination; and safeguarding privacy have become paramount. Using recent cases and incidents as examples, panelists will discuss the law that governs this area and how to develop best practices for inclusion in K-12, collegiate, recreational, and professional sports.
Puff, Puff, Pass: A Legal, Business and Political Perspective on the Law of Medical and Recreational Marijuana Use
Americans’ attitudes are changing – at least in some respects – towards medical and recreational marijuana use. In turn, these changes are quickly leading to a diverse legal patchwork of legalization and regulation of the “gateway” drug, and lax enforcement of Federal law enforcement in states that permit sale and use. While many remain resistant to these changes, some state legislatures now see legalization as the antidote to bloated budgets and broken pension systems. Employers, educators, law enforcement and businesses should be prepared to respond to these changes as the legal environment changes. The shift in perspectives on the law of marijuana use will be a focal point of this workshop, and will help to highlight the future of legalization and regulation of the drug. Presenters will review existing state and federal law to provide an overview of the legal landscape. From these basic tenants, the presenters will each analyze the effect of these laws, and of changing public attitudes, on how employers, educators, and law enforcement can – and must – adapt. The focus will be on how employers and educators may implement effective policies and procedures, and how to avoid potential pitfalls, particularly in light of conflicting obligations under federal and state disability-related laws. The presenters will also address the evolving policy agenda in the states and at the Federal level. Politics is a large part of the debate driving new marijuana laws and policies. The discussion will address the variety of political viewpoints, and the influences of outside interest groups and the business community.
Bruised Rainbows: Making Visible LGBT Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence in the Legal Community
Domestic and sexual violence in LGBT communities is as common as or more common than among non-LGBT individuals, but unique dynamics have resulted in an invisibility of the issue and the potential for further victimization by the legal process of LGBT survivors. This training will examine domestic violence and sexual violence in LGBT communities as well as the landmark legislation the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), how we passed an LGBT-inclusive bill in 2013, and what it means for increasing legal services and the visibility of the issue.
Federal Service as a Civil Rights Career Opportunity
Now that the federal government can recognize the marriages of same-sex couples, career federal service is an even more attractive option for LGBT attorneys. In addition, the federal government offers tremendous opportunities to advance civil rights not only for LGBT people but for other historically disadvantaged communities as well. This panel will discuss the ways in which recent developments – ranging from court decisions to pronouncements from the Department of Justice – have created unprecedented opportunities for young, mid-career and seasoned attorneys to promote social justice through federal service.
Friday, August 22 | 3:45pm – 5:15pm
Till Death Do Us Part: Divorce for Same-Sex Couples in a Changing Legal Landscape
A growing number of states recognize marriages between same-sex spouses with the rights and responsibilities of marriage, including parentage. As with many couples, some married same-sex couples break-up, but they may not be able to divorce if they live in states that do not recognize their relationships. In light of the federal recognition of same-sex marriages post Windsor, this can have serious legal and financial consequences for couples unable to divorce, especially in the areas of taxation and retirement benefits. However, new laws allow non-residents to divorce in some states. Additionally, some attorneys in non-recognition states have been able to obtain orders ending these relationships through creative approaches. The panel includes attorneys from marriage recognition states and non-recognition states who will also address counseling clients who wish to marry and preventative strategies such as pre and post-nuptial agreements.
After Windsor: The Implications for Litigators, the Aging Network, and LGBT Older Adults
In June 2013, the Supreme Court handed down the decision in Windsor, deciding the fate of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Now that more than a year has gone by, what has been the impact on LGBT older adults? Did discriminatory policies change at the drop of a dime? If not, why not? What challenges remain? And what legal and policy advocacy must still be pursued in Windsor‘s aftermath? In other words, how can we pair litigation and policy advocacy to improve the lives of those who long fought to improve our lives?
Global Legal Challenges To Achieving LGBT Equality in the Workplace
This workshop will address and consider the myriad legal challenges to achieving LGBT equality in the workplace today. A variety of issues impacting LGBT diversity and inclusion will be considered, including their associated legal risks and benefits. Special attention will be paid to internal-workplace diversity and inclusion practices that contribute to LGBT equality, including LGBT Self-ID programs, transgender inclusiveness policies, affinity groups/mentoring programs (along with their NLRA and FLSA implications), and so-called “diversity audits.” Workshop presenters will discuss best practices for addressing complaints from non-LGBT employees about policies and practices that protect LGBT employees. This workshop will also examine the legal risks associated with compensation audits and information regarding diversity-related workplace data, including its potential misuse and its proper collection and storage in an international context. Finally, this session will highlight the business implications of domestic and international law regarding LGBT equality, including the US’s state-by-state approach to LGBT issues in the post-Windsor legal environment and international law impacting LGBT individuals, including Uganda’s “Anti-Homosexuality” legislation.
Dodd-Frank Developments and Trendspotting
The Dodd-Frank Act is overhauling the way that financial and non-financial companies alike manage compliance and run their businesses, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s oversight and rulemaking continue to gain velocity. Hear from a panel of experts on an range of topics, including recent developments in supervision and enforcement; current regulatory priorities such as debt collection, consumer reporting, and mortgage servicing; and the implications of the Bureau’s standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities under Dodd-Frank Section 342(b)(2)(C), which recently were proposed jointly with the Fed, the FDIC, the NCUA, the OCC, and the SEC.
Vindicating the Rights of People Living with HIV – Lessons from Litigation
Even as science and medicine work to reduce the prevalence of HIV in society, HIV-positive individuals continue to face unfair treatment and discrimination. A 2009 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that significant portions of the population report they are not comfortable with an HIV-positive co-worker (23%), a child’s teacher (35% of parents), or roommate (42%), and fully half (51%) of adults say they would be uncomfortable having their food prepared by someone who is HIV-positive. As a result of the still-rampant ignorance and prejudice surrounding the disease and its transmission, people living with HIV often must seek out skilled advocates to vindicate their rights in court. From employment discrimination to reproductive health rights to privacy and more, people living with HIV face unique challenges in the courts. A better understanding of the cases and trends in HIV litigation is essential to promoting the effective representation of people living with HIV by current and future litigators.
Employee Benefits in a Post-DOMA World: What’s New and What’s Next
As a result of the repeal of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), individuals within the LGBT community have gained important protections under federal law, including in connection with their employer-provided benefits. In recent years, a large number of employers have voluntarily extended LGBT employees equal benefits, and now all employers are required to do so to some extent. In doing so, those employers have faced significant administrative and other challenges, including the incredibly burdensome taxation of health benefits offered to employees’ same-sex partners. Our panel will address key considerations for employer-provided plans, including health and welfare and retirement plans, based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor and the subsequent IRS and DOL guidance. We will also discuss practical planning opportunities for LGBT employees in light of the affect the Supreme Court decisions’ have had on employee benefit plans.
Selection Bias and LGBT Jurors
Presented with the International Association of LGBT Judges
In a landmark case between GlaxoSmithKline and Abbott Labs, San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit Court ruled that individuals cannot be removed from a jury due solely to their sexual orientation or gender identity. This panel will discuss the Ninth Circuit ruling in addition to general issues surrounding LGBT-related voir dire, peremptory strikes based on LGBT prejudice, and detecting implicit bias against LGBT jurors. Speakers will present an analysis of the case, a perspective from the judiciary and information about how to best select and communicate with a jury.
Attorneys as Advocates: How Attorneys Can Assist in Legislative Campaigns on LGBT Issues
Using Delaware as a case study and example, panelists will discuss the roles lawyers can play to lead or assist legihttp://lgbtbar.org/annual/2014-speaker-bios/slative campaigns for LGBT rights. Panelists will include lawyers from private practice, state level LGBT advocacy and education organizations, state elected official, and national LGBT advocacy organization.
Saturday, August 23 | 10:45am – 12:15pm
Mediation and Collaborative Law: The Benefits of Negotiated Settlements for LGBT Clients in an Uncertain Legal Environment
Mediation and collaborative law offer LGBT clients a supportive environment to respectfully, peacefully, and privately negotiate pre- and post-nuptial agreements, along with family formation, separation and dissolution agreements. This workshop features mediation and collaborative law professionals who will address the special considerations LGBT clients require in each of these areas of collaborative law, including the negotiation of pre- and post-nuptial agreements in states that do (and do not) recognize same-sex marriages, the necessity of carefully drafted donor agreements for LGBT families wishing to use Alternative Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in their family formation, and the often daunting challenges couples in marriage non-recognition states face in obtaining legal separation.
Gay and Trans “Panic” Legal Defenses
In February 2013, Marco McMillian, Mississippi’s first openly gay mayoral candidate, was murdered. His body was found in a levee near a river, beaten and burned. The man who admitted to killing McMillian has made comments to the press indicating that he might use the gay panic defense to mitigate the charges against him. Gay panic and trans panic legal defenses are remnants of a time when public hostility towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (‘LGBT’) individuals was widespread. These defenses ask a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction. They claim that sexual orientation and gender identity can not only explain, but excuse, a perpetrator’s loss of self-control and subsequent assault of an LGBT individual. This panel will discuss the different applications of the gay and trans panic defenses as well as recommendations to lessen their use and effectiveness.
IP Assets: How to Obtain and Protect
This workshop will focus on significant changes in patent, trademark, and copyright laws that will affect businesses and private practice this next year. The panelists include those involved with the recent legislative changes to Patent Law (America Invents Act) and major IP cases. Discussion will include major IP decisions, latest measures to protect consumer products, and generally how to obtain and protect IP assets.
Diversity and Inclusion: The Importance of Straight Allies in the Legal Profession
In the fight for full equality for the LGBT community, the support of straight allies is essential. A majority of straight people favor equal rights for the LGBT community, but unfortunately, not everyone fully embraces their role as a vocal, active ally. LGBT rights are too often confined to official office memos or leadership meetings instead of simply being topics of casual conversation among colleagues. Allies can gain a valuable perspective on diversity within the profession and LGBT rights in general by talking with their LGBT colleagues. Speakers on this panel represent both straight allies and members of the LGBT community. They will discuss some of the issues, barriers and insights that face communications between allies and LGBT employees, focusing on ways more straight allies can become advocates for diversity and inclusion.
LGBT Healthcare: Challenges, Protections & Resources
This workshop will highlight the particular healthcare challenges faced by LGBT patients, with special attention to transgender patients. The panel will discuss legal and regulatory protections for transgender and LGB patients, as well as resources for healthcare facilities seeking to provide them equitable, welcoming care. Panelists will specifically discuss the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act and its implementing regulations, Joint Commission and other requirements related to LGBT care, and best policies, practices, and resources for transgender and LGB care.
Serving All of our Community: Legal Aid Services for Low-Income LGBT Clients
We have seen tremendous gains in LGBT rights in the last several years, but many of these new rights are out of reach of LGBT people living in poverty. This panel explores how in-the-trenches direct legal service providers can work alongside impact litigation groups to identify new focal points for the movement, gain formal equality for our community, and provide access to those equality gains for all members of the LGBT community.
From Selma to Stonewall and Beyond: Bayard Rustin as a Catalyst for Intersectional Diversity
Bayard Rustin – described by TIME Magazine as “perhaps the most critical figure in the struggle for African-American dignity that many people have never heard of” – saw his identity as a gay man as inextricably linked to his identity as a black man. For decades, however, Rustin’s openness about being gay left him marginalized, even by allies within the civil rights movement. In recent years Rustin has been rediscovered, thanks in part to the award-winning documentary “Brother Outsider” and to President Obama’s decision to bestow a posthumous Medal of Freedom on Rustin in 2013. A growing number of law firms, law schools, corporations and government agencies are using Rustin’s story as a catalyst to spark reflection on diversity and inclusion and to foster bridge-building between the LGBT and African American communities. This session will feature clips from “Brother Outsider” (highlighting Rustin’s role as a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and his work as primary organizer of the 1963 March on Washington), along with insights, strategies and testimony from those who have hosted law-related presentations on Rustin. Walter Naegle, Rustin’s life partner, and filmmaker Bennett Singer will also share their perspectives.
Pathways to the Judiciary
Each year, members of the judiciary come together to discuss their career trajectory and provide advice to young professionals interested in ascending the bench. Panelists represent a diverse array of judges. Panelists will discuss both the appointed and elected process for judges in different jurisdictions as well as ethical guidelines or standards associated with panelists’ paths to becoming judges or retaining their positions. Additionally, challenges of being an openly LGBT judge, arising especially out of judicial ethics codes, will be a focus as well. Members of the International Association of LGBT Judges will be available during and after the session to talk further with attendees.
LGBT Employment Law and Human Resource Practice: Where They Were, Where They Are Now, and Where They Might Go
The winds of change are sweeping across corporate America, especially in the workplace. In just the past five years, significant barriers to equal employment opportunity for employees who are gender affirmed, gender diverse, or not heterosexual-only have eroded. This workshop provides an overview of the state of employment law and human resource practices, as it was, as it currently is, and as it may be over the next five years. The panelists are all authors of chapters in the forthcoming Bloomberg BNA treatise Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Law in the Workplace: A Practical Guide.
Saturday, August 23 | 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Ethics and the Happily Ever After: Marriage Equality in Recognition states and Broader Ethical Issues
2013 experienced the greatest single-year growth in same-sex marriage recognition across the USA. With the division in our country over same-sex relationship recognition, attorneys in a broad range of specialties have to be able to counsel clients with an understanding of issues in both recognition and non-recognition states, particularly in light of the mobility of many families. Ethical issues of competency in an ever-changing legal landscape, forum shopping for either old or new law in order to serve a client’s interests, and concerns for caution versus creativity to address LGBT client needs. Real property and business law issues can be overlooked if there are presumptions that marriage equality only affects family law and estate planners. Family law and estate planners continue to be pulled between the desire to represent the family/couple in the process of family formation (e.g. second parent adoption, estate planning, parentage) and conflict of interest concerns that require representation of the individual (e.g. prenuptial agreements, dissolution, divorce). This panel of attorneys and a judge have represented families, individuals, corporations and municipalities in areas such as business, employment law, family law and estate planning in private practice. They have also participated in impact litigation in their respective states and bring a view from the bench to the discussion.
Cutting Edge Issues in Transgender Law
Local and national policy experts will discuss the legal and policy issues of the day for the transgender community, including medical coverage in sex segregated facilities, medical access for genderqueer youth, equal access to school facilities, and family law issues for transgender people. The workshop will provide a national perspective from advocates in policy organizations, private practice, government practice, and the medical field.
Using Diversity to Help You Successfully Build a Book of Business
Within most medium and large law firms, lawyers from under-represented populations, including those who are LGBT, racially or ethnically diverse, and women, often find themselves having a harder time making equity partner. While some law firms have created more inclusive atmospheres for diverse lawyers, this is usually not enough for career advancement. The ultimate key to success inside a law firm is to build a significant book of business and have one’s own clients. In today’s world, where clients are demanding law firms to provide diverse legal teams, LGBT lawyers in particular, have a better opportunity than ever before to embrace their diversity and leverage it to build important relationships for the development of business.
Federal EEO Law Update: LGBT
This session will cover selected developments in federal equal employment opportunity law and practice from the preceding year. It will provide an update on selected Supreme Court and court of appeals decisions, a roundup of federal EEO cases analyzing discrimination against LGBT people as sex discrimination, developments in EEOC practice, and more. Panelists are all individuals with significant federal EEO litigation experience. The session will include content of interest to experienced employment practitioners but will be accessible to all interested attendees.
Teaching Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Law: A Roundtable Discussion
This workshop is intended for individuals who teach, have taught, or will teach Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity courses in law school or undergraduate settings. The workshop will be structured as an informal, facilitated discussion in which participants can share ideas about teaching-related topics. Topics will be participant-generated, but will likely include: 1) overall course structure and philosophy, 2) the use of textbooks versus other reading materials, and 3) how to meet the challenge of keeping pace with doctrinal developments while maintaining a predictable course arc. The workshop welcomes faculty regardless of tenurial status, and especially invites adjuncts to join our discussion.
Discussion Facilitator: Leonore Carpenter
A New Urgency in Asylum Law: In light of the recent wave of anti-gay legislation around the world, are U.S. refugee protections enough?
Given news in the past year from places like Russia, Nigeria, and Uganda, it’s no secret that coming out as LGBT can pose life threatening risks in many parts of the world. Recent news from these countries could have happened in any one of the more-than 70 countries that penalize identifying as LGBT. This panel will address the challenges that these individuals face, both when they decide to flee to the United States and when they apply for asylum upon arrival. Practitioners will offer pointers on working with these clients and the nuances of presenting these legal claims, while an immigration judge will offer an adjudicator’s perspective.
The Impact of Criminalization of Sex Work on LGBT Sex Workers, Trafficking Survivors, and People Living with HIV
As law and policy makers approach the issues of sex work and, more recently and more prominently, human trafficking, much of the public debate does not adequately address the needs and issues of LGBT individuals. LGBT sex workers have been at the forefront of movements for LGBT equality, but are not always recognized. LGBT youth comprise 40% of the runaway and homeless youth population and are therefore often in circumstances where sex work is the only option for survival. Male youth and adults who may not identify as gay or bisexual engage in commercial sex with men, and may be especially invisible in policy debates. And many in law enforcement create approaches that punish sex workers for trying to protect themselves against HIV – for example, using condoms as evidence that an arrestee engages in sex work. Much of the trafficking debate has focused on young cisgender girls, to the exclusion of other populations, and this panel will seek to examine and identify the intersecting legal issues facing people who are LGBT, sex workers, survivors of trafficking, and people looking to address HIV transmission. This panel includes attorneys who have examined these issues in different contexts, and a member of the sex-work activist community.
This panel will give junior, up-and-coming academic scholars the opportunity to present their work.
Finding and Defining the Right Legal Career for You
Recognizing today’s legal career trajectory is like a river with forks and turns, this panel’s objective is to guide attorneys through the whitewater and help them meet their career goals. We will address the considerations that go into making career choices, whether in public service, government, corporate in-house, or firm partnership. We will provide pointers for new attorneys or seasoned veterans seeking a career change. We will suggest formulating plans that concretely lay out the steps for finding career satisfaction. Finally, we will discuss how to use your LGBT status to your best advantage regardless of your legal career goals.
What Law School Doesn’t Teach You 101
Everyone has heard the phrase “law school doesn’t teach you how to be a lawyer,” yet no one ever seems to tell law students what they need to know about being a lawyer. This year Lavender Law is going to be the place the reveals the secret! This panel will focus on helping law students understand project management, time management and prioritization, working with supervisors, supervising staff, networking, business development and life after the law firm. Additionally, we will have an engaging conversation addressing issues of life-work balance, managing that difficult partner, and finding a good mentor. Don’t miss out on the one class where we’ll teach everything!
Lawyering en Español
Latinos have become the largest minority population in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by the year 2050, nearly one-quarter of the U.S. population will be of Latino origin. Already, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the United States. The legal profession is beginning to acknowledge this dramatic demographic shift. This workshop will address “best practices” for serving the legal and policy needs of Latino and Spanish-speaking clients. It will explain how effective legal representation of Latino and Spanish-speaking clients requires a particular set of legal, cultural, and language skills. This workshop will be conducted in both English and Spanish.
Starting a Solo Practice
Attorneys share how they started their solo practice fresh out of law school or later in their careers and the benefits and challenges of being a solo practitioner. This workshop is geared towards law students who are interested in going solo after law school.
Speakers: Brian Esser, Matthew Skinner