Lecture Series

Lecture Series

The LGBT Bar’s Lecture Series features some of the best legal minds in the country discussing some of the most critical legal issues we face today.

  • So You Want to be a Judge? Learn How to Navigate the Process of Getting on the Bench

    March 10th, 2017

    Hear from three prominent LGBT judges as they discuss the election and appointment processes they faced while entering the judiciary.

    Speakers: Judge Steven Kirkland, Civil District Court, Harris County, Texas; Judge Laura Duffy, California Superior Court, San Diego; and Judge Victoria Kolakowski, California Superior Court, Alameda County

  • Ensuring Your Future: Making the Administrative Procedure Act Work for You

    February 15th, 2017

    On Tuesday, February 14th, the LGBT Bar hosted a call-in addressing the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Speakers discussed how the drastic change in leadership and the potential defunding of agencies by the Trump Administration can affect the many regulations protecting us.

    Hear from speakers including Len Sandler, Clinical Professor of Law, University of Iowa School of Law, & Director, Law and Policy Action Clinic; Ken Choe, Partner, Hogan Lovells; Jane Perkins, Legal Director, National Health Law Program (NHeLP)

  • Protecting Those Who Uphold Rule of Law: Addressing the Whistleblower Protection Act

    January 26th, 2017

    The LGBT Bar hosted a call-in addressing the Whistleblower Protection Act. With the recent change in administration and tumultuous confirmation hearings of cabinet appointees, the LGBT Bar received a number of requests to address the process for government employees who witness unlawful acts. The call-in covered whistleblower rights, as well as the process of reporting misconduct in governmental agencies.

    Hear from expert speakers including Julie Chovanes, Founder, Executive Director, and Legal Program Director, Trans Resource Foundation, LLC; Laura Dumais, Staff Counsel, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER); Richard Condit, Of Counsel, Mehri & Skalet

  • Life or Death: Immigration, Intersectionality, & What You Can Do to Help

    December 7th, 2016

    On Thursday, December 1, the LGBT Bar hosted a call-in, co-sponsored by HNBA and NAPABA, addressing the increased risk of deportation as a result of the change in administration.  The most vulnerable among us are the most frequent targets of attacks, especially following the nationalistic and hateful rhetoric of this campaign season. The United States currently hosts more than eleven million undocumented workers, who provide an irreplaceable work force.

    Let’s stop agonizing and start organizing; make an immediate difference in the lives of detainees today. The LGBT Bar is searching for volunteers, both Spanish speaking and non-Spanish speaking, willing to provide assistance to women and children fleeing from persecution that are now being detained at the family detention center in Dilley, TX.

    Hear from expert speakers including Scott Titshaw, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Associate Professor, Mercer University School of Law; Elaine Cintron, Associate Attorney, Lichter Immigration; and Noemi Masliah, Partner, The Masliah Firm.


  • Rights On The Line: G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board

    November 21st, 2016

    On Thursday, November 17, the LGBT Bar hosted a call-in regarding the upcoming Supreme Court case, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. 

    Hear from leading experts Shannon Minter, Legal Director, NCLR; Joshua Block, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project and Counsel of Record for G.G.; and Adam Unikowsky, Partner, Jenner & Block, as they discuss the case itself, the current state of the Supreme Court, and G.G.’s impact on the larger LGBT movement. No other call will bring you closer to the front lines of this case or the battle in the judiciary.

  • All Eyes on Texas: Houston, HERO, and Where We Go From Here

    December 18th, 2015

    The LGBT Bar hosted a webinar addressing the impact of the HERO vote on December 11, 2015. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), introduced and backed by Mayor Annise Parker, prohibits discrimination on a variety of characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity, in city employment, housing, public accommodations and other arenas. Despite widespread support from national LGBT organizations, the measure was defeated by Houston voters on November 3, 2015 in a widely-publicized and bitterly-debated referendum. To listen to the entirety of the webinar, please click on the link below. Speakers included Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights; Kylar Broadus, Attorney at Law and Transgender Rights Activist; and Monica Roberts, Author of TransGriot and Transgender Rights Activist.

  • National Call-In: Relationship Recognition for Same-Sex Couples

    January 30th, 2015

    On January 16, the United States Supreme Court made history, granting a writ of certiorari for cases in four states regarding relationship recognition for same-sex couples. In taking this case, the Court may now provide a final decision on marriage equality at the state level, particularly the question of whether same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marriage. The LGBT Bar hosted a national call-in on January 30, 2015, to discuss the Court’s decision and what to expect next. Speakers from NCLR and GLAD – organizations representing two of the couples whose cases will be heard before the Supreme Court – discuss the reasons behind the Supreme Court’s decision, possible rulings and the implications for LGBT couples across the country. Speakers were Shannon Minter, the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and Janson Wu, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

  • National Call-In: Relationship Recognition and the Supreme Court

    October 9th, 2014

    On Monday, October 6, 2014, the United States Supreme Court made a historic decision by declining to hear all five state relationship recognition cases pending in the upcoming term. The milestone decision will allow same-sex couples to marry in five states, with six more likely to follow suit. As soon as the Court’s decision was released, practitioners scrambling to analyze the Justices’ decision as well as its impact for couples in states across the country. Expert speakers discussed the intricacies behind the decision and what’s next for LGBT rights. Speakers included Paul Smith, a partner at Jenner & Block; Tobias Barrington Wolff, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; and Paul Wolfson, a partner at WilmerHale who has argued 21 cases in the Supreme Court.

  • International Webinar: Sochi 2014: A Legal and Personal Perspective

    January 30th, 2014

    The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics is just days away. As LGBT athletes from around the world converge on Russia, advocates, legal professionals and the LGBT community are asking: How will the Russian government’s anti-gay laws impact the games, the athletes and visitors? In June, Russia enacted an anti-LGBT propaganda law that drew international criticism. In recent days, as world media has questioned Vladmir Putin and the Russian government about the law’s implementation during the Games, officials’ responses have done little to quell serious concerns among human rights advocates and monitors. Speakers included Dmitri Bartenev, who is currently practicing law and teaching international law and human rights at St. Petersburg State University; Arkady Gyngazov, former manager of Central Station Nightclub in Moscow who is seeking asylum in the United States; Michael Sisitzky, a staff attorney for Immigration Equality; and Robert Wintemute, a professor of Human Rights Law in the School of Law, King’s College, University of London where he teaches European Union Law, Human Rights Law, and Anti-Discrimination Law.

  • National Call-In: Religious Exemptions for Corporations

    December 12th, 2013
    Listen (members only)

    The National LGBT Bar Association hosted a call-in on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases regarding whether corporations can refuse to offer insurance coverage for contraceptives based on the religious beliefs of the corporations’ owners. The issue of corporations refusing to adhere to generally accepted, national laws, could have broad implications, especially for the LGBT community. If the Supreme Court rules that the religious beliefs of corporations’ owners can override the implementation of standard regulations, will corporations also be able to discriminate against LGBT employees? Religious exemptions have long been a barrier to full equality. Speakers included Doug NeJaime, professor of law at UC Irvine School of Law; Jenny Pizer, Senior Counsel and Director of Lambda Legal’s Law and Policy Project; and Rose Saxe, a staff attorney at the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender and AIDS Projects.

  • National Call-In: Diversity in Corporate Legal Departments

    October 23rd, 2013

    The National LGBT Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Division hosted a call-in to build on discussions that began at the Corporate Counsel Institute at the 2013 Lavender Law® Conference & Career Fair. In-house counsel discussed managing outside counsel costs and how to increase the use of minority firms, with specific attention paid to LGBT-owned firms. Speakers reflected on their understanding of corporate legal departments and hiring outside counsel to explore two issues of great importance to all organizations. Speakers included Andrew Fossett, Senior Vice President of Corporate Transactions for the Legal Department of NBCUniversal; J.D. Fugate, Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs – Enterprise Privacy in Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs; Matthew Morningstar, Executive Director and Counsel in Morgan Stanley’s US Litigation Department; and John Myung, Chief Legal Officer of the International Insurance Law Division of Prudential Financial.

  • National Call-In: Managing Parental Conflict about Trans Kids

    August 7th, 2013

    The National LGBT Bar Association, along with the LGBT Family Law Institute, hosted a call-in discussing managing parental conflict about trans kids. One of the most painful experiences for a gender nonconforming or transgender child or youth is getting caught in the crossfire between two (or more) parents who cannot come to an agreement about what will be best for their child. The fields of mental health and law have not always been effective at curbing parents’ confusion and mutual antagonism. However, it is possible for parents to minimize the harm to their child by focusing on their child’s best interests. Speakers included Diane Ehrensaft, Director of Mental Health of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center; Asaf Orr, a staff attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Deborah Wald, the founding partner of Wald & Thorndal, PC.

  • National Webinar: LGBT Tax Law Following the Supreme Court Decisions

    July 9th, 2013
    Listen (members only)

    The National LGBT Bar Association hosted a webinar discussing the rapidly changing tax regulations for LGBT couples in the wake of the landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Federal recognition of same-sex marriages affects hundreds of laws and regulations and it is important to understand the implications of federal recognition, especially in an area as complex as tax law. Our speakers, leading tax law practitioners, discussed the effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling on LGBT tax law including how to file, changing regulations for LGBT taxpayers and next steps for relationship recognition. Speakers included Pat Cain, professor of law at Santa Clara University; Kate Fletcher, who provides tax and estate planning services to clients in Virginia; and Deb Kinney, a partner at DLKLawGroup.

  • National Call-In: Relationship Recognition and the Supreme Court (Part 3)

    June 27th, 2013
    Listen (members only)

    Building on our previous two call-ins, held on March 19 and April 9, our expert litigators discussed the landmark decisions in the two relationship recognition cases heard by the Supreme Court – Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry. analyze the opinions written by the justices and the impact the decisions will have on the LGBT community. Speakers included Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); and Paul Smith, Partner at Jenner & Block.

  • National Webinar: Talking About Marriage

    June 18th, 2013
    Listen (members only)

    Given the upcoming Supreme Court decisions and the increasing number of states granting full relationship recognition to same-sex couples, the LGBT community must now fully consider the issues that accompany a marriage proposal. Our expert speakers will ask the difficult questions about topics such as prenuptial agreements, estate planning and social security. As leading tax law professionals, they will discuss the many issues surrounding taxes for LGBT couples that will impact families for years to come. Additionally, topics such as the differences between marriage and domestic partnerships will be analyzed.  Speakers included Pat Cain, professor of law at Santa Clara University; Kate Fletcher, who provides tax and estate planning services to clients in Virginia; and Deb Kinney, a partner at DLKLawGroup.

  • National Call-in: Montana Decriminalizes Sodomy

    April 22nd, 2013

    Steve Bullock, Montana’s Governor, signed a bill decriminalizing sodomy on Thursday, April 18, 2013 after the House and Senate passed the bill with bipartisan support. A surprising 19 states still have a law criminalizing same-sex intimacy despite the landmark ruling in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, legalizing same-sex sexual activity in all states. Speakers will discuss current issues and legislation surrounding sodomy laws in the United States. Additionally, Montana’s efforts to pass this legislation will be examined. Speakers included Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal; Brian Simons, Associate at Saul Ewing LLP; and Shane Vannatta, Past-President of the Montana State Bar Association.

  • National Call-in: Relationship Recognition and the Supreme Court (Part 2)

    April 9th, 2013

    Building on our previous call-in, held on March 19, our knowledgeable speakers discussed the oral arguments in the two relationship recognition cases heard by the Supreme Court – Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry. The call focused on any insight the arguments gave towards possible Supreme Court rulings and how the decisions could impact the LGBT community. Additionally, the call analyzed the questions posed by the justices and the varied interpretations that have arisen following the arguments. Speakers included Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); and Paul Smith, Partner at Jenner & Block.

  • National Call-in: Relationship Recognition and the Supreme Court

    March 19th, 2013

    The call discussed the pending relationship recognition cases in the Supreme Court – Windsor v. United States andHollingsworth v. Perry – and the potential impact the decisions could have on the LGBT community. The call focused on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the constitutional conflicts that arise when the federal government’s definition of marriage conflicts with state definitions. Speakers discussed possible Supreme Court rulings and what the varying decisions could mean for same-sex couples. Additionally, California’s Proposition 8 was examined, especially in terms of how a broad ruling could impact other states across the country. Our speakers, experienced legal practitioners, used their first-hand knowledge of the Court and these cases to look ahead to a potential watershed moment for the LGBT community. Speakers included Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); and Paul Smith, Partner at Jenner & Block.

  • National Call-in: Reauthorization of an Inclusive Violence Against Women Act

    March 13th, 2013

    On March 7, 2013, President Obama made history by signing into law a fully inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that had been passed by Congress. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and VAWA helps victims get the help and support they need and also works towards preventing domestic violence altogether. This reauthorization marks the first time that VAWA has included protections for LGBT individuals, including gay men and the transgender community; Native American women; and immigrant victims who are not yet United States citizens. Additionally, it is the first time that LGBT individuals have had explicit protection from domestic violence and non-discrimination protection. Speakers included Rebecca Henry, the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Commission on Domestic Violence at the American Bar Association; Terra Slavin, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center’s lead staff attorney in its Legal Services Department and Project Manager of its Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project; and Sharon Stapel,Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

  • Spanish-Language National Call-in

    February 5th, 2013

    Lawyers from Spain, Mexico and New York discussed being out in their communities and how it has affected their lives and their law practices. They described the LGBT legal situation where they live and work, including recent developments and cultural changes.  They then discussed the importance of Spanish language fluency for LGBT lawyers and trends for the future. Our speakers were Manuel Ródenas, who works for the Comunidad de Madrid; Abril Rodríguez Esparza, an associate with Tron Abogados Mexico; and Carlos Dávila-Caballero, the manager of diversity and inclusion at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

    en español
    Abogados abiertamente LGTB de España, México y Nueva York discutirán ser LGTB en la profesión y en sus respectivas comunidades y cómo ser LGBT ha afectado sus vidas y desarrollo profesional. Los panelistas describirán la situación LGTB legal donde viven y trabajan, incluyendo desarrollos recientes y cambios culturales. Ellos discutirán la importancia de ser abogados LGTB que hablan Español y tendencias para el futuro. Los panelistas fueron Manuel Ródenas, que trabaja para la Comunidad de Madrid, Abril Rodríguez Esparza, asociado con Tron Abogados México, y Carlos Dávila-Caballero, Director de la diversidad y la inclusión en Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.