2014 Speaker Bios

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.

Distinguished Speakers

Experts including corporate counsel, members of the judiciary, academics, law firm partners and individuals representing the non-profit sector will be featured at the 2014 Lavender Law Conference. The diversity of speakers will be reflected in the topics discussed during the workshops and general attendance sessions.


Corporate Counsel

Private Practice

Government Agencies



Veterans and Armed Services Personnel



Career Counselors

Career Coaches


Corporate Counsel

Jordan Backman – Jordan Backman is Vice President and Senior Counsel for Benefits and Compensation at Sony Corporation of America, where he oversees the company’s benefit plans and advises the company and its U.S. subsidiaries and affiliates on all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation. During his tenure with Sony, he spent a year in the company’s global headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, providing support for global benefits projects. Since 2011, Jordan has been a board member of the American Benefits Council, a benefits lobbying organization in Washington, D.C. In addition, he recently completed a three-year term as Chairperson of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on LGBT Rights, which addresses legal and policy issues as well as employment rules and procedures in legal institutions and in the court system affecting LGBT individuals. He also authored the chapter on Employment Benefits for Same-Sex Couples in the 2013 edition of “Marriage, Civil Unions and Alternative Relationships: The Law Today.” Previously, Jordan was a member of the Corporate Board of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and served as its Chairperson from 2012 to 2013. Jordan received both his undergraduate degree (B.A. with distinction, Mathematics and French) and his law degree (J.D.) from the University of Virginia.

Eric Scott Baker – Eric Scott Baker has held the position of director, corporate counsel at Starbucks Coffee Company for nearly a decade. Mr. Baker is currently based in New York City and is responsible for various legal matters in a twelve state region in the Northeast United States for Starbucks, including the New York City and Boston metropolitan areas. Prior to joining Starbucks Mr. Baker was Associate General Counsel for Western Wireless Corporation in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Baker began his legal career in 1989 at the law firm of Snell & Wilmer LLP based in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Baker received his law degree from the University of Arizona in 1989.

Lia N. Brooks – Lia Brooks is Citigroup’s Ethics Officer for the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) region. In that capacity, she oversees the investigation and resolution of employee whistleblower complaints in the 50 countries in EMEA in which Citi has employees. Lia also advises senior management on employee conduct issues and disciplinary actions to promote cross-border consistency and compliance with local laws. On a global basis, Lia leads the Ethics Office’s data protection initiatives and serves as its subject matter expert on global privacy laws relating to employees. She is also responsible for designing and delivering global case management and investigations training to employees in Legal, Compliance, Internal Audit, HR, and others performing ethics-related investigations around the world. Before joining Citi, Lia was an associate in the Labor and Employment Law groups at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz, P.C. Lia began her career as a litigator at Davis Polk & Wardwell. She graduated from Fordham Law School with honors, where she was an associate editor of the Fordham Law Review, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Policy Analysis from Cornell University.

Lawrence Chanen – Larry Chanen is a Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel in the JPMorgan Chase Legal Department, where he handles bankruptcy/workout litigation matters. For many years, he has been a Senior Sponsor of the JPMorgan Chase Pride employee resource group. Larry has long been active in LGBT community organizations in New York, most recently serving as co-Chair of the Board of Directors of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). He now serves as one of the co-chairs of SAGE’s National Leadership Council and in 2011 received SAGE’s Community Service Award. Among other organizations, Larry also served as a member of the Board of the Empire State Pride Agenda, was a member of the Legal Advisory Committee and a Cooperating Attorney for Lambda Legal, and co-founded the Lesbian and Gay Community Mediation Service, which became the Center Mediation Service. In November 2010, Larry received the “Out and Proud Corporate Counsel Award” from the National LGBT Bar Association and in 2013 was one of the recipients of the Diversity and Inclusion Champion Awards of the New York City Bar Association. He resides on Roosevelt Island, New York with his spouse of 21 years, Jack Burkhalter.

Justin Connor – Justin Connor is Senior Counsel and Director of Chief Legal Officer Services at the Association of Corporate Counsel, where he is responsible for all matters relating to the more than 8,100 general counsel and chief legal officers who head law departments at organizations worldwide. Justin’s work includes developing executive education programs, editing ACC publications for CLOs, creating relevant programming, events and partnerships and developing opportunities for networking, sharing and benchmarking among general counsel and chief legal officers. Before joining the ACC, Justin was previously in-house counsel to a mobile telecommunications security company and a satellite telecommunications provider in Northern Virginia. Justin also practiced law overseas for five years in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he was the general counsel to a sovereign investment firm in telecommunications. Before going in-house, Justin practiced telecommunications law at the largest independent law firm in the Middle East, after winning a U.S. Fulbright fellowship to teach law in Lebanon. Before moving to the Middle East, Justin was telecommunications lawyer for six years at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Justin began his U.S. legal career as an associate in the Washington office of the law firm Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe. Justin is a member of bar in New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Romulo L. (Romy) Diaz, Jr. – Diaz is the vice president and general counsel of Peco Energy, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, the nation’s largest competitive energy provider. He oversees its team of attorneys responsible for all aspects of PECO’s legal affairs in Pennsylvania, as well as PECO’s claims and security departments. Based in Philadelphia, PECO is Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility. Prior to his current position, Diaz was responsible for the company’s governmental and external affairs. From 2005 until 2008, Diaz served as the City Solicitor of Philadelphia. For most of his career, he lived in Washington, DC, where he held numerous positions at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy. Following unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve as assistant administrator for management at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Diaz serves on numerous civic and nonprofit boards and leads the Pan American Association of Philadelphia. He has been honored for his professional and community leadership most recently with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Legal Intelligencer. Diaz earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

Theodore Furman – Ted Furman is a VP in the GSK Legal Department managing a team handling GSK’s Consumer Healthcare, Dermatology, and Ophthalmology patent matters, having joined GSK in 2002. Ted has a total of 33 years in the patent profession. Ted is co-chair of GSK Legal’s global I&D Steering Team and that Steering Team has implemented programs to enhance inclusion and diversity within GSK Legal and in the legal profession. These efforts have led to GSK Legal being an MCCA Mid-Atlantic Region Employer of Choice for 2010 and 2014, and have contributed to GSK scoring a 100 on HRC’s ‘Best LGBT Places To Work’ list every year since 2006. GSK Legal’s diversity efforts have also garnered the ACC’s 2011 award for Outstanding Commitment to Diversity by a Law Department in the Philadelphia area (DELVACCA) as well as the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2012 Out and Proud Corporate Counsel Award in Philadelphia. Also, Ted is Executive Sponsor for GSK’s LGBT ERG, and is proud to have led or sponsored successful efforts to obtain health coverage for gender reassignment surgeries for transgender employees, to provide Safe Zone training within GSK, and to include LGBT into GSK’s Supplier Diversity efforts. In February 2013, Ted became the first straight ally to serve on the National LGBT Bar Association Foundation Board.

Sarah Alexander Goldfrank – Sarah Alexander Goldfrank is a Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel with Bank of America. Sarah is the lead legal counsel for the Bank’s national mortgage servicing standards settlement compliance. Sarah also leads a legal team advising certain default mortgage servicing functions, and is engaged on enterprise bankruptcy matters. Sarah serves on the Legal Department Diversity & Inclusion Business Council, and is involved in a number of external activities, including serving on the Leadership Committee for Out in Law and the Audit Committee for Women for Women International. Sarah was previously with O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where she led teams responsible for the defense of enforcement and litigation actions against financial services institutions, and advised those institutions on regulatory compliance. Sarah held several leadership roles at O’Melveny, including serving as Secretary to the Office of the Chair, on the Diversity Task Force, and on the Washington, DC office’s Employment Committee, and as Chair of that office’s Summer and Fall Recruiting Committees. Before joining O’Melveny, Sarah worked at Fannie Mae for seven years, where she managed alternative dispute resolution, diversity, and organizational effectiveness programs. Sarah received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from Smith College.

Mary Gray – Mary studied anthropology before receiving her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California at San Diego in 2004. She draws on this interdisciplinary background to study how people use digital and social media in everyday ways to shape their social identities and create spaces for themselves. Mary’s most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (NYU Press), examined how young people negotiate and express their lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender identities in rural parts of the United States and the role that media, particularly the internet, play in their lives and political work. Mary is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, New England Lab. She maintains an appointment as Associate Professor of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, with adjunct positions in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies.

Nancy Halas – Nancy Halas is the Resident Attorney for Liberty Mutual Insurance Group in Orange California. She oversees the team of civil and workers’ compensation attorneys for all aspects of case handling working closely with their claims departments. Prior to her current position, Nancy was the managing and senior workers’ compensation trial attorney for Liberty Mutual in their San Bernardino, California legal office. Nancy’s practice involved special investigations, professional sports and asbestos claims defense and teaching law courses for the Insurance Education Association. Nancy is committed to ensuring a diverse workplace and has had the pleasure of seeking talent through her involvement in the Lavender Law’s Career Fair the last three years for Liberty Mutual. Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Nancy practiced criminal defense and worked closely with the Elder Law Association in Illinois. Before graduating from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Nancy worked in the legal/compliance department of a major brokerage firm and as public relations director for the Girl Scouts Northwest Indiana council. Nancy is a member of the California and Illinois state bars. She is proud to announce that after 35 years in a committed relationship with Cheryl, they were able to marry in 2013.

Gregory B. Jordan – Gregory Jordan is executive vice president and general counsel of The PNC Financial Services Group. He is responsible for overseeing all of the legal functions for the corporation, as well as PNC’s corporate ethics office and the PNC Foundation. Prior to joining PNC in October 2013, Jordan was the global managing partner of Reed Smith, and chairman of the senior management team and executive committee. Jordan has been listed in The Best Lawyers In America since 1995. In 2003, he was named by The American Lawyer as one of the country’s top 45 lawyers under 45. In 2005, The Lawyer named him to the Global 100. In 2012, Greg was named by Law360 as one of the Ten Most Innovative Managing Partners. Greg was a founding board member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). He serves as a board member of Highmark, Inc., the Global Business Coalition on Education, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness and the Extra Mile Education Foundation. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of Bethany College. Jordan obtained his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Bethany College in 1981. He graduated in 1984, cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif.

Greg McCurdy – Greg McCurdy is the Senior Policy Counsel advising Microsoft’s US government affairs team on legislation and policy including state legislation, privacy regulation and international IP enforcement, based in Washington, DC.  Greg joined Microsoft in 2000 in Paris and was then based in Seattle from 2002 to 2009 managing US and international antitrust and commercial litigation.  Before joining Microsoft, Greg practiced commercial litigation in New York City at Milbank Tweed from 1991-94 and at Proskauer Rose from 1996-99.  In between, Greg also clerked for Judge Harold Baer, Jr. in the S.D.N.Y. and Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards at the D.C. Circuit.  Throughout his career, Greg has been active in a number of bar associations having served as co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Antitrust Committee and on the National Leadership Council of Lambda Legal.  He graduated from Harvard College and NYU Law School.

Patrick A. MacMurray – Mr. MacMurray joined Goto Capital in 2010 and acts as Senior Vice President & General Counsel. Patrick is a seasoned corporate lawyer with experience in all matters of corporate governance, securities law and corporate finance transactions, as well as public reporting and compliance matters. Prior to joining Goto Capital he was Counsel at Dewey Ballantine, LLP, and prior to that he was an associate at Thelen, Reid and Priest. He is a graduate of The College of the Holy Cross and of St. John’s University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review. In addition to his law degree he holds the following securities licenses: Series 7, 24, 79 and 99. Patrick is a parishioner and lector at St. Bartholomew’s Church in The City of New York and serves on the Board of LeGaL – The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York.

Richard E. Meade (Rick) – Rick is the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) for Prudential Financial’s International Division, leading a team business unit lawyers located in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America. The businesses in the International Division manufacture and distribute individual life insurance, retirement and related products, including certain health products with fixed benefits, to clients in selected international markets. Rick has been the CLO for the Company’s International Division since 2001. Rick is also responsible for oversight of Prudential’s Operations and Systems legal team, whose lawyers advise on issues related to corporate real estate, intellectual property and technology and general vendor contracts. Rick has been the Chair of the Law and Compliance Department’s Diversity Steering Committee since 2006, as well as the Executive Sponsor of the Department’s Internal and Outside Counsel Diversity Committees. He also played a key role in launching the multi-company Inclusion Initiative which focused on increasing corporate expenditures on minority and women owned law firms. Rick joined Prudential’s Corporate Law Department in 1985. From 1991 to 2001, Rick was the Chief Legal Officer for Prudential’s U.S. individual insurance businesses.

Matthew E. Morningstar – Matthew Morningstar is an Executive Director and Counsel in Morgan Stanley’s US Litigation Department, where he is responsible for complex litigation and regulatory enforcement matters. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Matthew was an Associate in the Litigation Department in the New York office of Mayer Brown. Matthew recently served as Vice-Chair of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) Board of Directors, where he was also Co-Chair of the Governance Committee. During his five and a half years with GMHC, Matthew oversaw the expansion and diversification of the board of directors. He is also a past Co-Chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council and was honored to serve on the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee in 2008, which called for a fully-inclusive non-discrimination act and an end to the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Matthew received the 2013 National LGBT Bar Association Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award in New York for his commitment to diversity in the profession, his visibility as an out senior lawyer, and his work concerning expanded use of minority and women-owned law firms. Matthew is a 1997 graduate of Columbia, and a 2001 graduate of Cornell Law School, where he served as Chancellor of the Moot Court Board.

Ryan H. Nelson – Ryan Nelson is Corporate Counsel for Employment Law at MetLife, where he advises human resources professionals and management on employment law compliance and manages all phases of employment-related dispute resolution, up to and including litigation, for one of the world’s largest providers of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of LGBT rights and employment law in the areas of discrimination, benefits, leave, and workplace policies. Recent articles can be found in the Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality, the Hofstra Journal of Labor & Employment Law, and the online supplements to the Vanderbilt Law Review and the Penn State Law Review. He is also a frequent presenter on LGBT employment law, having recently presented at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit and the University of Texas Law School’s Sexual Citizenship & Human Rights conference. He is a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and was named one of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Best 40 Lawyers Under 40 in 2013. He received his J.D., cum laude, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his B.S.B.A. with a major in Economics from the University of Florida (Go Gators!!!).

J. Pete Olsen – Pete Olsen is Staff Counsel for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League. His practice includes drafting contracts for sponsors and hockey personnel, processing workers’ compensation claims, enforcing intellectual property rights, and assisting with other legal matters. He joined the Blue Jackets in 2012 while completing his law degree at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. At Moritz, he served as President of the Sports & Entertainment Law Association and on the Board of the OutLaws student group. While a law student, Pete published a blog titled “Wide Rights,” providing information and commentary on gay rights and the sports industry, and he volunteered at the Kaleidoscope Youth Center, an after-school drop-in center for LGBTQ youth in Columbus. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration: Marketing, magna cum laude, from California State University, Long Beach in 2007.  At CSULB, Pete was a Sports Columnist for the student-published Long Beach Union Weekly, and he was an intern for the acclaimed sports agent Leigh Steinberg. Pete resides in Columbus with his partner, Mike, and adorable corgi puppy, Cooper. He originally hails from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Barry M. Parsons – Barry Parsons is Associate General Counsel with Freddie Mac’s General Litigation and Investigations group. Barry works on a wide variety of legal matters including employment, contract, intellectual property, insurance, fraud, and antitrust law. He also conducts internal investigations, advises the company on document retention issues, and is a member of the Legal Division’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Pro Bono Working Group. In 2011, he received the General Counsel’s Impact Award. Before joining Freddie Mac, Barry was a litigator with Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, DC. Barry also served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable William O. Bertelsman, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Before attending law school, he worked as a business consultant for major systems consulting company and as a financial analyst for a mid-Atlantic telecommunications company. Barry has served on the Board of Directors for the National LGBT Bar Association since 2010. Barry received his J.D., with distinction from the George Mason University School of Law where he was Editor-in-Chief of the George Mason Law Review and a Dean’s Scholar. He also holds a M.B.A. from The American University Kogod School of Business and a B.S. in Economics from King’s College.

Mark E. “Rick” Richardson III – In 1991, Rick Richardson joined the legal department of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a research-based pharmaceutical company, where he has held positions of ever-increasing responsibility. Currently Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Mr. Richardson is responsible for a team of lawyers who manage non-IP litigation for GSK. He led the litigation team that obtained the 2012 decision from the United States Supreme Court that provided its first significant discussion of the Fair Labor Standards Act since its 1938 enactment and foreclosed a multibillion dollar line of litigation against the pharmaceutical industry. Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, Mr. Richardson is on GSK Global Legal’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Team ( co-chairing its US Subteam), the Admissions Committee and Advisory Council of the National Association of Minority and Woman Owned Law Firms (receiving their Outstanding Service award in 2012), is GSK’s representative to the Inclusion Initiative, and is the Raleigh/Durham NC Area Lead for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s Mentoring Program. Mr. Richardson graduated from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Law and did substantial graduate work at Duke’s Sanford Institute of Public Policy.

Michael F. Rinzler – Michael Rinzler is Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Visa Inc., where he is responsible for legal coverage of strategy, M&A and payment processing matters. Prior to joining Visa,  he covered securities matters at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Michael started his career at Cleary Gottlieb in New York, London and Moscow, after clerking for the Hon. Robert W. Sweet of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Michael received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He also holds a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Yale University. Michael, a native New Yorker, is Policy Chair of Visa’s Pride group.

Justin Ruaysamran – Justin Ruaysamran is Vice President, Corporate Counsel in Asset Management Law at Prudential Financial, where his practice focuses on investment advisory regulatory issues across Prudential’s asset management businesses. Prior to assuming this role, Justin held corporate counsel positions in the International Insurance and International Investments businesses at Prudential. Justin started his legal career at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP where he specialized in finance, real estate, and general corporate matters. Before law school, he was an analyst at a start-up market research firm in Massachusetts. Justin is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago and has participated in a number of diversity initiatives at bar associations, including the National LGBT Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the New Jersey chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. In his free time, Justin is a runner and volleyball player and enjoys working on his vacation home.

Fabio Silva – Fabio Silva began his legal career in Washington, DC in 1998, at the law firms of Crowell & Moring and Arnold & Porter. During most of his four years of law firm practice, he was active on the firms’ diversity committees. He was active with the Hispanic Bar Association and also served on the board of GAYLAW from 1999 to 2002. In 2002, Fabio moved to New York in order to take a break from law firm practice and to secure a degree in fashion design from Parsons School of Design. After graduation, he made the move in-house to BURBERRY, as their Corporate & Intellectual Property Counsel for North America. He was later promoted to Vice President of Legal for North America. In 2011 he left Burberry and accepted an interim position with Tory Burch LLC. In 2012, he joined Fab.com, Inc. as Senior Vice President & General Counsel. The company is an ecommerce start-up that has made a name for itself as the number one source for unique design products and serving as a national platform for both well-known and up-and-coming industrial designers.

Walter Sutton – Dr. Walter L. Sutton, Jr., currently serves as Associate General Counsel – External Relations for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Bentonville, AR. In this position, Dr. Sutton is an internal advocate and external voice for Wal-Mart’s diversity initiatives, and represents the company in many public forums. He began his career with Wal-Mart in May, 2005. Prior to joining Wal-Mart, Dr. Sutton practiced environmental and real estate law for over 30 years in Dallas, Texas. He served in the Clinton Administration in Washington, D.C. as Deputy Administrator and Associate Administrator for Policy of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department Transportation. Dr. Sutton served as President of the National Bar Association (NBA) for the 1987-1988 bar year, and currently serves as a member of the NBA Board of Governors, Chair of the Board of the National Bar Institute, and a member of the American Bar Foundation Board of Directors. He also serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Wiley College, a historically Black college located in Marshall, TX. Dr. Sutton earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan School of Law, and his Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Gregory Todd – Greg Todd is a Director and Associate General Counsel at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York with responsibility for derivatives regulatory issues in addition to his role supporting fixed income derivatives sales and trading activity.  Mr. Todd currently leads the Legal Department‘s implementation efforts with respect to global derivatives regulatory reform, as well as heads legal coverage of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s US, Canadian and Latin America interest rate derivatives businesses.  Prior to these roles, Mr. Todd covered Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s US, Canadian and Latin America credit derivatives business. After receiving a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Mr. Todd joined Vinson & Elkins LLP as an associate in 2000 and King & Spalding LLP as an associate in 2002 before joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2005.

Travis Torrence – Travis Torrence is an attorney in the legal department at Shell Oil Company, where he represents Shell’s interests in bankruptcy and insolvency-related matters. Travis graduated from Yale Law School in 2005 and received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in Communication and Political Science from Tulane University. Prior to joining Shell, Travis was a senior associate at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, where he chaired the Houston office’s Recruiting Committee and served as a founding member of the firm’s Diversity Advisory Council. Before working at Fulbright, Travis served as a law clerk for the Honorable Edward C. Prado, Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Travis has been honored by Texas SuperLawyers as a Rising Star in the area of Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights and has served as secretary of the Bankruptcy Section of the Houston Bar Association. Travis currently serves on the board of directors of AIDS Foundation Houston and Bo’s Place, a grief support center that serves the needs of children and families who have lost a loved one. Travis chaired Houston’s 2013 World AIDS Day Luncheon and is the reigning champion of Dancing With The Houston Stars. Travis previously worked as an on-air personality for WEZB B-97 FM; New Orleans’ #1 Hit Music Station.

Julius Towers – Julius Towers is Chief Personal Care, Hill’s, and Transactions Trademark Counsel for Colgate-Palmolive Company.  He is also oversees digital media legal training globally, is the Corporate legal digital media champion for Colgate-Palmolive, and serves on the Colgate-Palmolive legal department’s Pro Bono steering committee. Previously, he was Senior Counsel (Intellectual Property) at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), in New York City, NY. His practice includes all aspects of nonpatent Intellectual Property, including trademarks, copyrights, anti-counterfeiting, and digital media law. In addition, Towers was the senior co-chair of the BMS Law Department Diversity Committee and served on the BMS GLBTA Affinity Group Leadership team. Prior to BMS, Towers was an associate in the Intellectual Property/ Outsourcing Practice Group of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, in NYC. Towers is a graduate of Florida State University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was the co-president of Penn Law Lambda, and currently serves on the Law School Alumni Society’s Board of Managers. Towers is a member of the New York Bar.

Ara Tucker – Ara Tucker, Executive Director, is Head of Communications and Operations for Diversity and Inclusion at Morgan Stanley. The Diversity and Inclusion team is responsible for driving the hiring, retention, development and advancement of a diverse group of employees. In her role, Ara also serves as the Diversity Advisor for the Pride and Ally Employee Networking Group. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2014, Ara served as the Director of Diversity for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP where she was responsible for the development, administration, and implementation of programs and initiatives designed to enable the firm to achieve its diversity and inclusion objectives. In addition to her work in the Diversity and Inclusion space, Ara has served in roles at Princeton University in the Offices of the Provost and Executive Vice President where she focused on matters related to academic, administrative, and budgetary planning. Ara was also an associate with Morgan Lewis in its Business and Finance Practice. Ara is an avid creative writer and long-time appreciator of the fine and performing arts. She received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law and has a degree in the History of Art and Visual Arts from Princeton University.

Michelle Waites – Michelle Waites is Senior Patent Counsel for Xerox Corporation in Norwalk, Connecticut. Her primary responsibility is patent litigation and includes leading internal fact investigations, managing outside counsel, drafting technology transfer agreements and working with business and technical staff to develop and implement effective legal strategies. She is a registered patent attorney and has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications. Michelle has maintained her own law practice and worked for large law firms and spent several years as an engineer in the aerospace/military defense industry.


Private Practice

Omar Alaniz – Omar Alaniz is Special Counsel in Baker Botts L.L.P.’s bankruptcy group. He represents debtors and creditors in chapter 11 cases and maintains an active bankruptcy-litigation practice. Omar was a law clerk to the Honorable D. Michael Lynn, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas. He is an adjunct professor at SMU Dedman School of Law. Omar has received numerous local, state, and national awards including the “Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service” presented by the American Inn of Courts at the U.S. Supreme Court at an event hosted by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. He was named the “National Outstanding Young Lawyer” by the American Bar Association in 2011, the “Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas” by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the “Outstanding Young Lawyer of Dallas” by the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, and the “Outstanding Young Bankruptcy Lawyer of Texas” by Texas State Bar’s Bankruptcy Section. Last year, he was named one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association. Among various leadership positions, Omar is the V.P. of Professional Education for the Texas State Bar’s Bankruptcy Section. He is the proud father of toddler twins.

Christopher Bacon – Christopher Bacon is a Harvard Law School graduate (1990) who is counsel at Vinson & Elkins, where is practices labor and employment law. He has tried over 30 (mostly jury) cases, in both federal and state court in multiple jurisdictions, and has argued a dozen times before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Chris was a founding member of the Stonewall Lawyers in Houston, one of the first organizations for GBLT lawyers in the South, as well as a two-time president of the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus. In addition to his law practice, Chris has taught Sexual Orientation and the Law at the University of Houston Law Center since 1992.

Garrard Beeney – Garrard Beeney is a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group and co-head of the Firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Law Group. He has litigated cases throughout the country in both federal and state courts. In addition to trying patent, antitrust and commercial cases, Garrard has argued appellate cases in various courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He has represented plaintiffs and defendants in infringement actions and frequently advises on licensing issues and IP monetization Garrard has proven himself an invaluable ally to the LGBT community through his representation of clients in pro bono litigation. He has been involved in significant civil rights cases including challenging bans on same-sex couples from becoming foster and/or adoptive parents in North Carolina and Nebraska, and winning the rights of students in Florida to exercise freedom of speech in support of LGBT classmates. Most notably, Garrard helped achieve victory in Cole v. Arkansas, a case he successfully argued before the Arkansas Supreme Court in which a voter initiative prohibiting cohabitating couples from becoming foster or adoptive parents was ultimately ruled unconstitutional. Garrard is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Carol L. Buell – Carol Buell, a partner in the law firm of Weiss, Buell & Bell, lectures extensively on LGBTQ family law. Recent training and faculty presentations include: (1) faculty participant for the NYCFCJA Master Class in October of 2012 regarding LGBTQ family law issues, (2) faculty participant for the NYCLA and LGBTQ Collaborative Professionals of New York’s CLE in February of 2012 entitled: The Value of the Collaborative Process for LGBTQ Families and Relationships, and (3) faculty participant for the New York City Bar Family Court, Family Law and LGBT Rights Committees CLE in March of 2013 regarding Family Law Issues in LGBT Parenting. A trained mediator and collaborative attorney, Carol’s practice assists clients with second-parent adoptions, family creation agreements, estate planning, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, divorce/dissolution, custody, support and visitation agreements, incapacity and estate administration. Carol is honored to serve on the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ National Family Law Advisory Council. She is a member of the Family Law Institute of the LGBT Bar Association, and has served on various boards of directors in the LBGT community, including SAGE (1980’s) and Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc., (1986-1992) three of six years as the co-chair of the Board of Directors.

Jason Burch – Jason Burch is a litigation associate in Sidley Austin’s Chicago office. He serves on the Board of the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee, and on the Junior Board of Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre. Jason graduated from Northwestern University School of Law, where he served as a Criminal Law teaching assistant to Professor Janice Nadler and as a judicial extern to the Honorable Matthew F. Kennelly of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Jason also worked in Guaymate, Dominican Republic, as a law school representative to the Northwestern Access to Health Project, an interdisciplinary team that assesses community-level public health needs and designs policy initiatives in the developing world. Prior to law school, Jason played professional baseball for six seasons, and worked as a policy analyst for a lobbying group in Austin, Texas.

Joan M. Burda – Joan practices law in Lakewood, Ohio. She is the award-winning author of Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples, Second Edition (ABA 2012) and Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Clients: A Lawyer’s Guide (ABA 2008). She writes about LGBT legal issues for various online and print publications. Ms. Burda frequently speaks on LGBT legal issues at national and international conferences and workshops. Joan is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she teaches Sexual Orientation and the Law. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Legal Studies Program at Ursuline College and teaches Contracts, Civil Procedure and Administrative Law. Joan graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law in beautiful Malibu and lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her spouse, Betsy.

David Castleman – Dave Castleman is an associate in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group. His practice focuses on representing and advising companies in complex securities and commercial litigation. Dave also maintains an active pro bono practice, focusing on asylum for LGBT immigrants and participating in the Firm’s efforts in partnership with the ACLU to achieve equal marriage and adoption rights for gay and lesbian parents in North Carolina. In 2013, Dave received the Firm’s Michael A. Cooper Award for Outstanding Public Service for his extensive work on asylum and habeas matters and was also named one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association. Dave is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Timothy M. Clark – Tim Clark is a partner at the New York office of O’Melveny & Myers, and the head of the investment funds practice in the United States. He has over 20 years of experience in the investment funds sector advising both investors and funds including hedge funds, private equity funds and venture capital funds. Tim advises in respect of fund formations as well as structuring transactions such as investment adviser mergers and acquisitions. His hedge fund clients include long/short equity funds, global macro funds, risk and convertible arbitrage funds, distressed funds, relative value funds, emerging market funds, fund of funds, pension funds and endowment funds. His private equity clients include buy-out funds, infrastructure, real estate funds, and mezzanine funds. Tim advises clients with respect to the Investment Advisers Act and Investment Company Act and other compliance issues. Tim is a member of the Managed Funds Association and the New York Hedge Funds Roundtable. He is also a member and CCO University Faculty Professor for the Regulatory Compliance Association. Tim received his JD from NYU and a B.A. in Economics from Oberlin College.

John P. (Jackie) Drohan – Jackie is an attorney and former banker with over 20 years of legal experience including complex commercial and employment litigation matters. As a founding Partner with Drohan Lee LLP in New York, a diversity-focused MBE law firm representing numerous banks, funds and financial institutions as well as a significant public client base, Jackie shares a close perspective on the unique challenges of alternative gender, sexual preference and lifestyle expression in the Wall Street workplace. Prior to practicing law, Jackie had an 11-year institutional trading career as a senior capital markets dealer for banks including First Chicago International and Deutsche Bank, is a frequent speaker at financial industry and academic conferences, and has published articles on financial economics, federal civil procedure and commodities regulation. A member of the American and New York State Bar Associations, a trustee of the New York Citizens Budget Commission, and a former rostered arbitrator for National Futures Association, Jackie holds a B.A. from Washington University at St. Louis, an MBA in Finance and Investments from Baruch College, and a Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School (serving as Comments Editor with the Brooklyn Law Review).

Anna Engh – Anna Engh is a partner in Covington & Burling’s litigation group. Her practice focuses on insurance coverage. She has a wide range of experience in the insurance coverage area. She has handled coverage litigation and negotiated insurance recoveries on behalf of corporate policyholders for a variety of claims, including asbestos, lead, and other mass tort claims; environmental liabilities; first party property damage claims; aviation claims; and directors and officers and errors and omissions claims. Clients that she has represented in the coverage area include Lincoln Electric, Goodyear, Textron, Foster Wheeler, UnitedHealth, TRW, Dow Corning, and Owens Corning. At Covington, she serves or has served as a member of the Management Committee and as hiring partner. She was named by Business Insurance as among “25 Women to Watch,” a salute to business leaders and influential executives doing outstanding work in insurance-related fields. She has also been named in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, D.C. Super Lawyers, The Legal 500 US, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, Lawdragon’s 3000 Leading Lawyers in America, and Vault’s Legal Women Leaders. She was shortlisted for the Euromoney Americas Women in Business Law Awards for the “Best in Insurance & Reinsurance.”

Sam Felker – Sam Felker is a trial attorney at Baker Donelson’s Nashville office, who focuses on issues ranging from products liability and food safety, to mass torts, insurance coverage and commercial litigation. Sam has represented clients in many national mass tort cases including pelvic mesh, fen-phen, orthopedic and spinal implants, Zyprexa, gadolinium, PPA, heart pacemakers, Prozac, and Avandia. He also has experience with a variety of non-medical products ranging from construction materials and consumer products to heavy equipment and chemical exposure. A seasoned trial lawyer, Sam handles matters from start to finish and is also trained in all aspects of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Prior to his recent move to Baker Donelson, Sam practiced for many years at Bass Berry & Sims in Nashville, Tennessee. For more than a decade, Sam has been active in the work of the ABA Products Liability Committee, serving as Co-chair of the Pharmaceutical Sub-committee for a number of years. Currently, Sam is the Membership Co-Chair of the ABA Products Liability Committee. Sam is also the president of Tennessee Stonewall Bar Association.

Kate Fitzgerald – Kate Fitzgerald oversees the business development for Squire Patton Boggs’ Global Litigation Practice, which consists of more than 270 litigators throughout the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. Kate brings over 15 years of legal marketing, business development and executive coaching experience to her work and has led numerous initiatives focused on revenue generation, regional expansion, vertical marketing, practice expansion, lateral integration, as well as marketing department re-organizations. For several years, Kate ran her own consulting firm, Deane Marketing & Communications, where her clients included regional, national and international law firms, such as DLA Piper, Lindquist & Vennum, Littler Mendelson, McDonough Holland & Allen, Nixon Peabody, Orrick, Preston Gates, Tomlinson Zisko. Other clients included BuzzBack Market Research, Clear Impact, Lyon-Martin Health Services and PacificTherX. Kate has written and spoken extensively on marketing and business development. She was a contributing columnist to the Daily Journal’s EXTRA magazine for several years. She is also an adjunct faculty member of Berkeley City College. Prior to working with law firms, Kate worked in the book and magazine publishing industry.

Katie D. Fletcher – Katie Fletcher (“Kate”) is an attorney licensed in Virginia, California and Illinois. Kate graduated from the University of Warwick with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Economics many years ago. Upon losing her job due to the September 11th attacks Kate re-entered the scholastic realm and attended law school at Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she graduated cum laude with a J.D. and an L.LM in Taxation. Kate interned with the IRS in both Appeals – Large and Midsize Business and Chief Counsel’s Office – Individual and Small Business. Kate’s practice focuses on the unique challenges facing the LGBT community especially with regard to estate planning and tax. Kate also speaks on the issue of estate planning, transgender legal issues and tax litigation. Kate became involved with the National LGBT Bar Association during law school where she coordinated one of the most successful Writing Competitions as a Law Student Representative. In 2007 Kate became the Treasurer of the National LGBT Bar Association and in 2010 became President. Kate is currently a Past President. Kate is a frequent contributor to the Richmond Gay Community newsletter, has co-written a book on subpoenas and California law and her article “In re: Simmons: a Case for Transgender Marriage Recognition” was published in the Loyola Law Journal.

Mariette Geldenhuys – Mariette Geldenhuys has practiced law in Ithaca, New York for the past twenty-five years, in areas including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) family law; estate planning and adoption. Eleven years ago, she shifted the focus of her practice to collaborative law and mediation, to help clients resolve legal issues in a respectful, client-centered way and without litigation. Mariette is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the NCLR; the New York State Bar Association Committee on LGBT People and the Law; the Finger Lakes Women’s Bar Association (current President) and the National LGBT Bar Association. She is the Founder and Founding President of the Ithaca Area Collaborative Law Professionals. Mariette is a frequent lecturer and trainer on issues related to collaborative law, mediation and LGBT family law, including at the Annual Forum of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the ADR section of the American Bar Association, Cornell Law School and the New York State Bar Association.

Robyn E. Gigl – Robyn Gigl is Managing Partner of Stein, McGuire, Pantages & Gigl, LLP, in Livingston, NJ. Robyn has been a partner with the firm for more than 25 years and the managing partner since 2007. Robyn’s practice involves handling complex litigation including employment law, commercial and business litigation, and white-collar criminal defense. She is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts of New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Robyn is the Chair of the LGBT Rights Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association as well as a member of Employment Law Section, Women in the Profession Section, and the Diversity Committee. She is also on the Boards of Garden State Equality and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. Robyn is a graduate of Stonehill College, and Villanova University School of Law where she was a Member and Associate Editor of the Villanova Law Review. She is co-author the Title VII chapter in the forthcoming Bloomberg BNA treatise Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace.

Laurie Goldheim – Ms. Goldheim has specialized in domestic adoptions for over 22 years, and her law practice is limited to adoptions, including representation of prospective adoptive parents and birth parents. In addition to private adoptions, she regularly handles second parent adoptions, step-parent adoptions and adult adoptions, among other types of adoption cases. She has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys since 1993, a Board of Trustees member for 6 years and is currently serving as the 2014-2015 President. Laurie is also a member of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. In 2007, she was nominated by Congresswoman Nita Lowy and named as an Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in Washington, D.C. Recently she has participated in drafting the Child-Parent Security Act in New York State, which is designed to legalize gestational surrogacy in the state and provide security to children by clarifying the legal rights of the parties who participate in third party reproduction. In 2013, she and her co-drafters of the legislation were honored by RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, who presented them with their Night of Hope Award for Advocacy.

Lisa Goodman – Lisa Goodman is a partner at the Wilmington Delaware firm of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP. She practices in the areas of public strategies, government relations and land use. Lisa is the President of Equality Delaware, Inc. She and Mark Purpura led the successful campaigns to pass civil union legislation in Delaware in 2011, and to pass marriage equality and transgender non-discrimination legislation in 2013.

Debra E. Guston – Debra Guston, Esq. is a partner in Guston & Guston, L.L.P., Glen Rock, NJ. Education: B.A. cum laude, Mount Holyoke College; M.A., Emerson College; J.D., Cardozo School of Law. Fellow: American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. VP of the Board of Trustees of ACLU-NJ. Awards: Cardozo School of Law’s E. Nathaniel Gates Award for contribution to the LGBT legal community; Lifetime Achievement Award/LGBT Rights Section of New Jersey State Bar Association and Diversity in the Profession Award/Bergen County Bar Association. Past Chair of the LGBT Rights Section of NJSBA and member of NJSBA’s Family Law Section Executive Committee and its Adoption and Marriage Equality Committee Chair. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the LGBT Family Law Institute, a joint project of NCLR and National LGBT Bar Association. She is also a member of NCLR’s National Family Law Advisory Committee and was the first woman President of LeGaL. She consulted on family law matters with Lambda in the course of its work on GSE vs. Dow, that resulted in bringing marriage equality to NJ. Ms. Guston co-founded LGBTeach, LLC, which is dedicated to providing CLE-approved training on LGBT legal issues.

Valerie L. Hletko – Valerie Hletko is a partner in the Washington, DC, office of BuckleySandler LLP. Ms. Hletko represents financial institutions in examinations, investigations, and administrative enforcement actions initiated by the DOJ, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Board, the CFPB, HUD, and state bank regulatory agencies and state attorneys general. Her enforcement practice is focused on a broad range of consumer finance issues, including fair and responsible lending, financial products trade practices, mortgage fraud, and mortgage loan servicing. Ms. Hletko has represented financial institutions in individual and private class action litigation alleging violations of federal and state fair lending laws, mortgage fraud, and unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. Ms. Hletko also counsels financial institutions on risk management, loss mitigation, and residential mortgage loan modification programs, and compliance with consumer protection laws. She lectures and publishes on subjects of interest to financial institutions, including fair and responsible banking practices, regulatory enforcement trends, and short-term, small-dollar loan products. Ms. Hletko received her B.A. from Kenyon College (magna cum laude), her M.T.S. from Harvard University, and her J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Michael R. Jarecki – Michael Jarecki is the principal of the Law Office of Michael R. Jarecki in Chicago, a firm concentrating in U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law. He represents businesses, employees, families, and individuals before government agencies within the country and at U.S. consular posts worldwide. Mr. Jarecki is Treasurer of the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He has served as Chair of the National LGBT Working Group of AILA and as a member of various AILA liaison committees with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Chicago. Mr. Jarecki serves on the Advisory Committee to Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois’ 5th Congressional District, advising on issues related to immigration and LGBT rights. Mr. Jarecki has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a Rising Star in Illinois for Immigration and was named one of the Best LGBT Attorneys Under the Age of 40, Class of 2012, by the National LGBT Bar Association. Mr. Jarecki is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was a member of the law review. Contact information may be found at www.jareckilaw.com.

Deb L. Kinney – Deb Kinney is a partner at Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica, LLP, a law firm providing comprehensive estate planning, trust administration, probate services and family law. The practice covers a broad spectrum of families providing foundational estate planning, wealth transfer, charitable planned giving, and non-citizen and international planning. The firm has an extensive probate and trust administration practice representing both beneficiaries and trustees. Johnston Kinney and Zulaica LLP assists families with formation and dissolution issues and has a comprehensive elder law and special needs practice. Deb has a B.A. from University of California at Berkeley, a J.D. from New College School of Law, is a member of the California State Bar Trusts and Estates Section, the Bar Association of San Francisco and the American Bar Association, amongst other organizations. Deb has an extensive background in real estate and has recently been involved with the passage of a property tax bill protecting unrelated partners. Deb sits on the board of The Tides Advocacy Fund and is on the Equality California Candidate PAC. Deb has worked tirelessly on behalf of the LGBT community regarding income, property and estate tax issues. Deb has two daughters, age 15 and 26.

Paula A. Kohut – Paula Kohut is the sole member of Kohut, pllc in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her principal practice areas are Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration, Business Law and Asset Protection. She is a member of the Real Property and Probate Section of the American Bar Association and Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law, Business Law and Tax Sections of the North Carolina Bar Association. She serves as a council member of the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section, as well as the Section’s Legislative Committee. Ms. Kohut is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. She received her B.A. degree, from the University of California at Irvine in 1980 and her J.D. degree, with honors, from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1983. She serves on the Boards of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Coastal Women Attorneys, Equality – NC and St. Jude’s Wilmington Foundation, Inc.

Kevin M. Kraham – Kevin is a shareholder in Littler Mendelson’s Washington, DC office. Kevin represents clients in employment and labor litigation in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies and arbitrators, and he provides day-to-day advice, counseling, and training to employers about workplace issues such as recruitment, performance management, discipline, compensation, compliance, communications, and crisis-management. Kevin chairs Littler Pride, Littler’s LGBT affinity group, and he serves on Littler’s Diversity & Inclusion Council and the board of directors of the National LGBT Bar Association. Kevin has two sons and one golden retriever, and he lives on Capitol Hill in DC.

Dan Kuninsky – Dan Kuninsky is an attorney in the Healthcare Practice group at Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville, Tennessee. Working with a diverse mix of institutional healthcare providers nationwide, he assists with matters ranging from the navigation of the regulatory aspects of healthcare system acquisitions to ongoing counsel for operational matters. Dan is actively involved in the LGBT community both at the national and local level. He serves on the American Health Lawyers Association’s Council on Diversity, belongs to the Tennessee Stonewall Bar Association and actively participates in the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Equality Project and Human Rights Campaign. Dan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Ronald McDonald House. Prior to law school, Dan worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a Program Coordinator for the HIV Vaccine Research Program. Dan graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School where he led the LGBT student organization OUTLaw as co-president. This year, Dan has spoken on multiple panels for conferences and webinars on LGBT topics related to healthcare regulation and reform and has served on panels at law schools related to careers in healthcare law. In his spare time, Dan enjoys hiking, running, and attending community and cultural events.

Seth Levy – Seth Levy is the managing partner of Nixon Peabody’s Los Angeles office. His practice focuses on intellectual property matters, particularly in life sciences and health care. He handles a range of technology, clinical research and entertainment transactions and acts as outside general counsel to emerging growth companies. Seth has been named as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in Life Sciences: Corporate/Commercial (California) by Chambers USA for the past five consecutive years. In 2010, Seth was named one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association. Seth is actively involved in numerous organizations, and often handles pro bono matters involving the LGBT community. He serves as the CEO of the It Gets Better Project, and is on the board of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and OneJustice. He helped lead the effort, along with co-counsel from the ACLU of Southern California, in a case that garnered international media attention involving the mistreatment of LGBT high school students and their GSA. He is currently working on a matter involving transgender student rights in California. Seth received a B.S. in biological engineering from Cornell University and a J.D. from the University of Southern California.

Lisa Linsky – Lisa Linsky is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP in the New York office. She focuses her practice on complex litigation, including products liability and toxic tort, trials, commercial litigation, business investigations, client counseling, and trusts and estates and civil rights litigation. Lisa was McDermott’s first Partner-in-Charge of Firm-wide Diversity, and created and chaired the Firm-wide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Diversity Committee from 2005-early 2014. Lisa served for seven years as a Member and Officer of Lambda Legal’s Board of Directors, and now serves on Lambda Legal’ s National Leadership Council and co-chairs its Law Firm Committee. She was a member of the LGBT Rights Committee of the City Bar for four years and chaired the Pride Reception Subcommittee. Lisa recently lead a team of McDermott lawyers and co-authored an amicus brief with Lambda Legal filed in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the harms caused to LGBTQ people subjected to reparative therapy or sexual orientation change efforts. Lisa received the 2013 Art Leonard Award presented by the New York City Bar Association and its LGBT Rights Committee. The NY Observer singled out Lisa as “Top NY Power Gay.”

John Litchfield – John Litchfield is an associate with Foley & Lardner LLP. His primary practice includes advising on a wide range of employment-related matters. He also works on complex commercial litigation matters, government and internal investigations, whistleblower litigation, campaign finance regulations, and government procurement disputes. His pro bono work earned him the National Immigrant Justice Center 2013 Rising Star Award for junior-level attorneys. He was also awarded the 2011 National LGBT Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyer Under 40 Award. As law clerk to the Illinois State Treasurer, he assisted in litigation and legislative matters, and created a policy for domestic partner benefits. He was a judicial extern to the Honorable Judge Ronald Guzman in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He earned his J.D. (cum laude, 2009) from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he was a senior editor of the International Law Review and co-president and founder of OUTLaw, Loyola’s LGBT student organization. He received his M.Sc. (International and European Politics, 2005) from the University of Edinburgh and his B.A. from Miami University. He currently serves as president for the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago and as a board member of the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee.

Michael A. Lundberg – Mike Lundberg is a sixth-year litigation associate at Latham & Watkins LLP. His practice focuses on white collar defense, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, anti-money laundering and securities and professional liability. Mike is an active member of Latham’s Pro Bono Committee and also serves on the Associate Leadership Board for Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. Mike has taken part in Latham’s on-campus recruiting efforts for many years, including as a panel member at prior Lavender Law conferences. Prior to attending law school, Mike worked as an investigator and campaigner for a non-governmental organization based in London, England, for which he conducted on-site investigations into arms trafficking, natural resource extraction and human rights abuses in West Africa, Europe and Asia. A native of Southern California, Mike earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Yale University, his MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Kimberly E. Lunetta – Kimberley Lunetta is an associate in Morgan Lewis’s Labor and Employment Practice. Ms. Lunetta represents employers in a range of labor and employment law matters before federal and state trial courts, appellate courts, and administrative agencies. Ms. Lunetta regularly counsels employers on a variety of labor and employment issues, including the accommodation of employee disabilities and medical leaves, issues impacting LGBT employees, and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. Ms. Lunetta also routinely represents employers in single plaintiff and systemic discrimination cases, including those based on gender and sexual orientation. She also represents asylum applicants on a pro bono basis, devoting her time and efforts to representing those seeking protection from gender-based torture and violence against women and children. Ms. Lunetta received her J.D., with honors, from Rutgers University School of Law, Camden in 2005 and her B.A. in psychology from George Mason University in 1991.

Laura J. Maechtlen – Laura Maechtlen is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and serves as a Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity Action Team. Ms. Maechtlen’s practice is focused on employment litigation and includes the defense of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions under federal and California state law. Ms. Maechtlen also has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation.  Ms. Maechtlen is a past President of the National LGBT Bar Association, was named one of California’s “Top 75 Women” Litigators in 2014 by the Daily Journal, was honored in 2011-2013 as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine in Employment Litigation, was named Seyfarth Shaw’s Pro Bono Partner of the Year in 2012, and was named one of the country’s “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association in 2011.

Carmelyn P. Malalis – Carmelyn Malalis represents employees in all areas of employment law. She co-founded and leads the firm’s LGBT Workplace Rights Practice Group and co-chairs its Family Responsibilities and Disability Discrimination group. She is also a member of the firm’s Executives & Professionals and its Sex Discrimination & Sexual Harassment practice groups. Carmelyn litigates on behalf of and advises a variety of employees including low-wage workers, highly compensated professionals, and government workers. Carmelyn has collaborated with several organizations on advocacy and pro bono projects including: A Better Balance, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, Make the Road NY, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Legal Aid Society, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, TLDEF, Lambda Legal, the Urban Justice Center, and the Center for WorkLife Law. She has received several awards for her work, including being named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. by the Filipina Women’s Network, being recognized as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 during the inaugural presentation of the award, and awarded the City Bar’s Arthur Leonard Award for her contributions to LGBT communities. She speaks frequently on employment rights, diversity within the legal profession, and LGBT and women’s issues.

Erin Marie Meyer – Erin Meyer is the Pro Bono Associate of Hogan Lovells’ New York office. In this capacity, Erin manages the office’s pro bono practice and develops new pro bono opportunities by working with a diverse network of legal services and public interest organizations. Erin also handles substantive pro bono matters, including drafting model hospital policies to improve access to healthcare for transgender patients, representing LGBT refugees in petitioning for asylum, and obtaining legal name changes for transgender individuals. In addition to her pro bono work, Erin’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation at the trial and appellate level. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Erin was an Affiliated Attorney at Lambda Legal, where she worked on impact litigation cases in support of transgender civil rights. While in law school, Erin was a legal intern at Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. She also served as the Special Projects Editor of the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, and participated in a variety of public interest projects as a legal intern in Columbia’s Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic. Erin is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Committee, and is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law.

Floyd Mills – Floyd Mills is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the North America region of Baker & McKenzie. He is responsible for developing and accelerating the firm’s diversity strategy, and implementing initiatives to continue building a diverse and inclusive work environment. Mr. Mills is part of a global talent management team focused on the recruitment, development and advancement of the firm’s legal talent pool. Mr. Mills joined Baker & McKenzie in 2008. During his tenure, the firm has received several accolades for its diversity and inclusion programs – including rankings among the Best Law Firms for Women, the Top Law Firms for Diversity and the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality. Mr. Mills has presided over a number of firsts for the firm. He led the development and execution of the firm’s inaugural Black/African American Lawyer Summit as well as its initial women’s forum linked to International Women’s Day. More recently, he led the firm in teaming with the National LGBT Bar Association and recognizing, for the first time, an “Out & Proud” member of the armed services. Mr. Mills is a member of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Joey L. Mogul – Joey Mogul is partner at the People’s Law Office and Director of the Civil Rights Clinic at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Mogul’s practice focuses on representing people who have suffered from police and other governmental torture, abuse and misconduct. Mogul frequently represents LGBT people in criminal and civil rights proceedings involving police and prison misconduct, as well as clients who have faced homophobic and transphobic conduct on the part of police and prosecutors. Mogul has successfully represented transgender women in civil rights cases challenging the police department’s failure to have adequate policies, as well as training and supervision, regarding how to properly identify a person’ gender for purposes of their detention. Mogul’s activism has included spearheading campaigns on behalf of capital defendants who have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death based on homophobic, transphobic and sexist arguments. Mogul has spoken widely before both legal and popular audiences on the state’s use of racist, homophobic and sexist arguments in criminal cases. Mogul is co-author of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon Press 2011).

Connie Moore – Connie Moore is a 1986 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center. During her 25 years of practice, Connie has focused on securing legal rights for parents in same-sex relationships through adoption, surrogacy, and child custody litigation. Connie is a collaboratively-trained family law attorney and a founding partner in the law firm of Moore & Hunt. Connie is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and is a member of the Legal Advisory Council of the American Fertility Association.

James Moore – James Moore is part of the O’Melveny and Myers Talent Development team serving as the firm’s Career Development Advisor. Jim provides confidential personal guidance to O’Melveny associates and counsel regarding all aspects of career growth and development. Jim helps attorneys develop tools and strategies to make the most of their careers and provides meaningful support throughout their careers at O’Melveny and beyond. Jim brings ten years of large law firm experience to this position. Prior to joining O’Melveny as litigation counsel in 2008, he was an associate with Gray Cary (now DLA) and later Thelen in their Silicon Valley offices. He was honored in 2009 and 2010 as a “Rising Star” in intellectual property litigation in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. During law school, Jim served as a legal intern with the Human Rights Campaign. Before becoming an attorney, Jim was an admissions counselor at the University of Rhode Island and Manhattan College. Jim received his JD from The George Washington University Law School in 2001 and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rhode Island in 1988 with a B.A. in Journalism.

Lynda Murray-Blair – Lynda is Manager, Diversity & Inclusion for Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. She has responsibility for creating and implementing long term diversity strategies and goals and advising firm leaders on current diversity issues. Lynda serves as an external liaison for the firm in the diversity community and collaborates with clients regarding diversity initiatives. Prior to joining Kilpatrick Townsend, Lynda was Manager of Talent Sustainability & Inclusion for PepsiCo – Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade division, Manager of Organizational Management & Development for Tropicana Products, Inc and Human Resources Manager for Tropicana’s Global Research & Development Group. At PepsiCo, Lynda collaborated with members of Equal – PepsiCo’s LGBT employee resource group – to create PepsiCo’s first LGBT Inclusion training program. She was awarded the PepsiCo Harvey Russell Inclusion Award in 2006 and 2008 for her role in helping to establish the PepsiCo Women of Color Alliance, and planning PepsiCo’s 1st Global Multicultural Inclusion Summit. Lynda earned her JD from Florida A&M University, received her BS from Tuskegee University, holds an MBA, and is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). Lynda is an Atlanta native. She is married to Marlow Blair of Tampa, FL. Lynda and Marlow have two sons, Johnathan and Reed.

Mark J. Neuberger – Mark Neuberger is of counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice and the Health Care Industry Team. Mr. Neuberger represents employers in employment litigation before administrative agencies (EEOC, NLRB), arbitration tribunals, and state and federal trial and appellate courts. He has extensive experience in negotiating collective bargaining agreements with unions and negotiating and drafting executive compensation agreements. He has litigated a wide variety of discrimination claims, whistleblower actions, wage payment and Fair Labor Standards Act cases and has drafted and litigated covenants not-to-compete and other employment related restrictions. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he worked for 10 years in the Human Resource department of a Fortune 100 corporation. He holds the highest performance rating (AV® PreeminentTM) in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. He has also been honored as a Top Lawyer in the South Florida Legal Guide for 10 consecutive years included in The Best Lawyers in America® in 2013 and 2014. Mr. Neuberger graduated from Cornell University (B.S., Industrial & Labor Relations 1977) and Duquesne University (J.D., 1987). He is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association and the Florida Bar Association.

Tiffany L. Palmer – Tiffany Palmer is a shareholder in Jerner & Palmer, P.C. who focuses her practice on LGBT family law and general civil litigation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers University School of Law. She is also an adjunct professor at Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law teaching Sexual Orientation and the Law. Tiffany is a fellow to the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, a credentialed, professional organization dedicated to the advancement of best legal practices in the area of assisted reproduction. She is also a member of the National Center for Lesbian Rights Family Law Advisory Council, a group of experienced family law and estate planning attorneys from around the country that meet annually to discuss LGBT family law issues. Tiffany was named one of the nation’s “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association, an affiliate of the American Bar Association. From 2000 to 2003, Tiffany served as Legal Director at the Equality Advocates Pennsylvania/ Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1998 to 2000, she was the Family Rights Project Attorney through an Equal Justice Works National Fellowship.

Jason Parish – Jason Parish is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation.  He has appeared before state and federal courts across the country in a wide array of cases, including breach of contract, fraud, business tort, false claims, antitrust, securities, and product liability matters.  Jason is currently counsel to several pharmaceutical companies in the industry-wide “average wholesale price” drug pricing litigation.  He maintains an active pro bono docket and was recently recognized by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for his work in the field of fair housing.  Jason is a 2005 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and lives in Washington with his husband and 17-month old triplets.

Andrew Parlen – Andrew Parlen is a partner in O’Melveny’s New York and Los Angeles offices and a member of the Restructuring Practice. He specializes in creative, responsive, multidisciplinary solutions to his clients’ financial challenges and strategic priorities. Andrew understands that clients require flexible, individually tailored guidance to navigate the fluid, fast-evolving restructuring field. He has represented companies, investment funds, and lenders in high-profile chapter 11 proceedings. He has also helped clients through prepackaged bankruptcies and out-of-court restructurings, devising and implementing value-maximizing strategies that spare them the disruption, expense, and publicity that may accompany an in-court proceeding. For his ability to craft complex and innovative solutions that win broad support even in the most contentious circumstances, Law360 named Andrew a 2013 “Rising Star”—one of just five bankruptcy attorneys under 40 nationwide to be recognized. These accomplishments, combined with his commitment to LGBT equality, also earned Andrew a “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40—Class of 2013” award from the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Bar Association. Within O’Melveny, he is the recipient of a Warren Christopher Values Award, an honor bestowed on those who exemplify the Firm’s legacy of excellence, leadership, and citizenship.

Peter E. Perkowski – Peter Perkowski is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Winston & Strawn LLP, where his practice focuses on intellectual property, sports, and entertainment litigation. For over fifteen years, Peter has been involved in a wide range of such matters. Peter has also represented individuals seeking immigration relief based on anti-LGBT and -HIV persecution, and he has prepared and filed amicus briefs in many other such cases. For his efforts, in 2013 Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm, named him its Immigrants’ Rights Project Volunteer of the Year. He has represented amici in landmark LGBT cases in the California Supreme Court, including the Marriage Cases and Prop 8 litigation. Peter also represented amici in support of a lesbian high school athlete who was interrogated by her coaches, forced to reveal her sexual orientation, then outed to a parent and kicked off the team. Peter received a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester, J.D. (with highest honors) from George Washington University Law School, and M.A. in Kinesiology from California State University, Long Beach, writing his master’s thesis on LGBT athletes. He now lectures at CSULB’s Master’s Program in Sport Management, teaching Legal and Ethical Issues in Sport. He serves on the Boards of Directors of AIDS Project Los Angeles and the Global Forum on MSM & HIV.

N. Lynn Perls – N. Lynn Perls is a board certified family law specialist in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she began law practice in a small, general civil firm in 1989 and opened her own domestic relations practice in 1993. Lynn represents individuals and couples in matters of family creation, protection and dissolution – adoption, living together agreements, and divorce; she is collaboratively trained, is an experienced mediator and settlement facilitator. She is a frequent speaker on family formation, domestic relations and estate planning issues for non-traditional families. She received her BA degree from Pitzer College, and is a 1989 magna cum laude graduate of the UNM School of Law. Lynn is a member of both the New Mexico State Bar Association and American Bar Association Family Law Sections, the National Center for Lesbian Rights National Family Law Advisory Council, and is a past chair of Equality New Mexico. She, along with her co-counsel in the successful same sex marriage litigation case, received the ACLU of New Mexico Guardian of Liberty award this past winter for their pro bono work.

Mark Purintun – Marc Purintun is counsel with Hunton & Williams LLP in its Richmond, Virginia office.  Marc’s practice focuses on employee benefits and executive compensation. Marc has assisted several employers with employee benefit issues related to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision striking down a portion of the defense of marriage act (DOMA).  Marc regularly advises clients with respect to the benefits provided an employee’s same-sex spouse or domestic partner; including establishing domestic partner benefit policies, understanding the tax consequences of such programs, and the interplay of state and federal law relating to such arrangements. Marc is a founding board member of the Virginia Equality Bar Association and a member of the National LGBT Bar Association. Marc provides pro bono assistance to several LGBT organizations in Virginia. He received an LLM in Taxation form Georgetown University in 2003; a JD from William & Mary Law School in 2000; and a BA in History & Religious Studies from Macalester College in 1985.

Mark Purpura – Mark Purpura is a director of Richards, Layton & Finger in Wilmington, Delaware. His practice focuses on transactional advice involving Delaware limited liability companies, limited partnerships, general partnerships, and statutory and common law trusts. Mark also represents Delaware banks, trust companies and other financial institutions in transactional, regulatory, and personal and corporate trust matters. Mark chairs the Delaware State Bar Association’s Banking Law Committee. A vigorous advocate for Delaware’s LGBT community, Mark is president of the Equality Delaware Foundation, a board member of Equality Delaware, Inc., and chair of the board of AIDS Delaware, Inc. He was instrumental in drafting and co-coordinating the lobbying campaign to pass Delaware’s Civil Marriage Equality and Religious Freedom Act, Civil Union and Equality Act, and Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act. In 2012, Mark received the Delaware State Bar Association’s President’s Award in recognition of his advocacy for justice and equality for all Delawareans. In 2011, he was recognized as one of the 40 Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. Mark received a B.S. in business administration and financial analysis, magna cum laude, from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, and a J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Fabiana Quaini – Fabiana Quaini has been practicing private and public international law for 28 years, born on March, 16th 1962 in Argentina. She earned her LLB law degree at “Universidad Católica Argentina” located in La Plata, Buenos Aires, in 1984, her LLB law degree at “Université de Tours” in France in 1987. Additionally, Fabiana received an LLM international law degree at “Université de Toulouse” in France in 1989. LLM international law degree at “Université de Limoge,” France 2009. She specialized in international law: international child abductions, complex divorces, equitable distribution, custody, international adoptions, ART and surrogacy and Civil law. She speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish. Fabiana is a member of the Board of Governors of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: Surrogacy Committee and the Hague Convention Child Abduction Committee. Referral in Italy for “Senza Frontiere ONLUS” in the Adoptions process in Haiti under the Hague Convention frame. She wrote books concerning international child abduction and several articles in international family law published in main law databases and magazines. She is admitted in the La Plata Bar Association, Buenos Aires Bar Association, Mendoza Bar Association, Argentina.

Karl C. Riehl – Karl Riehl is head of Legal Recruitment & Professional Development for the NYC office of Epstein Becker & Green. Karl actively works with the Firm’s professional development & diversity committee creating and promoting strategies and programming that support underrepresented populations. Karl is also the current President of LeGaL, the LGBT Bar Association & Foundation of Greater New York, which was one of the first bar associations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) legal community in the country, remains one of the largest and most active of its kind. Additionally, he currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the New Jersey Law & Education Empowerment Project (NJ LEEP), a community-based diversity pipeline program in Newark, N.J. A graduate of Susquehanna University and Seton Hall University School of Law and former adjunct professor at Seton Hall University, Riehl is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by SHRM. Riehl has over 15 years of experience in legal recruitment, professional development and diversity programming.

George W. Schein – George Schein focuses his practice on all aspects of employee benefits. This includes working with clients to design, implement, and administer health and welfare, retirement, and executive compensation plans, as well as conducting ongoing counseling to address various compliance-related issues. George also works on the employee benefits aspects of corporate acquisitions, dispositions and mergers, in addition to all types of employee communications concerning benefit plans. George has given numerous presentations and written articles on the topic of employee benefits for the same-sex partners of GLBT employees, and has also been interviewed and quoted both in print and in visual media in the aftermath of the repeal of Section 3 of DOMA.  He is also a past member of the Steering Committee for the Cincinnati Chapter of the Human Rights Campaign.

Lisa “Lee” A. Schreter – Lee Schreter is chairman of Littler’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the Wage and Hour Practice Group. She focuses on representing employers in complex class and collective actions involving overtime and other wage-related claims and specializes in helping employers to develop forward-thinking compliance measures that reduce wage and hour disputes and other employment-related issues. She also represents and counsels management clients in connection with many other labor and employment matters arising under federal and state laws. She regularly appears before federal and state courts, the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, and agencies charged with enforcing state law wage and hour requirements in a variety of wage-related and equal employment disputes and appeals. Additionally, Lee is a frequent speaker before industry and trade associations, business organizations and human resource groups concerning a variety of employment matters and trending wage and hour issues. Lee is a member of the Diversity Council and she is a former co-chair of the LGBT Affinity Group. Prior to becoming an attorney, Lee worked in human resources, where she gained extensive experience in wage and hour issues, employee relations, salary and benefit administration and general employment matters.

Sara Schnorr – Sara Schnorr, a partner in the Boston office of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP since 1987, joined Palmer & Dodge, one of Edwards Wildman’s predecessor firms, directly out of law school. Her practice focuses on complex commercial real estate development, permitting, acquisition, financing, and leasing, with specialties in the biotech, telecommunications, and affordable housing industries. A former member of the firm’s hiring committee, Sara is a current member of the firm’s pro bono and legal opinion review committees and the Boston office’s diversity committee. Sara received a B.A. (cum laude) in German Literature and Language from Harvard in 1970; was a Fulbright Fellow in Munich in 1970-71; earned a M.A.T. from Wesleyan University in 1972; and taught public high school German and English before entering University of Virginia School of Law in 1976, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Journal of International Law and received a J.D. in 1979. In 2009 Sara publicly transitioned as a MTF transsexual while retaining her partner status in the firm. She is a member of the Founders’ Circle of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, the Board of Visitors of Fenway Health, SpeakOUT Boston, and the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association.

Richard Segal – Mr. Segal is the managing partner of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s San Diego and San Diego North County offices. He has litigated in state, federal and bankruptcy courts on a variety of issues at both the trial and appellate levels. His practice emphasizes commercial and business litigation with particular concentrations in consumer finance, employee benefits, unfair competition, false advertising, securities, antitrust and banking matters. He represents benefit plans and trustees in ERISA cases in courts throughout California. He also has substantial litigation experience representing vehicle finance and leasing companies in class actions and private attorney general actions challenging their practices, and advises vehicle sales companies regarding state statutory, common law and regulatory compliance. Other significant matters include his representation of public corporations and/or inside or outside directors in various class action securities cases in state and federal courts. Additionally, Mr. Segal is the leader of Pillsbury’s firmwide LGBT attorney network and is a member of Lambda Legal’s National Leadership Council.

Susan Silber – Susan Silber has dedicated her legal career of over 30 years to advancing the rights of all families, with a focus on same-sex families. Susan founded the law firm of Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, PA, located in Takoma Park, Maryland. The firm represents clients in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. Susan represents clients in employment law and all aspects of family law, including guardianships, adoptions, separation agreements, divorce, custody, dissolutions and prenuptial agreements. She uses collaborative and mediation as well as traditional approaches. Susan has assisted hundreds of people to cooperatively form their families (e.g., second parent adoptions, living together contracts, powers of attorney, medical directives, and parenting agreements). Susan is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and a past president of the Maryland LGBT Bar Association. Susan frequently has been recognized by her peers: “Superlawyer” for Maryland and the District of Columbia, Lifetime Achievement Award from GAYLAW, and national recognition by Children of Lesbian and Gays (COLAGE). Susan is also the city attorney for two Maryland municipalities and is past-president of the Maryland Municipal Attorneys Association. Susan attended State University of New York University at Buffalo Law School (1976).

Michelle Seldin Silverman – Michelle Seldin Silverman is a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Labor and Employment Practice. Ms. Silverman focuses her practice on counseling and defending clients in connection with employment discrimination claims and on counseling clients regarding best practices for leaves of absences, disability accommodations, gender stereotyping, and LGBT issues. Ms. Silverman has handled numerous single plaintiff cases, labor arbitrations, administrative matters, and multi-plaintiff claims of systemic gender discrimination. Ms. Silverman has served as an adjunct professor of gender and the law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where as a student she was a founding member of the Clinic for LGBT Civil Rights. Ms. Silverman earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2002 and was named to the Order of the Coif. She earned her M.A., with distinction, in women’s and legal history from the University of Michigan in 1998 and her B.A., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1995. From 1996-1997, Ms. Silverman was the LGBT Coordinator at Princeton University, leading the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts in support of its LGBT students and employees.

Joshua L. Simmons – Joshua Simmons is an attorney in the New York offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  He focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation, including copyright, patent, and trademark.  He also has experience with intellectual property matters that intersect with antitrust, privacy and social media issues, as well as licensing and contract disputes.  His clients include companies from various industries, including computer software, consumer products, media and entertainment—such as electronic games, film, publishing, television and theatre—and telecommunications. His pro bono work includes representation of LGBT asylum seekers before the Department of Homeland Security, for which he has twice received the Immigration Equality Safe Haven Award, as well as matters for the American Theatre Wing, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and other IP-related pro bono projects.  Mr. Simmons chairs both the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section’s Copyright Law Reform Task Force and its Copyright & Social Media Committee.  He also has authored several articles concerning intellectual property and has been a featured speaker concerning intellectual property.  Mr. Simmons received a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was awarded the Caroll G. Harper Prize for achievement in intellectual property, and a B.A. from Brandeis University.

Brian Sims – Brian Sims is Special Counsel at the Philadelphia based law firm, Saul Ewing, LLP. In November 2012 he was elected as the State Representative for Center City Philadelphia’s 182nd District of the Pennsylvania House. In winning the election, Brian became Pennsylvania’s first openly LGBT person elected to the State Legislature in its 225-year history. He has distinguished himself as an attorney and civil rights advocate in Center City and served as the Staff Counsel for Policy and Planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association.  Brian just recently stepped down as the President of the Board of Directors of Equality Pennsylvania and as the Chairman of GALLOP. As the former captain and a defensive lineman for the Bloomsburg University football team who came out to his football team after leading them to the Division II National Championship, Brian has become a highly sought out public speaker at colleges and universities on LGBT and other civil rights issues. In addition to his state bar admission, Brian is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey.

William S. Singer – Bill Singer, a partner of Singer & Fedun, LLC, has been in the private practice of law in New Jersey for over 43 years. His practice concentrates on the creation and protection of non-traditional families and as counselor to non-profit organizations. Bill has served as the General Counsel for the National LGBT Bar Association since its inception 25 years ago. Bill is the founder and Director of the LGBT Family Law Institute, an organization for attorneys who specialize in LGBT family law. He is the legal advisor to Family By Design, the community of parenting partnerships. http://www.familybydesign.com He is a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys and a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In 2013, the National LGBT Bar Association named Bill as the inaugural winner of the “Leading Practitioner Award.” The year before, Bill was awarded the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union – New Jersey, the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Section of the NJSBA and the Presidential Award from the New Jersey Association for Justice, Inc.

Scott Squillace – Scott Squillace is a corporate and estate planning attorney with over 27 years of experience, admitted in NY, DC, Massachusetts and Paris, France. He is the founder of Squillace & Associates, P.C. – a boutique law firm in Boston’s historic Back Bay specializing in life & estate planning matters for individuals and families with a particular focus on planning for gay and lesbian couples and others in the LGBT community. He is recent author of “Whether to Wed: a Legal and Tax Guide for Gay and Lesbian Couples”. He has been quoted by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe and a variety of other national press outlets for his expertise in this area. Scott was recently appointed by Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts as Commissioner to represent the Governor on a commission studying unique issues for LGBT Elders. The Commission anticipates recommending policy and legislative changes in 2015. Scott also serves on a variety of professional and non-profit boards including the Board of Overseers for Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center and the Board of Directors for the Boston Estate Planning Council.

Linda J. Thayer – Linda Thayer is a partner in the Boston office of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP. She focuses her practice on patent litigation and administrative trial procedures to request review of the patentability of issued patents outside of litigation, such as post-grant review, inter partes review, and the transitional program for review of covered business method (CBM) patents. Ms. Thayer litigates in federal and state courts, as well as the PTO, serving as lead counsel in patent litigations, appeals and interferences. Her practice also includes conducting due diligence investigations in connection with investments and mergers and acquisitions, and advising clients on worldwide patent portfolio development, management, licensing, and sales. Ms. Thayer represents clients across a broad spectrum of computer and electronic technologies. Formerly a cryptologic mathematician for the National Security Agency, Ms. Thayer is uniquely qualified in encryption, computer security, and digital rights management (DRM). She also is one of the leaders of Finnegan’s interdisciplinary robotics practice. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst cum laude with a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science, holds an M.S. from George Washington University in Operations Research, and received her J.D. cum laude from American University’s Washington College of Law.

David Tsai – David is Counsel in Perkins Coie LLP’s San Francisco and Taipei offices and a member of Perkins’ Commercial Litigation Practice Group. David’s practice focuses on trade secret and patent litigation involving the Internet, software, semiconductors, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), smartphones, pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, and medical devices. David has written and lectured on Internet software applications, Hatch-Waxman/ ANDA litigation, and stem cell gene therapy. David is the Immediate Past President of the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association (SVIPLA) and previously chaired the ABA LGBT Litigator Committee and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), San Francisco’s LGBT Bar association. David has been recognized as a top 50 California Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Recorder, Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property Litigation, Best Lawyer Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and one of the Daily Journal’s Top “Five Associates To Watch” in California. David is committed to pro bono work and has successfully represented a number of LGBT and HIV+ clients in immigration matters. He also led the drafting of amicus briefs filed in the same-sex marriage/Prop 8 cases in California for which more than 100 organizations signed. David is a graduate of Harvard, Stanford, and Santa Clara University.

Judith E. Turkel – Over an active career spanning more than thirty years, Judith has been an attorney in private practice and a leader in the LGBT community. She is currently a partner in the Manhattan law firm Turkel Forman LLP. Judith’s primary areas of practice include family law, adoptions, real estate, wills, trusts and estates with a special emphasis on the needs of LGBT. Judith has been trained in collaborative law and as a mediator. Judith was a founding Board member of the lesbian and gay bar association in New York, now known as LeGaL. She served as Co­Chair of the Board of Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund; as Vice President of the Paul Rapoport Foundation; as President of the NYC LGBT Community Center overseeing huge expansion and a major capital campaign; as Co­Chair of SAGE, Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders where she helped to lead the organization as it grew to meet the challenges of aging in the 21st Century. At present, she is a volunteer with Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Judith is a frequent lecturer and panel participant at CLE and community programs and has been a recipient of numerous awards throughout her career.

Denise M. Visconti – Denise Visconti is Managing Shareholder for the San Diego Office of Littler Mendelson. In addition to her management role within the firm, Denise handles a broad variety of employment litigation matters, most often stemming from claims arising under the California Labor Code and the Fair Labor Standards Act for overtime, off-the-clock work, missed meal and rest breaks, misclassification, and other wage and hour violations. She also handles litigation involving wrongful termination, employment discrimination, harassment in the workplace, and issues relating to accommodation of disabilities. Denise also regularly provides advice and counseling to clients regarding gender identity and gender expression-related issues, gender transitions in the workplace, and various issues relating to domestic partnerships and same-sex couples. She frequently does presentations for human resource professionals, managers, and employees on various topics relating to gender identity and gender expression, LGBT issues for a globally mobile workforce, valuing diversity, and creating and maintaining an LGBT-inclusive workplace. Denise is the State Laws Executive Editor of the forthcoming Bloomberg BNA treatise Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace.

Keith A. Watts – Keith Watts is a managing and a founding shareholder of the firm’s Orange County office. Keith also chairs “The California Advice Group” at Ogletree Deakins. He practices labor and employment law exclusively and has handled a wide variety of matters, including discrimination, disability and wrongful termination claims. Keith’s employment law practice focuses heavily on the “prevention side” of employment claims and positioning problem employment situations for the best possible defense. He regularly advises employers regarding methods to avoid employment-related claims, including the use of effective employment contracts and severance agreements, providing manager training on “best practices,” and giving day-to-day advice on employment issues, such as wage-hour compliance and the termination of “problem employees.” Keith also has extensive experience defending employers before the EEOC, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and various other federal and state agencies. He is also a frequent guest lecturer on employment issues for businesses, employers, and Human Resources groups around the country. Over the years, he has conducted scores of workshops and seminars, from national conventions to state and local meetings. Prior to attending law school, Keith worked as an actor in New York and Los Angeles.

Bridget Wilson – Bridget Wilson is an attorney in private practice in San Diego, California where she practices military law. She is a graduate of Creighton University and the University Of San Diego School Of Law. A veteran of the enlisted ranks of the U.S. Army Reserve, she served as a judge advocate with the California State Military Reserve for a decade. She has been a consulting counsel for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network since 1994. She is the co-legal director of the Palm Center, a think tank on sexual minorities in the military. She has taught Military Justice as an adjunct faculty member at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Among her publications are: “Trench Fighting: Representing Gay Men, Lesbians, and Bisexuals in the Military,” 2 Journal of Law and Social Challenges 135 (1998); “Model State Code of Military Justice For the National Guard Not in Federal Service,” Commentary, National Institute For Military Justice (2007);  “Military and Veterans”, a chapter in Sexual Orientation and the Law (1993- 2012); Fighting Back: Lesbian and Gay Draft, Military, and Veterans Issues (With Kathleen Gilberd and Joseph Schuman,1985).

Donna L. Wilson – Donna L. Wilson is a partner in the Litigation Division in the Los Angeles office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. Ms. Wilson’s practice focuses on consumer class and individual actions and counseling, financial services and data security/privacy, government enforcement actions and other complex business litigation and related counseling. Ms. Wilson also represents clients in industries that are highly regulated and is often involved in government enforcement matters on behalf of her clients. Ms. Wilson has been named one of the Top 75 Women Litigators in California by the Daily Journal and recognized by Legal 500 as a Leading Attorney in Privacy and Data Security. Ms. Wilson formerly clerked for the Honorable Stanley S. Brotman of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the Honorable David R. Thompson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Richard Wilson – Richard Wilson is a partner with Grund & Leavitt in Chicago. Mr. Wilson has practiced family law for over 20 years, with particular emphasis in LGBT and same-sex Family Law, including dissolution, custody, visitation and access to children, relationship recognition, Transgender rights and interests; pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and domestic violence. Mr. Wilson teaches Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression and the Law at the University of Michigan Law School, is an Adjunct Professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law and is a Fellow of both the International and American Academies of Matrimonial Law. Mr. Wilson was President of the National LGBT Bar (2006-2008), is Vice-Chair of the ABA’s AIDS Coordinating Committee, and past president of the Chicago Bar Association’s LGBT Committee and the Illinois State Bar Association’s SOGI Committee. In 2007, Mr. Wilson was appointed to the LGBT Policy and Steering Committee, Obama for America 2008, and in 2012 he was the invited Keynote Speaker for, and a panelist at, the Harvard Law School 2012 LGBT Law Conference, “The (Dis)United States: Diverse Experiences, Diverse Goals in LGBT Law.” His keynote was “LGBT Legal Advocacy, Social Change and Family Law: Why Lawyers Matter.”

Daniel Winterfeldt – Daniel is Head of International Capital Markets at CMS and a US securities lawyer with over fourteen years of experience in London and New York. He focuses on representing US, UK, European and Asian investment banks and corporate issuers in a wide range of securities transactions, including Rule 144A and Regulation S equity and debt offerings; Regulation S, Category 3 transactions for US companies listing in the United Kingdom; rights offerings; exchange offers; equity-linked securities offerings; initial public offerings and secondary and follow-on offerings of equity securities, including SEC-registered transactions. Daniel also provides ongoing US securities advice to The London Stock Exchange on Regulation S, Rule 144A and Regulation D. Daniel is the founder and co-chair of the Forum for US Securities Lawyers in London a trade association representing over 1,500 US-qualified lawyers and market participants. He is Diversity and Inclusion Partner for CMS and the founder and co-chair of the InterLaw Diversity Forum, he has launched initiatives such as Apollo Project (www.theapolloproject.net) and Purple Reign (www.facebook.com/purplereignexhibition). Daniel was named the Legal Innovator of the Year at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards in 2012. In 2013 he was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Christopher Wolf – Chris Wolf leads the global Privacy and Information Management practice at Hogan Lovells US LLP. He is also the founder and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, a think tank whose mission is to advance responsible data practices. He is a 1980 graduate, magna cum laude, of the Order of the Coif of the Washington & Lee University School of Law. Following law school, Chris clerked for US District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr. (DDC). Chris’ privacy law career launched when he represented a gay sailor whose personal information was obtained illegally by the US Navy from AOL in an attempt to oust the sailor under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)- a case which resulted in a declaration that the Navy violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and an effective denunciation of the DADT policy. Chris also represented US Army Lt. Steve May in his successful challenge to a proposed ouster under DADT. He chairs the Internet Task Force of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as well as an inter-Parliamentary group addressing online hate and serves on numerous boards. He is married to James L. Beller, Jr., a playwright.

Claudia D. Work – Claudia Work is a 1992 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law and has practiced in Arizona and New Mexico. Her practice focuses primarily on civil litigation and all aspects of family law, including protecting and enforcing the rights of unmarried opposite and same sex couples and their children at all stages of their relationships. Ms. Work serves on the National Family Law Advisory Council for the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the State Bar of Arizona. She has also served as a member and past Chair of the Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity of the State Bar of Arizona and is a past member of the Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct. Ms. Work is a member of the American and Arizona Bar Associations and is currently admitted to practice in the State of Arizona and the Ninth Federal District Court. Her non-legal public service work includes serving on the Boards of the LGBTQ youth organization One n Ten and the Scottsdale International Film Festival.

Michele Zavos –Michele is a partner in the Zavos Juncker Law Group, PLLC. She has been a pioneer for over 30 years in creating legal protections for LGBT headed families and families headed by unmarried opposite sex couples. She was named the Family Law Practitioner of the Year by the Bar Association of Montgomery County in 2013 and is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. Michele has given presentations on adoption, estate, and same-sex family issues and has also written extensively on LGBT family law, sexual orientation and the law, and AIDS and the law. Michele has taught as an adjunct professor for the Women’s Studies Program at the George Washington University and the Washington College of Law at American University, where she was named Outstanding Adjunct Professor in 1999. Michele has received many awards from LGBT organizations for her longstanding service to the community, including the Capital Pride’s Director’s Award for Family and the Whitman-Walker Lesbian Services Program Community Service Award, among many others. Michele is a selected member of the National Family Law Advisory Council for the National Center for Lesbian Rights and served on the Board of Directors of Rainbow Families DC.


Government Agencies

Sharon E. Debbage Alexander – Sharon Alexander currently serves as an attorney advisor at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she specializes in sex and disability discrimination. She also helps lead EEOC’s outreach to veterans with disabilities, and coordinates EEOC’s work with the interagency National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force. Sharon joined the Commission in 2008 to work for then-Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru, and has served in the Office of the Chair since January of 2009. Before joining the EEOC, Sharon spent seven years working in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights advocacy, first at the Human Rights Campaign and later at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Prior to attending law school, Sharon served as a medical operations officer in the United States Army in Germany and Italy. She is a graduate magna cum laude of the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in anthropology and political science, and earned her J.D. and M.A. in anthropology at the University of Colorado. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Alphonso David – Alphonso David is a civil rights attorney and advocate with experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Mr. David was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights in January 2011, the first position of its kind in New York State. In this role, he is responsible for a full range of legal, policy, legislative and operational matters affecting civil rights and labor state-wide. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, he served as Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights for the Office of the New York State Attorney General, where he supervised attorneys and managed the investigation and prosecution of civil rights cases ranging from employment discrimination to immigration fraud. He also served previously as Deputy Commissioner at the New York State Division of Human Rights, a litigation associate at Blank Rome LLP, and a staff attorney at Lambda Legal. At Lambda, Mr. David litigated precedent-setting cases across the country affecting LGBT individuals and those living with HIV. He also teaches “Constitutional Law: Sexuality and the Law” as an Adjunct Professor at Cardozo and Fordham Law Schools, and previously clerked for Honorable Clifford Scott Green in the U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania.

Ashlee Davis – Ashlee Davis was appointed as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in June 2013. She is a native of Nashville, TN and holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C. and a B.A. in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. Before joining USDA, Special Assistant Davis served in the White House as the Staff Assistant to the Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel. In this role she assisted with the personnel decisions and processes for Energy and Environment federal agencies, including five Cabinet-level agencies and two Executive Offices of the President. Prior to her role at the White House, Special Assistant Davis was a Legal & Policy Fellow for the moderate think tank Third Way where her portfolio included social policy issues such as LGBT equality, education and immigration. She also served as a Holley Law Fellow for The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and as a Law Clerk for University Legal Service of Washington, D.C. where she focused on the protection and advocacy of individuals with mental and physical disabilities.

Matt Faiella – Matt Faiella is an attorney at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination in education on the bases of sex, race, color, national origin, disability, age and under the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act. Matt has been with OCR for over four years, first in its New York regional office, where he investigated and resolved cases, and currently in OCR’s Program Legal Group, where he focuses on the development of policy guidance. Prior to joining OCR, Matt worked for three years at the New York Civil Liberties Union, focusing on LGBT issues as well as other civil liberties and rights matters. Directly out of law school, Matt worked for two years as a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. Matt received a B.A. from Boston University and J.D. from Cornell Law School.

Praveen Fernandes – Praveen is Senior Counsel and Advisor to the General Counsel at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  Prior to that, he served as Director of Federal Affairs and Diversity Initiatives at Justice at Stake (JAS).  He came to JAS from the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy (ACS), where he worked for six years as Director of Programs for National Security, Technology, Labor, and the Environment. Before working at ACS, Praveen counseled clients at Patton Boggs LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP on regulatory, legislative, and public policy matters. Praveen also served as a lobbyist and legislative lawyer for the Human Rights Campaign, where he worked on judicial nominations, relationship recognition, appropriations, HIV/AIDS, and other LGBT equality issues. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) School of Law, has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, and holds a B.A. in biomedical ethics from Brown University. The National LGBT Bar Association named Praveen to its 2010 “Top 40 under 40” list, which recognizes LGBT lawyers under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves through their work for LGBT equality.

Marc Fliedner – Marc Fliedner has practiced law in New York and New Jersey for the last 27 years. He currently serves as Chief of the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that appointment, he prosecuted homicides, sexual assault cases and child abuse cases, and did four years of private practice specializing in civil litigation on behalf of individuals who were sexually victimized as minors in institutional settings, such as schools and churches. He serves as LGBTQ liaison for District Attorney Kenneth Thompson and is involved with many Brooklyn-based LGBTQ organizations.

Diana K. Flynn – Diana Flynn has served as Chief of the Appellate Section of the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division since October 1986. In this capacity, she is responsible for direction and management of the Civil Rights Division’s litigation program in the United States Courts of Appeals and, under supervision of the Solicitor General, in the Supreme Court. Under Ms. Flynn’s direction, the Section has filed more than 2000 briefs in federal courts, and has maintained a success rate of more than eighty percent. Ms. Flynn also directs the Civil Rights Division’s primary legal counsel program. Ms. Flynn chaired the Civil Rights Division’s LGBTI Working Group for several years and remains a member. In 2012, she received DOJ Pride’s James R. Douglass Award for contributions to the work life environment of LGBT employees of the United States Department of Justice. She is the first person of trans history to serve openly in a number of senior capacities in the federal career civil service, and has frequently spoken on legal protections against discrimination for LGBT people. Ms. Flynn is a 1979 graduate of the Yale Law School and a 1976 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester.

Jamila Frone – Jamila Frone currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (OARM) at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In this capacity, Jamila provides management and general oversight for DOJ’s national recruitment programs for law students, entry-level attorneys, and experienced legal practitioners, with the goal of attracting highly qualified candidates whose background reflect our nation’s rich diversity. Prior to serving as Deputy Director of OARM, Jamila worked at DOJ as an Assistant General Counsel for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, General Counsel’s Office where she provided legal advice and counsel to management in the 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs) and represented the USAOs in administrative litigation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Merit Systems Protection Board. Jamila is a career federal attorney, having also served as an attorney-advisor with the United States Office of Special Counsel and the Federal Election Commission before her tenure at DOJ.  Jamila received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University Law School.

Eduardo Juarez – Eduardo Juarez is a Senior Trial Attorney with the San Antonio Field Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where he litigates individual, class and systemic lawsuits under the federal civil rights statutes prohibiting employment discrimination. Before his employment with the EEOC, Mr. Juarez was a Trial Attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and began his legal career as an Associate with the law firm of Sidley & Austin in Chicago, Illinois. Eduardo received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his law degree from the University of Michigan. He is a leader in various LGBT political and professional organizations including serving as Secretary of the National LGBT Bar Association and past Chair of the LGBT Law Section for the State Bar of Texas.

Randy Katz – Randy Katz has served as a federal prosecutor for nearly a decade at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida.  Randy has prosecuted a variety of fraud, drug, violent crime and child exploitation matters and is the LGBT Special Emphasis Program Manager.  In 2008, he was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, one of the highest honors in the Department of Justice, for his work involving Florida’s largest health care fraud prosecution.  In 2010, Randy received the Timothy Evans Memorial Award for Outstanding Performance, given to the top federal prosecutor in the Southern District of Florida.  In 2013, the LGBT Bar Association recognized Randy as one of its Best Lawyers Under 40.  Randy is a graduate of Duke Law School where he earned his law degree, with high honors, and served on the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal. He also graduated from the University of Maryland, with honors, earning a B.A. in Government and a B.S. in Environmental Science.  Randy clerked for the Honorable Judge Gerald B. Tjoflat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and worked as a litigation associate at a large law firm in Boston.

David Knight – David Knight is a trial attorney for the Disability Rights Section in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and co-chair of the HIV/Intersex/Aging subcommittee for the Civil Rights Division’s LGBTI Working Group. As part of his work for the Division, he provides trainings and presentations throughout the country (and U.S. territories) on HIV/AIDS discrimination under the ADA and federal civil rights protections for LGBTI individuals. He also works on implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the HIV Care Continuum for the Department, and was a co-author with his DOJ and CDC colleagues on an article addressing state laws that criminalize potential HIV exposure.

Sharon McGowan – Sharon McGowan is the Deputy General Counsel for Policy at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In this role, she provides legal and policy advice regarding all aspects of Federal personnel management to the Director, General Counsel, and to other officials within OPM and across the Executive Branch.  Before joining OPM, Sharon was a Senior Attorney in the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), where she worked on a broad range of civil rights issues, including the Division’s efforts to enforce Federal laws prohibiting race, sex and national origin discrimination in employment, housing, education, and credit. She also served as Co-Chair of the Civil Rights Division’s LGBTI Working Group.  Earlier in her career, Sharon was a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in both its New York and Washington offices, and was a litigation associate in the Washington office of Jenner & Block. Sharon served as a law clerk to the Honorable Norman H. Stahl, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Helen G. Berrigan, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Patricia Miller – Patricia Miller is the Deputy Chief of Trials for the Special Federal Litigation Division in the Office of the New York City Corporation Counsel. Prior to that, Ms. Miller served as Deputy Assistant Chief of Trials for the Labor & Employment Division of the Corporation Counsel. Ms. Miller has tried over fifty federal civil rights cases to verdict in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. In addition to serving as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law teaching Trial Advocacy and Fundamental Lawyering Skills, Ms. Miller has served as an instructor for the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at Cardozo School of Law and is an instructor for NITA. Ms. Miller was previously a litigation associate for Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York City, where she focused primarily on employment litigation. Before that, she clerked for the Honorable William M. Acker, Jr. in the Northern District of Alabama. Ms. Miller is a graduate of Fordham University and the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Ms. Miller is a member of the Second Circuit Courts Committee for the Federal Bar Council; and served as the first openly gay Chair of the Diversity Committee for the Corporation Counsel.

Justin Mulaire – Justin Mulaire is a Trial Attorney in the Chicago District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He is a member of the EEOC Office of General Counsel’s LGBT Litigation Workgroup, and in 2010-2011 served as an attorney advisor to the agency’s General Counsel. Mr. Mulaire attended Princeton University and Columbia Law School.

Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi – Ms. Nicolazzi is currently a Bureau Chief in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office Homicide Division. She has served as an A.D.A. for the last 18 years, the last 13 of which she has been in the office’s Homicide Bureau. Specializing in multiple defendant and other complex cases, Ms. Nicolazzi has tried over 50 felony cases. All of the 35 murder cases she has tried have resulted in convictions.  Ms. Nicolazzi has encountered the ‘gay panic defense’ several times in the courtroom. She has successfully overcome the defense and the cases have each resulted in murder convictions for the accused. Ms. Nicolazzi is also credited with an innovative use of New York state’s hate crime laws which helped expand the definition of a hate crime. In the homicide case of victim Michael Sandy, Ms. Nicolazzi succeeded in convincing the trial judge that gay men targeted for crimes because of their perceived weakness constituted a hate crime; the jury did not need to find ‘hate’ to convict under this portion of the hate crime statute. In 2005, she was the inaugural recipient of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Thomas E. Dewey Medal, awarded annually to outstanding assistant district attorneys in New York’s five boroughs. She was recognized nationally in 2008 when she received the National District Attorneys Association’s Home Run Hitter Award, awarded by peers from across the nation. She is a member of many professional associations and has lectured and served on various panels at numerous local and national forums.

Dylan Orr – Dylan Orr serves as Chief of Staff in the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. In this capacity, Dylan contributes to the development of national disability-employment related regulations and policy, including new regulations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, the implementation of the Executive Order on Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, and policies and practices related to disability data. For the last four years, Dylan has also represented the Department of Labor’s efforts supporting the implementation of the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Dylan has held positions at Disability Rights Washington, MacDonald Hoague & Bayless, a civil rights law firm, and Columbia Legal Services, a nonprofit law firm that focuses on legal and human rights for low-income people. He also worked with the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts, and as a child protective social worker for the Department of Social Services in Salem, Massachusetts. Dylan is a founding member of Trans Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW), an organization formed to better serve the legal needs of transgender people in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Dylan has the honor of being the first openly transgender person appointed to a U.S. presidential administration.

Anna Pohl – Anna M. Pohl is a civil rights attorney, writer and mediator. She is co-author and editor of MARRIAGE, CIVIL UNIONS AND ALTERNATIVE RELATIONSHIPS: THE LAW TODAY (Thomson Reuters/Westlaw 2013). She worked for several years as a Senior Trial Attorney at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the New York District Office, where she litigated employment discrimination cases under federal civil rights statutes, provided legal advice to federal investigators, and spoke at outreach events and training programs on equal employment opportunity laws. Prior to joining the EEOC, she litigated complex employment discrimination and consumer class actions in state and federal courts at a boutique plaintiff-side law firm in Washington, DC. Prior to that, she worked on immigration and domestic violence policy issues at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, now called Legal Momentum. Ms. Pohl is the Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Committee. She is also active in the American Bar Association, where she has been Co-Chair of the Membership and Complex Litigation subcommittees of the Labor and Employment Law Section’s Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee. Ms. Pohl received her J.D. from New England Law – Boston and her B.A. from Towson State University.

Melanie George Smith – Melanie George Smith represents the 5th District in the Delaware House of Representatives, where she chairs the House Appropriations Committee and the Joint Finance Committee. In addition, she is the immediate past chair of the House Judiciary Committee and now serves as its vice chair. Rep. Smith also practices in the law firm of Richards, Layton & Finger in Wilmington, Delaware. Since elected as a representative in 2002, Rep. Smith has sponsored and championed many bills aimed at ensuring justice for all Delawareans, including the recently passed Gender Identity and Nondiscrimination Act and a bill securing nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation. Rep. Smith was a prime sponsor of Delaware’s Civil Marriage Equality and Religious Freedom Act, Civil Union and Equality Act, and de facto parentage bill, and successfully led the floor debate on those bills in the Delaware House of Representatives. Rep. Smith co-founded and co-chaired the Delaware Kids Caucus to advocate for children’s issues. In 2012 she received the Commissioner’s Award from the national Administration on Children, Youth and Families in honor of her exceptional contribution to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Rep. Smith earned a B.A. in economics, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Badar Tareen – Originally from North Dakota, Badar Tareen has been a Civil Rights Analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights since January of 2014.  A 2012 graduate of the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) Program, he previously worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Disaster Recovery and Special Issues Division.  Badar worked on civil rights matters at HUD and at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division.  While at the DOJ for a PMF attorney rotation, he worked on a statewide Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 investigation and preliminary inquiry as well as other civil rights projects.  Badar received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill and his bachelor’s degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota as a trumpet performance scholar.  Prior to law school, Badar served as a Press Assistant to U.S. Senator Kent Conrad and as Press Secretary and Legislative Assistant to U.S. Congressman Dale Kildee.  During his free time, Badar works on pro bono legal cases, reviews films and scripts for the DC Shorts Film Festival, and acts in productions of the South Asian Performing Arts Network (SAPAN).

Regina Waugh – Regina Waugh is a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs. Regina joined the State Department as a Presidential Management Fellow in September 2010. She focuses on advancing the human rights of LGBT individuals. Regina graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a JD/MPP in 2010. While in law school she participated in the International Human Rights Law Clinic and the California Asylum Representation Clinic, and interned at the Department of Justice in the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section. She also worked as a law clerk in the San Francisco Immigration Court, at the Office of Management and Budget, and at the Northern California ACLU.




Sienna Baskin – Sienna Baskin, Esq. is a Managing Director of the Sex Workers Project. Ms. Baskin directs the legal services and policy advocacy of SWP. Ms. Baskin trains and supervises legal staff in providing direct legal representation, public education and outreach. She promotes reform of laws and policies affecting sex workers and survivors of trafficking, and oversees the production of SWP’s human rights documentation reports. Ms. Baskin also provides representation to sex workers and survivors of trafficking on housing, criminal, employment, and immigration matters. Ms. Baskin joined SWP as an Equal Justice Works fellow in 2007. In 2010, she was recognized by the New York City Federal Executive Board with a Teamwork Award for her work representing survivors of trafficking. In 2013, she received a Community in Spirit Award from the Translatina Network. She serves on the Steering Committees of the New York Anti-Trafficking Network and the national Freedom Network. Ms. has worked with Critical Resistance against the expansion of prisons into rural communities, organized social justice conferences with youth, taught creative writing in housing projects and prisons, and helped harm-reduction needle-exchange efforts. Sienna is a graduate of Hampshire College and the City University of New York School of Law.

Kylar W. Broadus – Kylar Broadus is senior policy counsel and director of the Transgender Civil Rights Project, at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, D.C. He was a full professor of business law at Lincoln University in Missouri, a historically Black college where he previously served as chair of the business department. Kylar maintained a general practice of law in Columbia, Missouri since 1997 until 2013. He recently co-authored the legal chapter in Trans Bodies Trans Self with the legal director from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Shannon Price Minter and a chapter in the Gay Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy.  Featured in the OUT Magazine’s Out 100 in 2013 and in 2012, Kylar was the first transgender American to testify before the U.S. Senate on behalf of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and was a one of thirteen out transgender delegates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  Kylar founded Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC), the only national civil rights organization dedicated to the needs of Trans People of Color. He is a Division Director within the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities of the American Bar Association and serves as on Commission for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Daniel Bruner – Dan Bruner is Director of Legal Services at Whitman-Walker Health, a community-based nonprofit health clinic in Washington, DC.  Prior to joining Whitman-Walker’s staff in 1995, Dan was a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Spiegel & McDiarmid.  At Whitman-Walker, his practice has concentrated on HIV and LGBT discrimination in health care and employment; on insurance and employee benefits; on health privacy; and on elder law. e is currently Dan received his law degree, magna cum laude, and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.  He is the author of the “Forward” in David W. Webber et al., AIDS AND THE LAW (4th ed. 2007).  He has taught courses on HIV law and public health law at American University’s Washington College of Law.  He serves on the Steering Committee of the District of Columbia Consortium of Legal Services Providers and is a past Co-Chair of the Consortium.  Dan is a 2014 Fellow in the Where Health Meets Justice Fellowship Program of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association.  He is a recipient of awards from the Washington Council of Lawyers and from the LGBT Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Helen J. Carroll – Helen Carroll is the Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project, which aims to ensure that LGBT players, coaches, and administrators receive fair and equal treatment—free of discrimination. She joined NCLR in 2001 after spending 30 years as an athlete, coach, and collegiate athletic director. Carroll is an acclaimed National Championship Basketball Coach from the University of North Carolina–Asheville. She was a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Athletic Director at Mills College for twelve years and now devotes all her efforts to helping the sports world recognize that the inclusion of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender or intersex diversifies and strengthens the sport experience. Carroll has been a featured speaker on panels with Nike, ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’, The New York Times, and others. She is featured in Dr. Pat Griffin’s book, Strong Women, Deep Closets and The Outsports Revolution by Jim Buzinski and Cyd Ziegler Jr. and is co-author with Dr. Griffin for On the Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student Athletes and the NCAA Guide for Transgender Athlete Inclusion. Carroll is currently assisting state athletic associations in adopting policies for the inclusion of their high school student-athletes.

Andrew Cray – Andrew Cray is a Policy Analyst for the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress (CAP), an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. Andrew’s work at CAP includes managing advocacy and education efforts advancing health equity for LGBT communities and promoting policy solutions to improve outcomes and support for LGBT youth and young adults. Prior to joining CAP, Andrew was a health law and policy fellow at the National Center for Transgender Equality, where he advocated for fair access to affordable, high-quality health care for transgender patients. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and his B.S. from Northwestern University.

Sally Curran – Sally Curran is the Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc. (OnVLP), a pro bono legal services organization serving low-income people throughout Central New York. Sally is involved in all aspects of OnVLP’s programming, which last year served over 1,800 clients. In 2013, Sally implemented Q Law, an LGBT pro bono program with OnVLP. Prior to joining OnVLP, Sally had a child-centered family law practice in Portland, Maine, where she provided over 100 hours of pro bono service every year. In 2012, she was named one of Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” for New England. Sally graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maine with degrees in Spanish Language and Women’s Studies and obtained her Juris Doctorate at the City University of New York College of Law. Sally is licensed to practice law in New York and Maine. She is Membership Chair for the Central New York Women’s Bar Association. She serves on the New York State Bar Association Committee on Legal Aid, President’s Committee on Access to Justice, and Pro Bono Coordinators Network. She is a member of the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals, the Onondaga County Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Q. Todd Dickinson – Q. Todd Dickinson is the former Executive Director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, a bar association of over 15,000 members and one of the world’s leading policy and advocacy organizations in the field of intellectual property. He has over 30 years of experience, including having served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office under President Clinton. Mr. Dickinson has also been both Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for the General Electric Company, and a partner in the Howrey law firm. Mr. Dickinson has been named as one of the “50 Most Influential People in Intellectual Property” by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine and was recently inducted into the IAM IP Hall of Fame. Mr. Dickinson earned his B.S. from Allegheny College in 1974, and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977.

Christine Michelle Duffy – Christine is Senior Staff Attorney with the Pro Bono Partnership is Parsippany, NJ. Prior to joining the Partnership, Christine initially was in a private law practice with Carpenter, Bennett & Morrissey for 12 years, where she focused on labor and employment law and appellate advocacy. Then, for 12 years, she was the chief compliance officer and chief labor and employment counsel for an international group of environmental services companies. Christine has written and lectured extensively on a variety of matters, including labor and employment law, administrative and civil practice, ethics and compliance, and professional responsibility. She serves or has served on the boards and committees of several organizations, including the Board of Visitors of Fenway Health, the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Advisory Board of Seton Hall Preparatory School (where she is a member of its Hall of Fame), the Editorial Board of the New Jersey Law Journal, and the Supreme Court of New Jersey Committee on Civil Practice. Christine is Editor-in-Chief of the forthcoming Bloomberg BNA treatise Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace.

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal – Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Legal Director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy, is a civil rights attorney specializing in legal issues affecting the LGBT/HIV community, particularly in immigration law. His cases have been featured in the New York Times and New York Law Journal. He provides legal commentary to CNN, Univision, Telemundo, and the Huffington Post. Most recently, Espinoza-Madrigal worked at Lambda Legal, where he focused on marriage equality, immigration, and issues affecting LGBT and HIV-affected people of color. Previously, he handled MALDEF’s immigrants’ rights docket, including a challenge to Arizona’s immigration law, and a landmark U.S. Supreme Court voting rights case. He also worked at Fried Frank, where he defended the municipal identification card of New Haven, Connecticut, against an attempt to dismantle the program. He clerked for Judge Clay in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Judge Ellis in the U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y. He graduated, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania, and from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar. The National LGBT Bar Association has recognized him as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

Kimberly Forte – Kimberly Forte is the Supervising Attorney for The Legal Aid Society’s new LGBT Law and Policy Initiative. The goals of this initiative are to increase Legal Aid’s cultural competency as it relates to LGBTQ civil rights and increase the Society’s litigation, public policy and legislative efforts on behalf of low-income LGBTQ New Yorkers. She has been with the Society for over 13 years, where she has held various staff attorney positions in the Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, representing children who are the subject of neglect/abuse, PINS and juvenile delinquency proceedings. In addition to providing direct legal services for youth, Kimberly was part of a legal team that was responsible for investigating and filing impact litigation cases and commenting on proposed legislation and policies affecting youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Kimberly regularly presents at local, state and national conferences on issues related to her current position. She received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida and a J.D. from SUNY Buffalo.

Lara Finkbeiner – Lara Finkbeiner is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York. Her work focuses on providing legal assistance to the LGBT refugee population. Lara is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a Dean’s Public Service Fellow and the 2013 recipient of the Hessel E. Yntema Award, presented for performing with distinction in international law. In law school, she advised and represented clients at the Refugee Rights Clinic at the University Cape Town in South Africa. Lara was also an active member of Outlaws and Human Rights Advocates. She has interned at the AIRE Centre in London and at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington DC, which led to deployments as a refugee status determination officer in Guantanamo Bay and The Bahamas. Prior to law school, Lara spent a year in Ecuador researching Colombian refugees as a Fulbright scholar. Lara received her B.A. in History with Honors from the University of Michigan in 2008, her MSc in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford in 2010, and her J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2013.

Amanda Goad – Amanda Goad is a Los Angeles-based Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & AIDS Project. She was part of the Henderson v. Thomas trial team that in 2012 secured a judgment against Alabama’s policies of segregation and discrimination toward HIV-positive prisoners. She has also worked on litigation and other advocacy to secure, among other things, marriage equality and domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples, health care access and accurate identity documents for transgender people, and equal educational opportunities for LGBT young people. Before joining the ACLU’s staff, Amanda worked as Senior Counsel in the New York City Law Department and Legal Coordinator for the West Village Trans Name Change Clinic. She is also an alum of Rice University, Harvard Law School, and Teach for America.

Ronda B. Goldfein – Ronda Goldfein, Esq. is the executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania. She is listed among the top 100 HIV/AIDS activists in the United States by POZ magazine and website. Goldfein has been named “Policymaker of the Year” by the Penn Center for AIDS Research, a project of the University of Pennsylvania. She was voted a “Super Lawyer” in a poll of more than 36,000 Pennsylvania attorneys published jointly by Law & Politics and Philadelphia Magazine. In 2010, Goldfein was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to Philadelphia’s Police Advisory Commission, the official civilian oversight agency for the city’s police department. She was elected to chair the commission in 2012. She is a member of the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and of the ACLU’s Philadelphia chapter. A graduate of the University of Miami, she holds a J.D. from the Shepard Broad Law Center of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, and is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Mark Hager – Mark Hager is a staff attorney and LGBTQ initiative coordinator at the Domestic Violence Project with the Urban Justice Center. Our project provides free legal and advocacy family law services to survivors of Domestic Violence such as orders of protection, custody & visitation, and support matters in addition to providing training and legal clinics to community organizations on domestic violence and special considerations for LGBTQ DV survivors. Mark is also a committee member on LeGal’s Family and Matrimonial Law Committee. Previously, Mark was an associate at a mid-sized insurance defense law firm. He is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy where he cofounded the school’s first LGBTQ student organization and the University of Albany.

Catherine Hanssens – Catherine Hanssens, Executive Director and Founder of the Center for HIV Law and Policy, has been active in HIV legal and policy issues since 1984. Previously, Hanssens was AIDS Project Director at Lambda Legal, where she led Lambda’s HIV-related litigation and policy work. She also worked with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, where she created and managed one of the first medical-legal partnerships in the country, with on-site HIV legal services in several hospitals and clinics. While a staff attorney at the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, Hanssens successfully litigated the state’s first cases on involuntary HIV testing, a class action challenge to segregation and mistreatment of prisoners with HIV in the New Jersey state prison system, and the only federal appeals court case recognizing the right of incarcerated women to funded elective abortions. She also has been a visiting clinical professor at Rutgers University Law School-Newark and Director of the law school’s Women and AIDS Clinic.

Aneesha Gandhi – Aneesha Gandhi is a queer East African Desi woman of color who immigrated to the U.S. as a child. She works as a staff attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center’s LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative, a position which enables her to work at the intersection of immigration and LGBT rights. She works with detained and non-detained LGBT immigrants who have fled persecution on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity. She also assists survivors of violent crimes and individuals in bi-national same-sex couples. Additionally, Aneesha is a co-chair of the LGBT Immigrant Rights Coalition of Chicago, which is made up of LGBT and immigrant organizations and individuals who collaborate on outreach and advocacy. Aneesha is also a member of The United People of Colors Caucus (TUPOCC) and the Queer Caucus (QC) of the National Lawyers Guild. Aneesha received her BA from Smith College where she majored in Spanish and American Studies. She received her J.D. at Northeastern University School of Law.

Shawn Gaylord – Shawn Gaylord is Advocacy Counsel for Human Rights First, focusing on international LGBT issues. Human Rights First’s focuses on engaging U.S. leadership to take appropriate action to promote human rights, including LGBT rights,across the globe. Prior to coming to Human Rights First, Shawn spent nine years working for GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network including as the organization’s Director of Public Policy. Shawn received his undergraduate degree from the University of Buffalo and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He previously served as the Deputy Director for the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) and as an associate at Harmon, Curran, Spielberg and Eisenberg, LLP. In addition, Shawn has worked extensively on the intersection of LGBT rights and human rights through his work as a staff member and volunteer for Amnesty International’s OUTFront Program.

Virginia M. Goggin – Virginia Goggin is the Director of the Legal Services at the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), providing legal consultation and representation to LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of violence. Virginia launched AVP’s legal program in November 2013. Prior to starting at AVP, Virginia was a staff attorney at the New York Legal Assistant Group (NYLAG). While at NYLAG, she started the LGBT Law Project that served low-income LGBTQ community members with various legal issues ranging from family law, housing, immigration and wills. In 2011, she was awarded AVP’s Courage Award for her work in forming the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic on site at AVP. Virginia graduated from New York Law School in 2008. She received the Hank Henry Judicial Fellowship from the LGBT Bar Association (LeGaL) in 2005 and was awarded the Joseph Solomon Public Service Fellowship in 2007.

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan – Omar Gonzalez-Pagan is a Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people living with HIV.  His work covers all aspects of Lambda Legal’s issue areas, including recognition of same-sex relationships and parent-child relationships, transgender rights, and the rights of people living with HIV.  Prior to joining Lambda Legal in 2014, Gonzalez-Pagan worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Associate General Counsel to the Commonwealth’s Inspector General, an Assistant Attorney General, and a Special Assistant District Attorney. As an Assistant Attorney General, Gonzalez-Pagan was part of the legal team that represented Massachusetts in its successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  Gonzalez-Pagan received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and his bachelor’s degree in evolutionary biology from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Hayley Gorenberg – Hayley Gorenberg is Deputy Legal Director of Lambda Legal. Gorenberg’s litigation experience features high-impact legal action against Cirque du Soleil (largest EEOC settlement ever for an HIV-discrimination complaint, revamped policies worldwide) and winning marriage equality in New Jersey last year. Gorenberg has worked on cutting-edge issues, including the rights of young people in schools and the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline,” the rights of transgender people, and workplace fairness. Her work has been featured in the New York TimesUSA Today,Salon.com, and the Huffington Post. She has appeared as a commentator on Talk of the Nation, On PointThe Takeaway, MSNBC, and Fox News. Gorenberg is immediate past co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Civil Rights Litigation Committee, serves on the Advisory Council for the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University, and has chaired the Special Committee on AIDS for New York City Bar Association and served on its Bioethics Committee. She was also a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard School of Law. Gorenberg graduated with honors from Princeton University. She earned her law degree from New York University School of Law, where she received the National Association of Women Lawyers Award. Prior to studying law, she had a successful career as a journalist.

Hawk Kinkaid – Hawk Kinkaid (@hawkkinkaid) is the founder and current president of HOOK ONLINE (hookonline.com), the nation’s only non-profit harm reduction program for men in the sex industry which produces both an online publication and in-person workshop series Rent University (rent-u.com). Kinkaid is a former sex worker, current writer/spoken word artist, award-winning user-experience strategist and lifelong harm reduction activist. Recently, he became the first COO for Rentboy.com.

M. Dru Levasseur – M. Dru Levasseur is the Transgender Rights Project Director for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. Levasseur leads Lambda Legal’s transgender rights work through impact litigation, advocacy and community education to advance the civil rights of transgender people nationwide. Prior to joining Lambda Legal, he was the first staff attorney for Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. Levasseur is the Co-Founder and Vice-President of the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money to fund gender-confirming surgeries. He is a World Professional Association for Transgender Health member and served as Legal Issues Committee chair from 2010 to 2013. Levasseur’s work has been recognized with the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition’s Community Service Award (2014); the Brooklyn Law School OUTLaws Distinguished Community Service Award (2014); the City Bar of New York’s Art Leonard Pride Award (2013); and the National LGBT Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 (2011). In 2013, Levasseur was a member of the inaugural Trans 100, a list of “100 people who are actively doing serious, difficult work that is too often overlooked, too often ignored.”

Karen L. Loewy – Karen L. Loewy is a Senior Attorney for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. Ms. Loewy is involved in all aspects of Lambda Legal’s impact litigation, policy advocacy and public education, with particular emphasis on issues affecting LGBT and HIV-positive seniors. Ms. Loewy is working to develop and expand Lambda Legal’s work addressing the legal needs of LGBT and HIV-affected older adults. She works collaboratively with local and national aging organizations to advance policies that protect the rights of the LGBT and HIV-positive aging community. She speaks publicly on LGBT and HIV aging issues in areas that include life planning, access to health care, and housing. Previously, Ms. Loewy was a Senior Staff Attorney with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), where she engaged in LGBT impact litigation and policy work throughout New England for over a decade. She received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where she was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest Law and Ethics, and her B.A. from Brandeis University.

Seth M. Marnin – Seth Marnin is Associate Director of Legal Affairs at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). His substantive areas of responsibility include discrimination, campus concerns, LGBT issues, and bullying (including cyberbullying). Seth also serves as civil rights regional counsel to the New York Regional Office. Prior to joining the ADL, he was an associate at Outten & Golden LLP, where he represented individual employees and employee classes in litigation and negotiation in all areas of employment law. Seth was a member of the firm’s Practice Groups for LGBT Workplace Rights, Whistleblower Retaliation, Disability Discrimination, and Family Responsibilities Discrimination. Before joining Outten & Golden, he was the Director of GLBT Resources for the University of Connecticut. In this role, Seth taught undergraduate and graduate classes, and assessed the educational, political, legal, and social environment of the campuses, made formal recommendations, and advocated to enhance the quality of life for GLBT students, faculty, and staff. Prior to UConn, he worked at the University at Albany in Student Affairs for nearly ten years. Seth served as a reviewer of the Americans with Disabilities Act chapter in the forthcoming Bloomberg BNA treatise Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace.

William D. McColl – William McColl, Esq., the political director of AIDS United has been an advocate on behalf of criminal justice reform, alcohol and other drug treatment and reform issues and the HIV/AIDS community for nearly 20 years. In his current position he works on strengthening the health care and public health systems in the United States. His most recent work encompasses implementation of health care reform, strengthening the Medicaid, Medicare and the Ryan White CARE Act systems, ending the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange, implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and ending HIV-specific prosecutions, increased punishment, and government-sponsored discrimination against people with HIV in the criminal justice system. Prior to joining AIDS United, McColl worked as the national affairs director at Drug Policy Alliance and as director of government relations and executive director of NAADAC: The Association for Addiction Professionals. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a Deputy Missile Combat Crew Member advancing to the rank of Captain in the U.S.A.F. Reserve. He earned his law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law, holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in International Relations from Troy State University.

Aaron Morris – Aaron C. Morris is the legal director of Immigration Equality.  He runs the organization’s pro bono asylum project and provides technical assistance and mentoring on LGBT and HIV immigration issues to attorneys around the country. He supervises the in-house legal team, and advocates for policy reform within the immigration system. Aaron is a graduate of the American University’s Washington College of Law and the University of Oklahoma. Before joining Immigration Equality, he was an immigration staff attorney in the Office of Legal Affairs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Aaron is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on LGBT Rights.

Aaron Merki – In 2007, Aaron helped found FreeState with a small group of students and practitioners who saw the legal needs of low-income LGBT Marylanders going unmet. For example: LGBT youth whose schools fail to protect them from bullying and harassment, and undocumented people at risk of being deported to countries where they might be persecuted or killed for being LGBT. In the Summer of 2012, Aaron decided to leave corporate practice and step in as Executive Director of FreeState. Over the past two years, FreeState has developed into a national model for low-income LGBT advocacy, serving hundreds of clients each year. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director, Aaron was a corporate litigator at Venable LLP. In 2008-2009, Aaron clerked for the Hon. Susan K. Gauvey of the United States District Court for Maryland. He attended the University of Maryland School of Law, where he served as Articles Editor of the Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class, and as President of the LGBT Law Student Alliance. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Phi Beta Kappa, where he was a Walter Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar.

Walter Naegle – Walter Naegle was Bayard Rustin’s life partner for the last decade of Rustin’s life. In November 2013, he accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom that Barack Obama bestowed posthumously on Rustin at a White House ceremony. Naegle serves as Executive Director of The Bayard Rustin Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining Rustin’s vision of a more peaceful and equitable world. An accomplished photographer, he accompanied Rustin on a number of international missions, investigating the conditions of refugees and prospects for democracy in countries experiencing social change, including El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, and South Africa. He has presented at numerous conferences and symposia, including Creating Change: The National Conference on LGBT Equality; served on the Executive Committee of the New York Metropolitan Region of the American Friends Service Committee; and is a former volunteer with the GI Rights Hotline and the Prisoner Visitation and Support Program. He has also been actively involved in outreach and education initiatives related to Brother Outsider, in the U.S. and abroad. Naegle is currently on the staff of the American Friends Service Committee’s New York City office.

Zack Paakkonen – Zack Paakkonen is a staff attorney with Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.  He joined GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project in 2013 after several years of advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ community through private practice in Maine. Zack is from Bucksport, Maine, and is a 2005 graduate of Cornell Law School and a 2002 graduate of the University of Southern Maine. In 2008, Zack co-founded a general practice law firm in Portland, Maine focusing on helping the LGBTQ community. His work included criminal defense, foster care work, and work as a rostered Guardian ad Litem, as well as representing LGBTQ clients in matters of family law and other probate matters, advising clients regarding discrimination matters in school and employment, handling matters involving youth in a variety of contexts, and advocacy for transgender people within the penal system and within state government on public policy matters.  Zack also contributed a chapter on legal protections for transgender youth to Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, the first book to comprehensively address legal issues facing transgender people in the family law context, which GLAD published in 2012. He is a Board Advisor to the Trans Youth Equality Foundation.​

Cole Parke – Cole Parke is the LGBTQ Rights Researcher at Political Research Associates. They have been working at the intersections of faith, gender, and sexuality as an activist, organizer, and scholar for the past ten years. Raised in a military family and a conservative Christian world, Cole studied theology at Texas Lutheran University, earned their Master’s in Conflict Transformation at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice & Peacebuilding, and traveled throughout the country advocating for LGBTQ justice at conservative religious schools and institutions as a part of the 2008 and 2012 Soulforce Equality Rides.

Jenny Pizer – Jenny Pizer is Senior Counsel and directs Lambda Legal’s Law & Policy Project. Since joining Lambda Legal in 1996, Pizer has litigated many cases seeking fair conditions for LGBT people in health care, employment and education, protecting family relationships, and challenging the use of religion to discriminate. In 2008, she won a unanimous California Supreme Court victory for a lesbian patient denied infertility care due to her doctors’ religious objections to treating her like other patients. In 2013-2014, she co-authored a series of amicus briefs explaining the implications for LGBT people and people living with HIV of the challenges by businesses on religious grounds to the ACA’s contraception coverage rule. Pizer also drafts legislation, advises policymakers, and works with community advocates to advance nondiscrimination and family law protections, and to oppose overbroad religious exemptions. She has received many professional and community service awards, including being named among California’s top women litigators seven times. From 2011 to 2012, she served as Legal Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Before that, she directed Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project. Pizer is a graduate of NYU School of Law and Harvard College.

Andrea Ritchie – Andrea Ritchie is a police misconduct attorney who focuses on the profiling, policing, and criminalization of women and LGBT people of color in her practice. In addition, she currently coordinates Streetwise & Safe (SAS), an organization which shares “know your rights” information, strategies for safety, and visions for change among LGBT youth of color who experience gender, race, sexuality and poverty-based policing. She also serves on the steering committee of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), a city-wide campaign to challenge discriminatory, unlawful and abusive policing practices in New York City. She is also co-author of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon Press 2011), and Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT people and PLWH (2014).Ritchie is counsel in Tikkun v. City of New York, litigation challenging unlawful searches of transgender people in police custody. She also served as co-counsel to the Center for Constitutional Rights in Doe v. Jindal and Doe v. Caldwell, successful challenges that resulted in removal of over 800 individuals from the sex offender registry who had been convicted of “crime against nature by solicitation” in Louisiana.

Abby Rubenfeld – Abby Rubenfeld is an attorney in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee, who focuses primarily on family law, civil litigation, and civil rights issues. She was formerly the legal director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, served for 7 years on the Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign, and for the past 10 years has been a proud member of the National Family Law Advisory Council for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. She is also a former chair of the American Bar Association Section on Individual Rights, and former chair of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association. In 1996, she was successful in overturning the Tennessee sodomy criminal statute, and she is currently challenging the constitutionality of the Tennessee anti-marriage equality law and constitutional amendment, with the backing of NCLR. She graduated from Princeton University cum laude, where she lettered in crew and basketball (she is the shortest person in the history of Princeton to letter in basketball—a record that will probably never be broken).

Richard Saenz – Richard Saenz is the Senior Staff Attorney for the HIV/LGBT Advocacy Project at Queens Legal Services, Legal Services-NYC, the nation’s largest civil legal services provider. Richard has over a decade of experience in community organizing and education on HIV/AIDS, LGBT and anti-violence issues on the local, state and national levels. He has presented on working with poor LGBT communities and the intersections of racism, poverty and homophobia in legal services. Richard is part of the Family Law Institute of the National LGBT Bar. In 2012, Richard was awarded the Michael B. Davis-Elyse Hilton Alumni Award by the Fordham Law School OutLaws. In 2013,the Queens Pride House awarded Richard the Community Leadership Award and the National LGBT Bar Association named Richard one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

Cathy Sakimura – Cathy Sakimura is the Family Law Director and Supervising Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). Cathy also started and oversees NCLR’s Family Protection Project, which improves access to family law services for low-income LGBT parents and their children, with a focus on increasing services to families of color. This project provides free legal information to low-income LGBT parents and their children; trains and supports attorneys providing free and low-cost services to these families; and works in coalition with organizations serving communities of color to provide culturally competent services to families of color. Cathy joined NCLR in 2006 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. She received her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law and her B.A. from Stanford University. Prior to law school, she worked at Gay-Straight Alliance Network, empowering young people to combat harassment in their schools. Cathy was also previously a member of the Board of Directors of COLAGE, an organization for people with LGBTQ parents. In 2012, she was named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. She is a co-author of the treatise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Family Law, published by Thomson Reuters.

Rose Saxe – Rose Saxe is a Senior Staff Attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT and AIDS Project.  At the ACLU, she has focused litigation and legislative advocacy on protecting LGBT families and parents, advocating for people living with HIV, and on the intersection of claims of religious freedom and discrimination.  Rose clerked for Judge Janet Bond Arterton and for Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and is a graduate of Georgetown University, and Yale Law School.

Scott A. Schoettes – Scott Schoettes, who is openly HIV-positive, is the HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization dedicated to making the case for equality on behalf of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people living with HIV, through impact litigation, education and policy work. Schoettes litigates impact cases involving discriminatory denial of employment and services based on a person’s HIV status, as well as in the areas of HIV criminalization and access to care. He also does a significant amount of amicus work on issues of import to people living with HIV, most notably co-authoring an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. On the policy side, Schoettes was the point-person for Lambda Legal’s work on the repeal of the HIV travel ban, assisted a subcommittee of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS in developing recommendations to promote safe and voluntary disclosure of HIV status pursuant to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and is working on the legislative reform of laws criminalizing conduct based on HIV status. He has presented on various topics related to HIV discrimination at forums across the country, including the White House.

Matthew Skinner – Matthew Skinner is Executive Director of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL), a bar association and related foundation dedicated to serving the LGBT legal community and the public.  In his role as Executive Director, Matt oversees all of LeGaL’s pro bono clinics, continuing legal education programs, advocacy efforts, associated fundraising, and other activities.  Prior to assuming his current position with LeGaL, Matt litigated at Proskauer Rose LLP and clerked for the Honorable Richard K. Eaton at the U.S. Court of International Trade.  He graduated from Albany Law School and the University of Notre Dame.

Terra Slavin – Terra Slavin, Esq., is the Deputy Director of the Policy and Community Building Department at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organization in world. Prior to this position, Slavin was their Lead Staff Attorney and Project Manager of their Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project from January 2006 – February 2014, where she was responsible for overseeing the delivery of comprehensive and holistic legal services to more than a thousand LGBT survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Slavin has provided trainings on these issues to hundreds of attorneys, judges and advocates across the country. Attorney Slavin is on the Governance Committee of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) and is a representative of NCAVP on the Steering Committee of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, the main coalition of service providers that worked to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act, which included LGBT-explicit protections for the first time. Slavin graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts.

Pam Spees – Pam Spees is a senior staff attorney in the international human rights program at the Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal and educational organization founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the U.S. south. She has a background in international criminal and human rights law with a gender focus, as well as criminal defense trial practice. She serves as lead counsel on several of CCR’s cases and initiatives including, Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively, a case brought against a U.S. based anti-gay extremist for his role in the persecution of LGBTI people in Uganda, and in the legal effort to hold Vatican officials accountable for the widespread and systemic crimes against humanity of rape and sexual violence within the church.

Judith Sperling-Newton – Judy Sperling-Newton is a co-founder of The Law Center for Children & Families, Adoptions of Wisconsin, and The Surrogacy Center, in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a Past-President of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, and now serves as the Director of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. Ms. Sperling-Newton is dedicated to social justice and is an ardent child protection advocate. She works tirelessly helping LGBT people become parents through adoption or assisted reproduction. She is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association, FLI, and NFLAC, sponsored by NCLR. Ms. Sperling-Newton is a recipient of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Angel in Adoption Award, and she was recently honored by Lake Park High School as its 2014 Alumna of Distinction. She travels frequently to Latin America, acting as an interpreter for medical/surgical missions and is a co-founder of the Continuing Care Project which helps poor people receive surgical services. As a Red Cross Volunteer, Ms. Sperling-Newton deploys nationwide to assist people affected by disaster. She is the parent of three children, two of whom are adopted (although she cannot always remember which two), and the adoring grandmother of four grandchildren.

Andrew Sta. Ana – Andrew Sta. Ana is the Supervising Attorney at Day One, where he oversees legal representation and advocacy for young survivors of dating violence. He is a proud graduate of the CUNY School of Law, where he received the School’s Twentieth Anniversary Scholarship. In 2007, Andrew was the recipient of an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to confront intimate partner violence in NYC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities. At Sanctuary for Families, Andrew implemented the LGBT Initiative, a program to safeguard the rights of LGBT survivors through a combination of direct services, outreach, education, and policy advocacy. In September 2011, he was awarded a Courage award from the NYC Anti-Violence project for his work to setting up and administering a free legal clinic for LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence. As a trainer for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, he trains attorneys nationwide on the representation of LGBTQ survivors, litigation of custody and visitation cases, and the use of interpreters. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Pride Center of Staten Island and is a native of New York City.

Aaron Tax – Aaron Tax is the Director of Federal Government Relations for Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), where he advocates for LGBT-inclusive federal aging policies that account for the unique needs of LGBT older adults. Until June 2011, Aaron served as the Legal Director at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the leading organization challenging “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) in Congress and in the courts. As the Legal Director, Aaron ran the legal services program at SLDN, the only organization providing free legal services to service members impacted by DADT and related forms of discrimination, including those who are HIV positive and/or transgender. Prior to joining SLDN, Aaron worked for the Department of the Army in the Office of EEO and Civil Rights, the first two years as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). As a PMF, he worked for the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, V Corps, Heidelberg, Germany, and served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where he tried more than two dozen cases. A graduate of Cornell University with honors and distinction and the George Washington University Law School with honors, he currently resides in Washington, DC.

Daniel Torres – Daniel Torres is the Deputy Director of Programs and New Initiatives at California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA). Previously, Daniel served as the LGBT Program Director at CRLA, where he worked on behalf of rural LGBT clients and increased capacity of legal aid programs to provide LGBT-inclusive programming. He has also worked at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center as a staff attorney providing technical assistance to legal services and pro bono attorneys. He has taught as an immigration clinical instructor at the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic and as a lecturer at Stanford Law School where he taught Spanish for Lawyers. He also served as staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In 2013, the National LGBT Bar Association named Daniel one of the best LGBT attorneys under 40.

Thomas W. Ude, Jr. – Thomas W. Ude, Jr., Esq. is Counsel and Government Misconduct Program Strategist for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people living with HIV. In addition to coordinating Lambda Legal’s work to address government misconduct, his work has included matters in many of Lambda Legal’s issue areas, including government misconduct, employment discrimination, recognition of same-sex relationships and parent-child relationships, transgender rights and the rights of people living with HIV. Prior to joining Lambda Legal in 2007, Ude was corporation counsel to the city of New Haven, Connecticut for six years; prior to that, he worked in Connecticut on cases at the trial and appellate levels, and in both the public and private sectors. Ude received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, and his bachelor’s degree in political science summa cum laude from the University of Connecticut.

Sarah Warbelow – Sarah Warbelow is Legal Director for the Human Rights Campaign.  She leads HRC’s team of lawyers and fellows focused on federal, state, and municipal policy. She also coordinates HRC’s advocacy efforts as amicus curiae in litigation affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Warbelow joined the Human Rights Campaign in January 2008 as senior counsel for special projects and Justice for All fellow. She served as HRC’s State Legislative Director, from September 2009 to April 2014, working with state and local legislators and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations in pursuing their LGBT-related legislative priorities. Before joining HRC, Warbelow served as the program manager for the American Association of University Women Foundation Legal Advocacy Fund, specializing in education and employment discrimination law. Warbelow is also an affiliated professor at George Washington University and George Mason Law School, teaching courses on civil rights law and public policy. She received her bachelors’ degrees in social relations and women’s studies from Michigan State University and her master’s of public policy and law degree from the University of Michigan.

Shannan Wilber – Shannan Wilber joined NCLR in 2013 to direct NCLR’s Youth Project, bringing over 25 years of experience advocating for vulnerable children and youth. Early in her career, Shannan helped launch Legal Advocates for Children and Youth, an agency in San Jose, California that now serves hundreds of children a year in state court proceedings. She joined the Youth Law Center in 1992, where she engaged in policy advocacy and impact litigation to reform child welfare and juvenile justice systems for nine years. From 2001-2012, Shannan served as the Executive Director of Legal Services for Children, a nonprofit law office in San Francisco representing children in foster care, guardianship, education and immigration proceedings. She served for many years as a member of NCLR’s Board of Directors and as co-counsel on cases protecting LGBT youth against forced institutionalization and cases asserting the rights of children. She also worked with NCLR and others to create professional standards governing the care of LGBT youth in state custody, and to launch the Equity Project, dedicated to ensuring equal and respectful treatment of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system.

Amy Williams – Amy Williams is the Regional Counsel of Health and Managing Attorney of Legal Services of Northern California’s Health Unit (LSNC-Health) serving 32 northern California counties. She graduated from UC Davis Law School (King Hall) in 2005. She specializes in health care litigation.  She has a robust community lawyering practice. She provides free legal services to several non-profit organizations and community groups covering a wide range of issues from community garden ordinances to advising on immigration relief for survivors of domestic violence. Amy founded and operates a free legal clinic at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. She speaks nationally on issues of LGBT competency and public benefits for LGBT families. She co-authored with the National Center of Lesbian Rights the first ever LGBT Public Benefits Guide.



Carlos A. Ball – Professor Carlos Ball is Distinguished Professor of Law and Judge Frederick Lacey Scholar at the Rutgers University School of Law – Newark. His authored or edited books include After Marriage: The Future of LGBT Rights (NYU Press, forthcoming 2015); Same-Sex Marriage and Children: A Tale of History, Social Science, and Law (Oxford Univ. Press, 2014); Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law (West, 2014) (with Rubenstein, Schacter, and NeJaime); The Right to be Parents: LGBT Families and the Transformation of Parenthood (NYU Press, 2012); and From the Closet to the Courtoom: Five LGBT Rights Cases That Have Changed Our Nation (Beacon, 2010). His articles on LGBT rights issues have appeared in the Columbia Journal of Gender and the Law, the Cornell Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, and the North Carolina Law Review, among other journals.

Erin Buzuvis – Erin Buzuvis is a professor of law at Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts. She researches and writes about gender and discrimination in sport, including such topics as the interrelation of law and sports culture, intersecting sexual orientation and race discrimination in women’s athletics, retaliation against coaches in collegiate women’s sports, the role of interest surveys in Title IX compliance, participation policies for transgender and intersex athletes, and Title IX and competitive cheer. Additionally, she is a co-founder and contributor to the Title IX Blog, an interdisciplinary resource for news, legal developments, commentary, and scholarship about Title IX’s application to athletics and education. Professor Buzuvis currently serves as the Director of the law school’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies. She also teaches courses on administrative law, employment discrimination, Title IX, torts, and property.

Patricia A. Cain – Patricia Cain is Professor of Law at Santa Clara University and the Aliber Family Chair in Law, Emerita, at the University of Iowa. She is a graduate of Vassar College and received her J.D. from the University of Georgia. She began her academic career at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a member of the faculty for 17 years, before moving to Iowa in 1991. She has been at Santa Clara since 2007. She is the author of Rainbow Rights: the role of lawyers and courts in the lesbian and gay civil rights movement (Westview Press 2000) and Sexuality Law, 2nd Edition (Carolina Academic Press 2009) (with Arthur S. Leonard). Professor Cain is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. She teaches courses in federal taxation, property, wills and trusts, estate planning, and sexuality and the law. Most of her recent scholarship focuses on tax planning for same-sex couples. She maintains a blog called Same Sex Tax Law.

Leonore Carpenter – Prior to joining the Temple Law faculty, Professor Carpenter served as Legal Director at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, a public interest agency that provides direct legal services, education, and policy reform advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pennsylvanians. Professor Carpenter also acted as an adjunct clinical instructor to Temple Law students in an LGBT-rights clinical course that she designed. Professor Carpenter began her employment at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, working with victims of hate crime and domestic violence. Professor Carpenter is a graduate of Temple Law, where she received the Beth Cross Award for commitment to underserved populations. Following graduation from law school, Professor Carpenter completed a clerkship with the Honorable Harold B. Wells, III of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.

John G. Culhane – John Culhane is a professor of law at Widener University School of Law. John has written extensively for legal journals on a wide range of topics, such as: the rights of same-sex couples, including on marriage equality and on the tort law’s treatment of relational interests between such couples; public health issues, including gun policy, domestic and international HIV issues and vaccine policy; and tort law, including product liability, educational malpractice, and compensation for victims of mass disasters. He has been regularly featured in national and local broadcast and print media, including NPR, ABC News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dissent, and WHYY television and radio. John is also a contributor to Slate Magazine and a blogger for the Huffington Post. Along with Carrie Stone, he is the author of “Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies.”

William N. Eskridge Jr. – William Eskridge is the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at the Yale Law School. He has authored four leading casebooks in the fields of Legislation, Constitutional Law, Regulatory State, and Sexuality Gender and the Law, as well as more than a hundred law review articles. His most recent books are A Republic of Statutes: The New American Constitution (Yale 2010) (with John Ferejohn) and Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Law in America, 1861-2003 (Viking 2008).

Taylor Flynn – Taylor Flynn is Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, MA. Prior to teaching, Taylor was a Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Southern California. Her area of specialization, both at the ACLU and in her academic research, focuses on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Taylor has litigated a wide array of issues, including arguing before the California Supreme Court on behalf of members expelled from the Boy Scouts based on their sexual orientation and religious non-belief, as well as an early custody case on behalf of a transgender father who faced losing all legal rights to his child solely because of his gender identity. Her scholarly work has appeared in journals including the Columbia Law Review, Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy, Stanford Law and Policy Review, and Iowa Law Review, as well as in the book Transgender Rights. Taylor is author the federal equal protection chapter in the forthcoming Bloomberg BNA treatise Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace.

Suzanne B. Goldberg – Suzanne Goldberg is the Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where she also founded and directs the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic and co-directs the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law. Professor Goldberg’s writing focuses on barriers to equality, including antidiscrimination law frameworks and the evolution of equality law related to social groups. Most directly related to her workshop’s topic is Equality Without Tiers (Southern California Law Review). Her recent work in this area includes Discrimination by Comparison (Yale Law Journal) and Sexuality and Equality Law, an edited volume (Ashgate). During the 1990s, Professor Goldberg spent nearly a decade as a lawyer with Lambda Legal, where she was counsel on a wide range of cases, including two that became landmark gay rights victories – one striking down a Colorado antigay amendment and the other striking down Texas’s “Homosexual Conduct” law. More recently, Professor Goldberg has filed amicus briefs in numerous marriage cases at the circuit and in the Supreme Court. Professor Goldberg graduated with honors from Harvard Law School in 1990 and from Brown University in 1985, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the National University of Singapore from 1985-86.

Samantha Hankins – Samantha Hankins is the Associate Director of Student Affairs at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. She has previously worked as the Ambassador to the Admissions Diversity Outreach Program at the Gonzaga University School of Law, where she also served as president of the Law Student Bar Association and received her J.D. in 2011. She graduated from Creighton University in 2005 with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Courtney Joslin – Courtney Joslin is a Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law. Professor Joslin received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Prior to joining the faculty at UC Davis, Professor Joslin served as an attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), where she litigated cases on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families. Professor Joslin’s areas of interest include family and relationship recognition, particularly focusing on same-sex and nonmarital couples. Professor Joslin’s publications have appeared in the Boston University Law Review, the Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, and the Southern California Law Review. Her article, Protecting Children(?): Marriage, Gender, and Assisted Reproductive Technology was selected as a winner of the 2010 Dukeminier Award.

Nancy J. Knauer – Nancy Knauer is the I. Herman Stern Professor of Law and Director of Law & Public Policy Programs at Temple University, Beasley School of Law. She is an internationally recognized scholar writing in the areas of sexuality, gender, and aging. Professor Knauer was selected as one of 26 law professors from across the nation to be featured in the book What the Best Law Teachers Do, published by Harvard University Press in 2013. Selections were made from more than 250 nominees teaching at more than 100 law schools. She teaches in the areas of Political & Civil Rights, Property, and Taxation. Professor Knauer has received a Dukeminier Award and the Stu Walter Prize from the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School for her scholarship on LGBT aging. She is the co-founder of the Aging, Law & Society Collaborative Research Network of the Law & Society Association and serves on the Executive Committee of the Family Law Institute of the National LGBT Association. Professor Knauer has been named a University “Great Teacher,” the highest honor bestowed by Temple University. She has received numerous awards for teaching, service, and scholarship. Professor Knauer has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and is the former Peter J. Liacouras Professor of Law.

Joseph Landau – Joseph Landau is an Associate Professor at Fordham Law School, where he teaches courses in civil procedure, national security, immigration law and LGBT rights. From 2010 to 2013, he was Board Chairman of Immigration Equality and the Immigration Equality Action Fund, which engage in education, litigation, outreach and lobbying on behalf of LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and asylum-seekers. He has served on those Boards since 2007.  He received Fordham Law’s Teacher of the Year Award in 2013, and in 2012 he was named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. He is a former Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School and a former associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. He clerked for the Hon. David Trager of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York and the Hon. Betty Binns Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a former adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School and a former visiting lecturer at Yale College. Prior to law school, Professor Landau was the Assistant Managing Editor at The New Republic magazine in Washington, D.C.

Douglas NeJaime – Douglas NeJaime is Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law, where he teaches in the areas of family law, law and sexuality, and constitutional law. For the 2014-15 academic year, he is Visiting Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. Before joining the UCI Law faculty in July 2013, he was Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and the Sears Law Teaching Fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Professor NeJaime is a two-time recipient of the Dukeminier Award, which recognizes the best sexual orientation legal scholarship published in the previous year. He is also the 2014 recipient of UC Irvine’s Professor of the Year Award and the 2011 recipient of Loyola’s Excellence in Teaching Award. NeJaime has provided commentary on issues relating to sexual orientation and same-sex marriage to numerous press outlets, including the New York Times, L.A. Times, NPR, and NBC News. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Brown University.

Nancy Polikoff – Nancy Polikoff is Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law where she teaches Family Law and a seminar on Children of LGBT Parents. From Fall 2011 through Fall 2012, she was the Visiting McDonald/Wright Chair of Law at UCLA School of Law and Faculty Chair of the Williams Institute, a national think tank on sexual orientation law and public policy. For almost 40 years, Prof. Polikoff has been writing about, teaching about, and working on litigation and legislation about LGBT families. Her book, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law, was published by Beacon Press in 2008. She was successful counsel in In re M.M.D., the 1995 case that established joint adoption for lesbian, gay, and unmarried couples in the District of Columbia, and Boswell v. Boswell, the 1998 Maryland case overturning restrictions on a gay noncustodial father’s visitation rights. From 2007-2009, she played a primary role in the drafting and passage of groundbreaking parentage legislation in the District of Columbia. Prof. Polikoff is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In 2011, she received the National LGBT Bar Association’s Dan Bradley award, the organization’s highest honor.

Joel R. Reidenberg – Joel Reidenberg is the Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair in Law at Fordham University where he directs the Center on Law and Information Policy. He was the inaugural Microsoft Visiting Professor of Information Technology Policy at Princeton University and has taught at the University of Paris and at Sciences Po-Paris. Reidenberg publishes regularly on both information privacy and on information technology law and policy. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served as an expert adviser to the U.S. Congress, the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission. Reidenberg is a graduate of Dartmouth College, earned his law degree at Columbia University and a Ph.D. in law from the Université de Paris –Sorbonne. He is admitted to the Bars of New York and the District of Columbia.

Christopher Riano – Christopher Riano is a Lecturer in Constitutional Law and Government at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he focuses his academic teaching and scholarship on Constitutional Law, Higher Education Law, and International Comparative Political Theory. Mr. Riano is also a Partner at Drohan Lee LLP, where he heads the firm’s Strategic Affairs practice, advising clients in a diverse set of areas including high-profile constitutional and statutory appellate matters, government relationship management, sovereign representation, international due diligence, and high prestige privy counsel relationships. Mr. Riano is a 2007 graduate of Columbia University and a 2010 graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law. Mr. Riano currently serves as the Chair of the Rules of University Conduct Committee at Columbia University and as the Co-Chair of the General Studies Alumni Association at Columbia University. He also serves as a Member of the Under 40 Society for the Citizens Budget Commission for New York, and as an Inaugural Member of the Advisory Board for the New York Legal Assistance Group’s LGBT Law Project.

Ryan Scott –Ryan Scott is an Associate Professor of Law at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, where he teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Federal Jurisdiction. His scholarship focuses on criminal sentencing, judicial discretion, and constitutional law. He is also co-chair of the LGBT Committee of the ABA Criminal Justice Section. Before joining the faculty, Mr. Scott served as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General, an associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Washington, DC, and a law clerk to Judge Michael McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He earned his J.D. in 2005 from the University of Minnesota.

Scott Skinner-Thompson – Scott Skinner-Thompson is an acting assistant professor at New York University School of Law. His scholarship focuses on constitutional law, anti-discrimination, LGBTQ rights, and the rights of those living with HIV. Scott has extensive experience advocating for LGBTQ rights in federal and state courts, including helping to represent Sexual Minorities Uganda in its Alien Tort Statute lawsuit against American evangelical pastor Scott Lively for persecution. In addition, Scott has taught a short course on LGBTQ Impact Litigation at Duke University School of law, where he also graduated with a J.D. and LL.M. in International & Comparative Law. Scott received his undergraduate degree from Whitman College.

Urvashi Vaid – Urvashi Vaid is an organizer, attorney and writer whose work in the LGBT and social justice movements spans three decades. Vaid is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School. From 2004-2014, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Gill Foundation. In 2012, she cofounded the first national lesbian Super-PAC. From 2005-2010, Vaid was Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation. She also served as Deputy Director of the Governance and Civil Society Unit at the Ford Foundation. Vaid served as the Executive Director at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, among other leadership positions. She is a former staff attorney for the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) where she initiated the organization’s work on HIV/AIDS in prisons. Vaid is author of Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics (Magnus, 2012); Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay & Lesbian Liberation (Anchor, 1996) and co-editor, with John D’Emilio and William Turner, of an anthology on public policy history titled Creating Change: Public Policy, Sexuality and Civil Rights (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). She is a graduate of Vassar College and Northeastern University School of Law.

Tony Varona – Dean Tony Varona teaches Contracts, Administrative Law, Media Law, and Introduction to Public Law, in addition to serving as associate dean for faculty and academic affairs at American University Washington College of Law. He previously served as general counsel and legal director for the Human Rights Campaign. He built HRC’s legal department, directed its legislative and regulatory lawyering and appellate amicus work, launched national law fellow and pro bono attorney programs, and served as counsel to HRC’s board of directors. Dean Varona taught as an adjunct law professor for three years at Georgetown University, and served as a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School. He serves on the board of directors of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and is a member of the Society of American Law Teachers and the Hispanic Bar Association of Washington. He has served on the boards of the Human Rights Campaign and the Alliance for Justice, was on the New York Advisory Board for the American Constitution Society, was founding chairperson of the AIDS Action Council’s Legal Advisory Council, and served as a member of the Judicial Selection Steering Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss – Dr. Weiss has a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Law, Policy & Society. Currently Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey, her research area is gender identity and law. She has authored many academic publications, presentations and other scholarly works, as well as articles and interviews for media organizations including The New York Times and Associated Press. Dr. Weiss provides legal representation to transgender employees in cases involving gender identity and gender expression discrimination. She also consults with private and public organizations regarding gender identity policy and employee gender transitions, including Harvard University, Boeing and New York City. Her volunteer work includes serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest U.S. national legal organization whose mission is to safeguard and advance the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and policy work. She is also Chair of the Planning Committee for the annual Transgender Law Institute at Lavender Law.

Tobias Barrington Wolff – Tobias Barrington Wolff is Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He writes and teaches in the fields of civil procedure and complex litigation, constitutional law, and LGBT rights. Professor Wolff served as lead appellate counsel in Elane Photography v. Willock, the New Mexico case involving a commercial wedding photography company that refused to do business with a lesbian couple in violation of a state public accommodations statute. In 2007 and 2008, Professor Wolff was Chair of LGBT Policy for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. His work has included scholarship and advocacy around marriage equality, the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and anti-transgender discrimination.


Veterans and Armed Services Personnel

Jason Connors – Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Connors is assigned to the Naval Justice School (NJS) where he is the Civil Law Department Head and a military law instructor. NJS is the Navy’s legal training command and comprehensively prepares new and experienced Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard attorneys and legal support staff to provide timely, actuate, and actionable legal advice to commanders conducting military operations worldwide. NJS also provides extensive legal instruction to new naval personnel as well as senior commanders. LCDR Connors has been stationed in the United States and abroad. He has supported missions at sea and in Europe, the Middle East, and the Horn of Africa. His previous assignments include serving as a military prosecutor, defense counsel, legal assistance attorney, foreign criminal jurisdiction officer, and legal advisor to senior Navy officers, including the Chief of Naval Operations and others in charge of naval forces. LCDR Connors also deployed to Baghdad and provided legal support to Multi-National Forces Iraq. More recently, LCDR Connors was an advisor to the Judge Advocate General (JAG) on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal. He also advised the JAG and Navy commanders during DADT Repeal implementation and on the extension of benefits to same-sex military spouses.

Captain Christie A. Jones – Captain Christie A. Jones is the Area Defense Counsel, Air Force Legal Operations Agency, stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. She is responsible for providing defense services to over 6,500 active duty personnel stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB and supports other Defense Counsel throughout the Air Force. Capt Jones entered the JAG Corps through the Air Force Excess Leave Program. She received her commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Virginia in 2005. After commissioning as an acquisition Officer, she was assigned to the 642d Electronic Systems Squadron (642 ELSS), Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. Capt Jones attended Liberty University’s School of Law and is licensed in Georgia. Before becoming an Area Defense Counsel, she was stationed in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB.

Paula M. Neira – Paula M. Neira is a former naval officer, a lawyer, and a nurse. She graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 1985. As a Surface Warfare Officer, she participated in mine warfare combat operations during Operation Desert Storm. Upon being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1991, she began her nursing career, starting in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System. She is a certified emergency nurse, specializing in adult emergency care and trauma resuscitation. She now serves as the Nurse Educator in the Department of Emergency Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to nursing, she has been a member of the Maryland Bar since 2001. As a lawyer and veteran advocate, she helped lead the efforts to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, serving over the years as an SLDN staff attorney, Board member, and Co-chair of the SLDN Military Advisory Council. A recognized national expert on LGBT-military issues, she is one of the leading experts on transgender military service in the United States.



Judge Shannon E. Avery – Shannon E. Avery is a Judge in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City. She also served for 3 years as a Judge in the District Court of Maryland. Judge Avery is a member of several judicial committees including Criminal Law and Procedure, Legislation, and Child Custody Decision Making. Judge Avery has a long history of advocacy in LGBT communities, including her current position as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Freestate Legal Project, which provides pro bono legal services to low income LGBT people, and Vice-Chair of the International Association of LGBT Judges. Prior to her judicial appointment, she directed public policy relating to public safety, domestic violence, and corrections, at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. She serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, teaching appellate advocacy and coaching in the moot court program. As an attorney, she worked in the Maryland’s Office of the Attorney General and, previously, in the Office of the Public Defender, primarily in the area of criminal appeals.

Judge Gary Cohen – Judge Cohen came out in 1974 when he started his undergraduate studies. He joined and eventually became president of the gay students’ group at Simon Fraser University. He then attended law school at the University of British Colombia where he was again president of the university-wide gay students’ group and where he also started the Gay/Lesbian Law Students Association. After graduation, he started his own law firm, taught continuing legal educational courses, published course material, co-wrote a book on self-help divorce and was active in the Bar association. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1997 and he was appointed to the bench in 1999. Since his judicial appointment, he has been the president of the BC Provincial Court Judges Association, the Judges Forum of the Canadian Bar Association and he was the first and only Canadian to be the president of the International Association of LGBT Judges. He has taught the ‘Career Paths to the judiciary” course for the LGBT Bar Association for 14 of the past 15 years.

Judge Tara M. Flanagan – Judge Flanagan was elected to the Alameda County, California Superior Court in June of 2012, winning her election in unprecedented fashion in the Primary Election, and took the bench in January of 2013. Her current assignment is in a Family Law Department. Judge Flanagan’s extra-judicial duties include serving as Chair of the Alameda County Superior Court Family Violence Council, and the Domestic Violence Council, on the Superior Court’s Self-Represented Litigants Subcommittee, the Family Law Committee, California Judges’ Association Elections Committee, and as Co-Chair of the ACBA East Bay Diversity Bar Coalition. Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Flanagan was a Los Angeles County prosecutor, a legal aid attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid and the Family Violence Law Center helping survivors of domestic violence, a civil litigator, and a private practice family law attorney. Before law, Judge Flanagan enjoyed a competitive athletic career: she earned an athletic scholarship and captained her Cal. State Northridge basketball team to the D.II “Sweet Sixteen” her senior year; after college, was selected to the USA Women’s National Rugby Team, where she represented the US in two World Cups (1991- World Champions; 1994- Runners Up); and raced in three Outrigger Canoeing World Championships in Molokai, Hawaii.

Judge Phyllis Frye – Phyllis Randolph Frye is an Eagle Scout, a former member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, a US Army veteran (1LT-RA 1970-72), a licensed engineer, a licensed attorney, a father, a grandmother and a lesbian wife. She is the first out transgender judge in the nation. In the early 1990’s, Phyllis began the national transgender legal and political movement with the six annual transgender law conferences (ICTLEP) and their grassroots training. Attorney Frye is one of the Task Force’s 1995 “Creator of Change” award winners. In 1999 she was given Int’l Fndn Gender Education’s Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement award. In 2001 she was given Lavender Law’s highest honor, the Dan Bradley Award. She was honored beginning in 2009 by Texas A&M University with an annual Advocacy Award given in her name. In 2013 the Houston Transgender Unity Committee gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010 Phyllis was sworn-in as the first out transgender judge in the nation, as a City of Houston Associate Municipal Judge. She retains her senior partnership with Frye, Oaks and Benavidez, PLLC, (liberatinglaw.com) which is an out LGBTI-and-straight-allies law firm. Phyllis devotes her practice exclusively helping transgender clients with name changes on legal documents.

Judge Linda Giles – Judge Giles is a graduate of McGill University and New England School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1977), where she served as Case Comment Editor of the Law Review. In 1991, Judge Giles was appointed as the first openly lesbian judge in Massachusetts to be an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court by Governor William F. Weld, and in 1998, she was elevated to the Superior Court by Governor Argeo Paul Cellucci.  Judge Giles has served as chair of the Massachusetts Trial Court’s Gender Equality Advisory Board and president of the International Association of Lesbian & Gay Judges. She has done much work in the areas of gender equality and domestic violence, serving on a number of committees and panels and authoring the Judicial Commentary in the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education book, Obtaining, Enforcing and Defending 209A Restraining Orders. She is also a former Adjunct Professor of Law at New England School of Law and presently teaches “Trial Practice” at Suffolk University Law School. Judge Giles is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Massachusetts Judges Conference’s Judicial Excellence Award (President’s Award), the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Public Service Award, and the North Shore Gay Alliance 15th Anniversary Award, among others.

Judge Ramona A. Gonzalez – Judge Gonzalez serves as Presiding Judge in La Crosse, Wisconsin, elected April 1995 siting in a court of general jurisdiction. She serves as a Trustee with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and has been an active speaker and trainer for numerous organizations, including the NCJFCJ and the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. She has participated in or presented during numerous international conferences and meetings, and serves on the U.S. Judicial Advisory Council on International Family Abduction. She has served as a member of numerous committees, including State Call to Action Work Group on Domestic Violence and Child Abuse; State Bar Access to Justice Committee; Commission on Judicial Elections and Ethics; State of Wisconsin – Joint Legislative Council, Member of Special Committee on Relative Caregivers. Among her many awards and honors, Judge Gonzalez has received the President Award from the State Bar of Wisconsin and the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys Distinguished Jurist Award in appreciation and acknowledgement to her commitment to making sure all children are part of permanent, safe, loving families, regardless of the gender identity or sexual orientation of the prospective parents.

Judge Paula J. Hepner – Judge Hepner was appointed to the Family Court of the State of New York in 1990 by Mayor David N. Dinkins. From 2008-2010, Judge Hepner served as the Supervising Judge for the Kings and Richmond County Family Courts and continued to serve as the Supervising Judge for Kings County until her retirement in 2012. Prior to her appointment to the Family Court, Judge Hepner was a supervising attorney, prosecuting cases of child abuse and neglect in the Manhattan Family Court. Judge Hepner is presently a member of the National Advisory Council to the Equity Project, on the Advisory Board for the NYC Anti-Violence Project and a Trustee of the Cutchogue/New Suffolk Free Library. She is also a founding member and Past President of the Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges and a founding member and former Director of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges [“IALGJ”]. Judge Hepner served on the Family Court Advisory Council as chair of its Juvenile Delinquency sub-committee from 2001-2003 and from 2004 to 2008 chaired the sub-committee’s work group examining issues involving LGBT youth in the Juvenile Justice system. From 2010-2012 Judge Hepner was appointed to serve as Chairperson of the NYC Family Court’s Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Matters.

Judge Victoria Kolakowski – Judge Victoria Kolakowski is the first openly transgender trial judge in the United States; she was elected to the Alameda County Superior Court in November 2010. Judge Kolakowski was an attorney for twenty one years in Louisiana and California, serving as a sole practitioner, attorney in a small firm, as general counsel for a publicly traded company, as a senior government utility regulatory attorney, and as an administrative law judge for two different California agencies. Since coming out publicly in 1989, she has been a leader in numerous local, state and national LGBT legal, political and spiritual organizations. Her many accomplishments include co-authoring Berkeley, California’s domestic partner public registration ordinance in 1991 and co-chairing the board of directors of the Transgender Law Center, an organization focused on the well-being and protection of transgender individuals. In 2011, Judge Kolakowski served as a Community Grand Marshal for San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride and was named by the Equality Forum as one of 31 international Icons for LGBT History Month. This year, she received the first “Pioneer in the Law Award” from California Women Lawyers and was the honored guest at Transgender Equality Network Ireland’s reception at Dublin Pride.

Judge Larnzell Martin – Judge Larnzell Martin, Jr. has been a member of the Prince George’s County, Maryland Circuit Court since December 1990 and is now that Court’s senior judge. He is a member and former Chair of the Maryland Judicial Conference’s Committee on Family Law and sits on the Judiciary’s Technology Oversight Board. Judge Martin serves as Lead Judge for Prince George’s County’s Model Court. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Free State Legal Project, whichprovides legal services to low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Maryland residents. Judge Martin is Secretary of the International Association of LGBT Judges. A 1972 graduate of Carleton College, he is a former member of his alma mater’s Alumni Council  and the Leadership Committee of Out @fter Carleton. Judge Martin received his Juris Doctorate in 1975 from Georgetown University Law Center.

Judge Paul Oetken – Paul Oetken was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on January 26, 2011. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 18, 2011. Judge Oetken graduated from the University of Iowa in 1988 and received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1991. He served as a law clerk for three federal judges, including Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court in 1993-1994. Judge Oetken served as attorney-adviser in the United States Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel from 1997 to 1999. In 1999, he joined the White House Counsel’s Office, serving as Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton until the end of President Clinton’s term in January 2001. He has worked as an attorney at Jenner & Block in Washington, DC and at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. Prior to becoming a judge, he was Senior Vice President and head of litigation at Cablevision Systems Corporation. Judge Oetken has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham Law School and has served on the Media Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

Judge John K. Olson – Judge Olson began his 14 year term as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in February 2006. Before appointment to the bench, Judge Olson was a shareholder in the Tampa office of Stearns Weaver Miller, where he practiced for 18 years. Judge Olson graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude in history. He graduated from Boston College Law School (where he was on the law review) in 1975. Judge Olson is a former chair of the Florida Bar Business Law Section and is currently chair of the Abuses of the Bankruptcy Process Subcommittee of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association.

Judge Elizabeth Perris – Judge Perris has been a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Oregon since 1984. She has been an Adjunct Professor at Lewis & Clark College of Law (2005 – 2006, 2008 – 2009) and Willamette University School of Law (1998). She was a member of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit from 1988 – 1993 and 1998 – 2005. From 1976 – 1984 she worked as a bankruptcy court law clerk, served as a bankruptcy trustee and was an attorney in private practice specializing in bankruptcy. Judge Perris served on the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules from 2007 – 2014 and was chairperson of the Bankruptcy Forms Subcommittee and the Forms Modernization Project. She has served as chairperson of the Bankruptcy Judges’ Education Committee of the Federal Judicial Center (FJC), FJC board member, chairperson of the Bankruptcy Section of the Federal Bar Association, chairperson of the Oregon State Bar (OSB) Continuing Legal Education Committee, and chairperson of the OSB Debtor-Creditor Section. She is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Justice Rosalyn Richter – Justice Rosalyn Richter has been a NYS court judge since 1990, and was appointed to the Appellate Division, First Department in 2009. Along with Justice Garry, from the Third Department, she is the first openly gay or lesbian person to serve on any appellate court in NY. During her tenure in the trial court, Justice Richter presided over civil and criminal cases, and matrimonial matters. She is active in many bar associations including the NYC Bar Association, where she is a former member of the Executive Committee, and the former chair of the committees on Women in the Profession and Lesbian and Gay Lawyers in the Profession. She currently is co-chair of the board of directors of SAGE, a national non-profit addressing aging issues in the LGBT community. Prior to her appointment to the state court bench, she was Executive Director of Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, a supervisor in the Appeals Bureau of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and an Administrative Law Judge for the NYC Office of Administrative Trials & Hearings. She has taught law as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn and New York Law Schools, and is a graduate of Barnard College and Brooklyn Law School.

Judge Mark Scurti – Judge Scurti was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley in 2013 as an Associate Judge in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City, Prior to his appointment, he was an equity partner at PKLaw in Towson, Maryland focusing his practice on bankruptcy, estate planning and family law, including LGBT legal issues. He is currently co-chair of the Citizens Law Related Education Project (MSBA), Chair of the Memorial Committee of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, President of the Maryland Bar Foundation Fellows, Trustee to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation and on the Board of Governors to the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA). He is past Chair of the Consumer Bankruptcy Section of the MSBA and past President of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, Baltimore City Bar Foundation, Pro Bono Resource Center, and Free State Legal Project, a clinic for low income LGBT individuals, and past Secretary of the National LGBT Bar. Judge Scurti is an adjunct professor at both University of Baltimore and Maryland Schools of Law where he teaches Sexual Orientation and the Law, He is a graduate from the University.of Baltimore School of Law and received his BA and MBA from Loyola University in Maryland.

Judge D. Zeke Zeidler – Judge Zeidler was elected to the bench of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2004. Prior to that, he served as a Superior Court Referee for over six years, presiding over cases that involved child abuse and neglect. Judge Zeidler has chaired the committee that creates anti-bias curriculum for judicial officers and court staff throughout California, and teaches new judge orientation and juvenile law courses for judicial officers in California. He has also presented nationally on diversity, child welfare, and LGBT domestic violence issues. He is currently in his third term as President of the International Association of LGBT Judges. Before taking the bench, Judge Zeidler was an attorney representing abused and neglected children. He has served as an officer in NLGLA (now the National LGBT Bar Association) and was the co-chair of the NLGLA’s law student arm. In addition to his legal involvements, Judge Zeidler has been very active on education issues. He was first elected to the Redondo Beach School Board in 1995, becoming only the tenth openly Gay or Lesbian school board member in the country, and he was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1999. Judge Zeidler resides in Los Angeles with his husband, attorney Jay Kohorn.



Michael M. Aphibal – Michael Aphibal is an attorney licensed in New York and Washington, D.C. In 2010, he received a J.D., cum laude, from American University, Washington College of Law and in 2014 received an LL.M. in Securities and Financial Regulation, with Distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center. Michael has worked on several projects for the National LGBT Bar Association. His first project involved researching the history of gay and trans panic defenses and how legislatures and courts across the United States and the world have responded to its use in court. Michael also worked on the bar association’s efforts regarding the implementation of Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, establishing an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) within several federal financial regulatory agencies. Specifically, he has worked to convince OMWIs to include LGBT persons within their diversity goals. While at Georgetown Law, Michael interned at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) within their office of Non-Disciplinary Litigation. He is now a research assistant for an attorney writing a book on emerging securities law issues.

Adam Denmark Cohen – Mr. Cohen is a co-founder and Managing Director of MJardin Consulting, a professional management company dedicated to the cultivation of premium cannabis, and CEO of MJAR Holdings, a related intellectual property holdings company. MJardin provides turnkey cultivation management services and intellectual property related to the science of premium cannabis to licensed medical marijuana companies located across the United States. Mr. Cohen has more than 10 years of management and legal expertise with specialization in private equity and international business. Prior to founding MJardin, Mr. Cohen co-founded and served as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Brilla Group, an alternative asset private equity firm focused on the luxury hotel and resort asset class in South Florida, the Caribbean, México, and Colombia. Prior to co-founding Brilla Group in 2007, Mr. Cohen served as General Counsel of Islandia Resorts Ltd., a real estate investment and development company focused on The Bahamas. He also served as General Counsel of Nationwide Land Holdings Group, LLC, a real estate investment and development company focused on residential and hospitality assets in Florida. Mr. Cohen is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder (B.A. 1997; magna cum laude).

Tee Emmanuel  Tee Emmanuel was born in New York City and graduated from high school in the city. She was born into a family who practice the Muslim religion. Her father was incarcerated when Tee was 8 months hold, so she was principally raised by her mother. Tee describes herself as gender non-conforming (GNC). After graduating from high school, Tee’s mother asked her to leave her family home if she continued to act upon her decision to be GNC. As a result, Tee became homeless and was forced to learn how to cope in that world. Fortunately, Tee is a survivor. She has found means to both be herself and to navigate “the system.” Tee hopes to use her experience to help others by becoming a LGBT youth advisor.

Skip Horne – Skip Horne is the Senior Assistant Dean, External Relations at Santa Clara University School of Law. He most recently served as Careers Consultant for Trinity College at The University of Melbourne in Australia where he launched a new Careers and Further Studies Office. He was previously the Director of Graduate & International Programs at the University of San Diego School of Law and a Global Recruiting Manager with Latham & Watkins LLP where he supported the firm’s efforts in diversity and international hiring along with law school and LLM outreach. He also worked previously at Santa Clara University School of Law and The University of Texas School of Law where he founded and served as the first director of UT’s Public Interest Law Center. Horne was elected the first openly gay President of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) in 2002 and has been active in numerous NALP Committees and Sections, the NALP liaison to the National LGBT Bar Association, a contributor to the NALP Bulletin and a frequent presenter at conferences nationwide. He joined the board of the National LGBT Bar Foundation in 2009 and served as President from 2010-12. He received a BSFS, cum laude, in International Politics from Georgetown University, and an MBA from The Darden School at the University of Virginia.

Nancy Kates – Nancy Kates is a filmmaker and writer based in Berkeley, California. She recently completed Regarding Susan Sontag, a feature-length portrait of one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The film premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and is slated for broadcast on HBO in December 2014 (www.sontagfilm.org). She co-produced and directed Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin with New York filmmaker Bennett Singer. Brother Outsider premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, with a national broadcast on the PBS series P.O.V. The film received numerous awards, including the 2004 GLAAD Media Award, and audience awards at the major American gay and lesbian film festivals. Kates is a former producer of Computer Chronicles, the PBS series, and has worked as a producer, writer, and story consultant on various documentary projects. Kates is a graduate of Stanford’s documentary film and television program; her M.A. thesis project, Their Own Vietnam, received the 1995 Student Academy Award in Documentary. She worked as a journalist in New York and Boston before turning to film.

Fred Krebs – Fred provides advice and counsel to the legal and non-profit communities. Currently, he serves as a Senior Fellow at Georgetown Law School’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession where he focuses on emerging issues and trends relating to corporate counsel and the in-house practice of law. You can follow him on Twitter @FrederickJKrebs. Additionally, he co-teaches a class on introduction to the in-house practice at Georgetown and writes a column for Canadian Lawyer In-House. He had a distinguished career as President of the Association of Corporate Counsel (1991-2011) and remains a Senior Advisor to the association. During his tenure ACC grew from 7900 to 27,000 members and became the leading global association for in-house counsel. Fred received a Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to corporate governance from Corporate Secretary magazine (2010) and the Ally for Justice Award from the National LGBT Bar Association (2011). He is an avid photographer and his work can be found at http://fredkrebs.zenfolio.com.

Robert (Bob) Major – Bob is the founding partner of Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA). MLA is the largest legal recruiting firm in the world, specializing in the recruitment and placement of lawyers and other legal staff. The firm comprises approximately 150 recruiters spread among 23 offices around the world. Bob founded the firm in 1982 after practicing law for five years with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale) and for one year as in-house securities counsel with Saga Corporation. Bob’s own practice within MLA is recruiting General Counsels and other senior lawyers for public and private companies, private equity firms, and other institutions. Bob has placed the General Counsel at clients as diverse as Facebook, Stanford University, Clorox, Salesforce, Uber, DocuSign, Del Monte Foods, Michael’s Stores, The Fresh Market, and Masonite. Bob is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and Stanford University. He and his partner, Russ Jones, live in Texas and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jarel L. Melendez – Jarel Melendez is the Youth Advocate for the Adolescents Confronting Transition (ACT) Project at Lawyers For Children, a non-profit child advocacy organization that provides legal representation and social work services to children in foster care, abuse, neglect, custody, visitation, termination of parental rights, paternity, and family offense proceedings. Jarel is a product of the Child Welfare System, and he uses his experiences as a former foster care youth to inspire his clients to take every opportunity available to achieve success.  Additionally, Mr. Melendez is a member of state and citywide workgroups focused on issues of aging out of foster care, and has testified before the New York City Council and the New York State Assembly on issues affecting youth aging out of care. Mr. Melendez also leads a Monthly Support group for LGBT Foster Care Youth titled “Circle Of Youth.” The North American Council on Adoptable Children organization in 2010 presented Jarel Melendez with the “Youth Advocate of the Year” award.

Sharon Melnick – Sharon Melnick, Ph.D. is a business psychologist, executive coach, and stress resilience expert. Her work is informed by 10 years of research at Harvard Medical School and field tested by over 10,000 training participants. She has become the trusted ‘go to’ resource for HR professionals and coached numerous lawyers both at firms and in-house. (Yet her most in-depth knowledge of the challenges of lawyers comes from being the partner of one!) Dr. Melnick is a sought-after speak and has presented on women’s advancement and LGBT success at NAWL, NY Women’s Bar, National Association of Women Lawyers, NY Women’s Bar, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), Multicultural Women’s Conference, Women in Cable and Telecommunications, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Women Presidents Organization, Working Mother Congress, Allied Women Professionals,  and many others. She has been invited back for multiple engagements at organizations such as Procter and Gamble, Merck, MetLife, Novartis, Moodys, NY Life,  Freddie Mac, Oracle, and law firms such as O’Melveny and Myers, Sidley Austin and others. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Success under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive when the Pressure’s On. Discover more at www.sharonmelnick.com

Molly Remes – Molly Remes is the president of MORE INCLUSION. She focuses on creating and managing large-scale diversity and inclusion initiatives using her expertise in issues management to help organizations implement and sustain diversity and inclusion strategies. She is certified to conduct IDI® assessments to determine intercultural competence, and experienced in leading focus groups and senior leadership interviews to identify blocks to the success of diversity and inclusion efforts in organizations and in developing strategic plans, metrics, training and communications to help organizations achieve their diversity and inclusion goals. She focuses on providing services to law firms, accounting firms and financial institutions. Ms. Remes has served as the Director of Diversity Programs at McGuireWoods LLP. On behalf of McGuireWoods, she accepted a George B. Vashon Innovator Awards from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Prior to focusing on diversity and inclusion, she had a 20-year career in corporate communications and issues management, where she advised corporations on issues ranging from union campaigns to a hostile takeover attempts to announcements on accounting errors. Ms. Remes has a Diversity Management Certificate from Cornell University, a Masters in Public Communications from American University and a Bachelors of Science from Oklahoma State University.

Kenneth M. Sanchez – Ken Sanchez is an active member of the Board of Directors of LeGaL – The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York and currently serves as Vice-President. Prior to joining the Board, Ken was responsible for chairing LeGaL’s Social & Networking Committee, where he helped assemble a large committee of members that created a robust calendar of networking and social events for the Bar Association. Ken’s prior professional experience includes serving as Director of Business Development and Strategic Relationship Management at Bloomberg Law, a division of Bloomberg LP offering subscription based online legal information services to law firms. In his former position at Bloomberg Law, Ken was responsible for working with senior partners and other law firm personnel to determine best practices for business development and client retention. He is also involved with Lambda Legal, The Hispanic Steering Committee for the New York State Republican Party, The Trevor Project and served as President of the Log Cabin Republicans of Massachusetts from 2003-2005. A native of New York City, Ken earned his Undergraduate degree in Political Science and Spanish Language & Literature at Fordham University in New York and his Law Degree at Boston College Law School. He currently resides in New York City.

Bennett Singer – Bennett Singer is a New York-based filmmaker with more than 20 years’ experience in the production of social-issue documentaries. He directed Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin with Nancy Kates; the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, aired nationally on PBS and Logo, and won 25 awards, including the GLAAD Media Award and eight Best Documentary prizes. It has been shown at The United Nations, The Kennedy Center, and in countries around the globe. Singer’s credits include Eyes on the Prize II, an Emmy-winning series on civil rights history; With God On Our Side; and The Question of Equality, all broadcast nationally on PBS. His latest documentary, Electoral Dysfunction, explores why America’s voting system is broken—and how it can be fixed. Hosted by political humorist Mo Rocca, the film had a dual premiere at the 2012 Democratic and Republican Conventions; aired nationally on PBS; and won the American Bar Association’s 2013 Silver Gavel Award, the ABA’s highest honor for media projects that foster public understanding of the law. Singer served for eight years as Executive Editor of TIME Magazine’s education program and is the editor of Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian, an award-winning anthology for young people.


Career Counselors

Julie Anna Alvarez – Julie Anna Alvarez is Director of Alumni Career Services at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law’s Office of Career Services. Alvarez is the elected Northeast Region Schools’ representative to the NALP Nominating Committee 2014-2015. She is Immediate Past Co-Chair of the Law School Alumni Career Services Section (2012-2014). Through NALP she participated in the National LGBT Bar Association’s “SafeSpace” training program for career counselors in 2013. A graduate of Harvard Law School, this native New Yorker practiced as a Corporate associate at Cravath and as an IP/Entertainment associate at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu before embarking on an alternative career trajectory. That trajectory has included work as legal counsel to a non- profit, Assistant Director of the Legal Referral Service at the New York City Bar Association, Associate Director of Admissions at New York Law School, and entrepreneur. Her contributions to NALP include authoring the articles Alumni Counseling Basics for Law School Career Counselors and So Many Directions to Go!: Counseling Alumni on Alternative Career Options. She co-authored the articles Tips on Offering Effective Alumni-Focused Career Programming and Making Alumni Networking Happen with Robert White of UC Berkeley.

José Bahamonde-González – José Bahamonde-González is the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs & Compliance at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. He is also the faculty advisor to the Latino/a Law Students Association and the LGBT Law Students Alliance and serves as the Chair of the Diversity Advisory Council to the President of the University of Maryland. He is a frequent speaker on topics related to law student professional development, diversity, recruitment, hiring and retention, as well as law school administrative and financial matters. Dean Bahamonde-González currently serves on the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) LGBT Subcommittee. He is also the Chair-Elect of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), Law School Administration and Finance Section and is a member of the Student Services Section. An active member of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) since 1992, Dean Bahamonde-González has served as NALP Vice President, Chair of the Leadership/Membership Diversity Task Force and the Board of Directors. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the FreeState Legal Project in Baltimore, Maryland. He earned his B.S. in Management from the University of Massachusetts and his J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law.

Andrew Chapin – Andrew Chapin has counseled law students and lawyers at Fordham Law for more than 10 years about their legal careers, and produced or participated in more than 100 legal career programs and job fairs. Prior to Fordham, Andrew was Associate Director of Career Planning at City University of New York School of Law (3 years), and in Career Services at Columbia University School of Law (9 years). Andrew has additional experience working in the Department of Legal Services at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the Office of General Counsel at COS Computer Systems, and providing support services to attorneys and partners at several of Manhattan’s largest law firms.  Andrew’s two graduate degrees, Master of Art & Master of Education, in Counseling, were earned at Columbia University, Teachers College. Andrew is a member of various committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York County Bar Association, American Association of Law Schools, American Bar Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Law Placement. Andrew is a member of and/or volunteers with several organizations including Ali Forney Center, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda LEDF, Habitat for Humanity, NAACP and ACLU.

Douglas Ebeling – Douglas Ebeling is the Professional Development Manager at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.  He monitors and manages the professional development progress and needs of associates and special counsel.  He works, in particular, with the litigation department on training initiatives.  He oversees the annual evaluation process for all attorneys, facilitates the mentoring program and is a coaching resource for attorneys.  Mr. Ebeling has also held professional development positions at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.  He began his career in education, as Dean of the Sophomore Class at Bowdoin College in Maine.  He received his M.B.A. from Bowling Green State University and his J.D. from Vermont Law School.  He served as Chief Law Clerk for the Vermont Trial Courts and was an associate for seven years at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in the Complex Mass Torts and Litigation Group.

Mark Goldfarb – Mark Goldfarb counsels JD students, LLMs, and alumni at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is an active member of NALP (The Association of Legal Career Professionals) and LeGaL (The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York). He served as 2013-2014 Chair of the NALP LGBT Section, and he has presented at the Annual Conference and written NALP Bulletin articles regarding diversity, admissions, and public service. Prior to Cardozo Law, he advised students and alumni at the University of Iowa College of Law and practiced law at Dechert LLP, where he focused on securities regulation and corporate governance matters for mutual funds and insurance company separate accounts. Mr. Goldfarb also enjoyed his pro bono practice, where he litigated wrongful eviction cases. He earned his BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his JD from George Washington University Law School.

Supria Kuppuswamy – Supria Kuppuswamy is the Manager of Career Development & Diversity at Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York. Prior to her work at Chadbourne, she worked as Associate Director of Career Services at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia for approximately four years. Before Emory Law, Ms. Kuppuswamy was a litigation associate at two Atlanta law firms. Ms. Kuppuswamy received her B.A., cum laude, in English from Vanderbilt University and her J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. In June 2014, she earned a Certificate in Coaching from New York University. Ms. Kuppuswamy is a member of NALP, the New York City Recruitment Association, the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals, and the State Bar of Georgia.

Lori Lorenzo – Lori is mom to four kids, Amanda 12, Mark 10, Kyle 7, and Ethan 5. She joined the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity in 2012 with responsibility for national strategic program development and marketing. Prior to joining LCLD, she worked with law schools to design initiatives focused on inclusion for students, faculty and staff. Before that, Lori owned and operated a martial arts and fitness company, and once upon a time, a long, long time ago, she was a structured finance attorney. Lori has published a number of articles, and is a frequent speaker, on diversity, inclusion and professional development. She has lead diversity initiatives for NALP and the LGBT Bar Association, and spearheaded the development of the first Safe Space Training program for law schools and legal employers, in collaboration with the National LGBT Bar Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Caroline K. Menes – Caroline Menes is currently the Director of Legal Recruiting at Proskauer Rose LLP’s New York office.  Caroline is responsible for all aspects of hiring summer associates and lateral associates as well as overseeing the summer associate program.  During her 1L summer, she worked as a legal intern for the San Francisco Airports Authority and, during her 2L summer, was a Summer Associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where she also worked as a corporate associate upon graduation. Before joining Proskauer, Caroline managed corporate paralegals at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and served as a career services counselor at Columbia Law School for over three years.  Caroline received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.  She is a member of the New York Bar, a member of the New York City Bar Association and serves on the NALP Ethics and Standards Advisory Group.

Eric J. Stern – Before relocating to California, Eric was a Senior Career Counselor at the George Washington University School of Law. Eric arrived at GW after a career in politics and advocacy—most recently serving as the Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats, the national organization representing LGBT Democrats. Before joining Stonewall, he was appointed as the director of GLBT Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, where he developed a national grass-roots infrastructure for the Kerry-Edwards campaign and served as an Iowa Regional Field Director during the general election.  He received his law degree from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. While in law school, he interned for the U.S. Department of Justice–Civil Rights Division; the Whitman-Walker Clinic; the Children’s Law Center; and the Human Rights Campaign. After law school, he was awarded a Dorot Law Fellowship at the Alliance for Justice.  In the 2008 election cycle, Stern served as a Political Advisor to the John Edwards for President Campaign and then as one of six National LGBT Co-Chairs for the Obama-Biden Campaign.

Carroll Welch – Carroll Welch is a legal career coach and counselor and a former practicing attorney. She is Principal and Founder of Carroll Welch Consulting (www.carrollwelchconsulting.com). Through her consulting work, she supports attorneys at all stages of career planning and development, including supporting them in transitioning back into the paid workforce; moving into new employment venues or practice areas; resume drafting and revising; interview preparation; and goal setting. Carroll previously worked with Pace Law School’s re-entry program, New Directions for Attorneys, where she supported attorneys in their efforts to transition or return either to legal practice or an alternative legal career. For several years after law school, Carroll practiced commercial litigation and employment law at Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts (now Pillsbury Winthrop) in New York and then at Jackson Lewis in Stamford, Connecticut. Carroll is a past chair and member of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Career Advancement and Management and a current member of the Women in the Profession Committee and the Advisory Committee for the New Lawyers Institute. She is a member of the International Coach Federation. Carroll attended Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia School of Law. She completed a certificate program in Executive and Organizational Coaching at New York University in 2013.

Career Coaches

Ann Jenrette-Thomas – Ann Jenrette-Thomas, Esq., CPCC, is an attorney, leadership and diversity coach, consultant, and facilitator. For over 18 years, Ann has worked with leaders in an array of industries, including legal, medical, engineering, corporate, government, and large nonprofit organizations. As the compiling editor of the Amazon best-selling new releaseThe Happy Law Practice: Expert Strategies to Build Business and Maintain Peace of Mind and founder of www.EsquireCoaching.com, Ann takes a multidisciplinary approach to helping lawyers and other high achievers attain personal and professional success. Ann coaches leaders to develop a variety of skills that will make them more influential and effective by enhancing their ability to think strategically, articulate their vision, develop emotional intelligence, build stronger teams, create a compelling personal brand, AND have a thriving personal life! In addition, Ann specializes in diversity coaching, focusing on personal empowerment as well as ways to help remove internal and external barriers to career advancement.  Using a combination of right-brained and left-brained strategies, Ann ensures that her clients achieve comprehensive results that enable them to meet their goals. Ann lives in Delaware with her wife, Valerie, and adorable Boston Terrier puppy, Sophie.

Gila Lee Adato – Gila Lee Adato, Esq. practiced securities law for the majority of her career, assisting broker-dealers and other financial firms in building and maintaining their legal and compliance departments in-house and on a consulting basis. Determined after almost 13 years to merge her two previously separate worlds, corporate life and her heart centered work and fueled by her passion for personal transformation and giving, Gilatransitioned to a new area of law, assisted reproductive technology (ART). Gila’s unique and diverse experiences include having played an integral part in the building and growth of businesses, both in and out of finance, as well as volunteering with women and their children in battered women’s shelters and teenage inmates at Rikers prison, teaching them success and life skills and allowing them to dream new dreams and see the possibilities of change.

José Albino – José Albino, MA, CPC, ELI-MP, is a Life and Empowerment Coach that assists clients remove the blocks that prevent them from living the life that they desire. As a trained psychotherapist, José fuses modalities, tools and techniques  from both disciplines, counseling and coaching, to provide concrete and sustainable shifts for his clients. He has worked in the non-profit sector as a senior manager for over 15 years. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University at Albany, M.A. in Counseling from The George Washington University and Certifications from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and New York University School of Social Work. He is currently the host of his own radio shows on both the Life Coach Radio Network and the International Life Coach Radio Network. He is fluent in Spanish.

Kimberly Fernandez – Kimberly is a passionate executive coach. The founder of Kcaptivates, Kimberly thrives on bringing her sassy, enchanting, and irresistible charm to help others find their style of captivation within themselves. As a New York-Rican with her BS from NYU, and raised along the borders of Brooklyn & Queens, Kimberly teaches the dark art of captivation. She coaches on how to bewitch others so they can have power over: their colleagues at work, their lovers and even their kids.  Kimberly helps them find their sazon, their sofrito, their spice, their flavor within and transform this into a powerful ingredient in their lives. It’s her promise to make captivation their new way of life.

Richard Oceguera – Richard Oceguera believes business is all about making connections. And the key to building your business community is YOU. It is your ability to project a powerful presence that will attract clients like a magnet. That’s why he launched his newest venture, Richard Oceguera Coaching. He is sharing 29 years of experience in sales, training, marketing, speaking and personal development via live events, virtual workshops and private coaching. Everything he does is designed to show business professionals the art of creating a powerful presence and how that leads to more  connections and, ultimately, more money. Richard can help you go from hiding in the shadows to commanding the spotlight with genuine confidence.

Nancy Barrood – Nancy Barrood, Esq. is a personal stylist for attorneys.  During her 20-year tenure practicing law, Nancy documented how wardrobe choices affected her colleagues, both in and out of court. She believes that advocacy begins with first impressions, and she has been helping her colleagues achieve more effective outcomes by first building their own confidence, coaching attorneys to dress to persuade, be conciliatory, command the room, or attract new clients.  She teaches new hires how to fit into the culture of the firm without giving up their individual style, female lawyers how to maintain their femininity without losing their competitive edge, and partners the power of tailoring and custom clothing.  Nancy also owns Buttons and BowTies, a wardrobe consultation service for attorneys.

Lenese Herbert – Lenese Herbert, Esq. is currently a Professor of Law at Howard Law School. Professor Herbert served as a Visiting Professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, 2007-08. Formerly, Professor Herbert was a Professor at Albany Law School and an Associate Professor of Law at Western New England College School of Law, where she began law teaching as an Assistant Professor in 1999. Immediately prior to entering law teaching, Professor Herbert served as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, criminal and civil divisions; Trial Attorney, Manipulation and Trade Practice Unit, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Commodity Futures Training Commission; and Attorney-Advisor, Chief Counsel’s office, U.S. Department of Transportation. Prior to government service, Professor Herbert was a law clerk for George Haley and Associates. Professor Herbert assists attorneys who are seeking assistance with career transition within the law and on issues of career advancement for diverse attorneys.