2015 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 2015 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

Non-Profit

Academia

Veterans and Armed Services Personnel

Judges

Other

Career Counselors


Corporate Counsel

Ross Allen– Ross Allen serves as in-house counsel for Align Technology, a global medical device company that develops innovative products, such as the Invisalign® clear aligner system, the iTero scanner, and OrthoCAD services for dental professionals. His role focuses on global brand protection, litigation, and advertising and promotion of Class II medical devices. Before joining Align Technology, Allen was a litigation associate at two international law firms where he represented clients in various intellectual property and complex commercial litigation matters. His practice spanned a wide range of technologies, including biotechnology, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and computer systems.

Robert E. Bostrom– Robert Bostrom serves as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, for Abercrombie & Fitch. Bob is also a member of the Board of Directors of NeuLion, Inc. He has worked at the highest levels of leadership in the banking sector, private legal practice and inside a government sponsored enterprise. He has advised boards of directors and committees on corporate governance issues, effective compliance and enterprise risk management programs, and crisis management. He has extensive experience representing financial institutions on regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters and Dodd-Frank. Bob joined Abercrombie & Fitch from Greenberg Traurig where he was Co-Chairman of the Financial Regulatory and Compliance Group and previously was with SNR Denton where he was Co-Head of the Global Financial Institutions and Funds Sector. Before that he served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Freddie Mac from February 2006 to July 2011. At Freddie Mac, Bob had oversight and management responsibility for all legal and regulatory strategies, services, resources and corporate governance matters. Prior to Freddie Mac, Bob was the managing partner of the New York office of Winston & Strawn LLP, where he was a Member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and Head of its Financial Institutions Group. Previously, he was Executive Vice President Legal, Regulatory and Compliance and General Counsel of National Westminster Bancorp.

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.

Lawrence Dietrich– Lawrence Dietrich is Senior Counsel at The Coca-Cola Company.  As Senior Counsel, Lawrence serves as an internal legal resource for the company’s U.S. bottling operations, providing support in a variety of legal areas including contracts, marketing, antitrust, and regulatory compliance.  Prior to this role, Lawrence served as labor and employment counsel for Coca-Cola.  Lawrence is co-chair of The Coca-Cola Company Legal Division’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, a member of Legal Division’s Diversity Council, and a 2013 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow for Coca-Cola.  He is also active in the company’s LGBTA Business Resource Group. Before joining Coca-Cola in 2008, Lawrence practiced law with the firms of Jones Day and Greenberg Traurig.  Lawrence received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, Political Science, & European Studies from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois and his Juris Doctor from the Georgia State University College of Law. Lawrence is admitted to the Georgia and California State Bars. Lawrence is an avid marathoner, engaged in local political campaigns, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his partner, Rick.

Ted Furman– Ted Furman is a Vice President in the GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) Legal  Department managing a global team handling GSK’s Consumer Healthcare patent matters,  having joined GSK in 2002.   Ted has also been a member of the patent departments at Bristol-Myers Squibb and the RCA Corporation and has a total of 34 years in the patent profession. Ted is co-chair of GSK Legal’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Team which has implemented a variety of diversity programs leading to GSK being the first Pharma company to sign on to the Law Society’s (UK) Diversity and Inclusion Charter in 2010, GSK Legal being an MCCA Mid-Atlantic Region Employer of Choice for 2010 and 2014, and GSK scoring a 100 on HRC’s ‘Best LGBT Places To Work’ list every year since 2006.  In 2014 GSK was also recognized with national awards by NAMWOLF and DRI.  For the past 11 years Ted has served as Executive Sponsor for GSK’s Philadelphia-area LGBT Employee Resource Group, SPECTRUM, and GSK Legal  earned the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2012 Out and Proud Corporate Counsel Award  in 2012.  Ted has also been on the LGBT Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2013.

Jill Jacobson– Jill Jacobson is Husqvarna Group’s Sr. Commercial Counsel.  In that role, Jill acts as a corporate generalist – on any given day, she might work on drafting a supply agreement, consult with engineers on a product development issue, prepare rules for a contest marketing wants to run on social media, provide advice to a sales representative on a dealer issue, negotiate with a vendor, or work with logistics personnel on a new warehouse deal.  Before joining Husqvarna, Jill was a trial lawyer whose practice was focused on product liability litigation. Jill earned her law degree from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s in Business (Marketing) from San Jose State University.  The Husqvarna Group is the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products including chainsaws, trimmers, lawn mowers and garden tractors. The Group’s products and solutions are sold via dealers and retailers to both consumers and professional users in more than 100 countries. Net sales in 2014 amounted to SEK 30 billion, and the Group had 14,000 employees in more than 40 countries.

Spencer Jones– Spencer Jones is a Director of Litigation at eBay Inc.  Based in Salt Lake City, he manages a variety of litigation matters for eBay.com and its various affiliates, including eBay Enterprise, PayPal.com, StubHub.com, and Shopping.com.  These matters have touched a wide variety of subject matter and business function, including e-commerce and the Internet, banking and financial services, antitrust and competition, privacy, intellectual property, and employment.  His expertise in the arena of intellectual property stems from his involvement with eBay’s industry-leading Verified Rights Owner (“VeRO”) Program, which protects the IP rights of brand owners from counterfeiters and other infringers, as well as from achieving several favorable resolutions and court precedents related to secondary and contributory IP claims and eBay’s entitlement to immunity from such claims under the Communications Decency Act.  Prior to joining eBay, Spencer was a Counsel at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, in San Francisco, where he was a member of the firm’s Business Trial and Litigation, Antitrust, and International Arbitration practice groups.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford Law School.

Sandra L. Neely– Sandra L. Neely is Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, and is responsible for leading a department that provides corporate legal services across the Nationwide Insurance organization. Sandy oversees the Corporate Legal Team, whose primary responsibilities include providing legal counsel on banking, privacy, information security, corporate law and governance, investments, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, tax and benefits issues to the company.  Her team also provides business operational services for the Office of the Chief Legal and Governance Officer. Prior to her current responsibilities, Sandy provided legal support for a variety of investment, real estate and general corporate matters for the Nationwide organization. Before joining Nationwide, Sandy was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio, representing the Ohio Departments of Insurance, Commerce and Development. Sandy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from the University of Akron, and her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Sandy is a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel. She also serves on the board of Alvis House and is an active leader at her church.

Alicia Powell– Alicia Powell has been Chief Counsel at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. since 2013. In that role she manages a team of lawyers and paralegals who support PNC’s Wealth Management, Institutional Investments, Hawthorne, PNC Realty Investors, PNC Capital Advisors, and PNC mutual funds businesses.  She also Chairs the Legal Department’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative. Prior to joining PNC, Alicia was a partner in the Investment Management practice at Reed Smith LLP, a top 15 global law firm.  In this role Alicia represented mutual funds and investment advisers, and worked with the trust/private wealth departments of several top ten U.S. financial institutions.  While at Reed Smith, Alicia Chaired the Pittsburgh Office’s award-winning Women’s Initiative, focused on the recruitment, retention and promotion of women lawyers. Alicia resides in Peters Township with her husband (Colin) and two children, ages 6 and 10. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Miami University and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law where she served as Associate Editor of Vanderbilt Law Review.

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.

Julius Towers– Julius Towers is a Senior Trademark and Copyright Counsel at Colgate-Palmolive.  In addition to overseeing the personal care product category as well as licensing/transactional support, Julius oversees global digital media legal training and is the Digital Media Legal Champion for Corporate (US) legal, and serves on the Legal Department 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 non-patent 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 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) 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.

William Tran– William Tran is Senior Counsel, Production Legal in the Television Entertainment Group at NBCUniversal where he advises creative and business executives on intellectual property, defamation, privacy, contract, newsgathering, and regulatory issues.  At the company, William has advised clients for the NBC Network, as well as clients at the cable networks of Bravo, USA, and Syfy.  Prior to joining NBCUniversal, William was an employment and labor associate in the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin LLP.  During law school, William was an editor for the Michigan Law Review and a member of both APALSA and Outlaws.  William earned his undergraduate degree in history from Swarthmore College, where he graduated with High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa.  William is currently active in organizations advocating LGBT equality and advancing the interests of Asian Pacific Americans.  In 2014, the National LGBT Bar Association named William as one of their “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.”

John Treviño– John Treviño currently serves as a lead attorney for privacy and cyber security issues and escalations in the Americas and Asia Pacific regions at Hewlett-Packard. Previously he served as a privacy and data protection attorney and litigator for American Airlines. Before that, he served Of Counsel at Beirne Maynard & Parsons, LLP.


Private Practice

Toby Adams- Toby Adams. J.D., M.B.A. practices family law in Northern California, with a focus on LGBTQI and alternative families. Toby is a founding board member of the Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project, and interned with National Center for Lesbian Rights, Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center, Transgender Law Center, Advocates for Informed Choice, and Equality California. She has been a leader in bisexual visibility and marriage equality for over a decade, as the founding chairperson of the Placer County chapter of Marriage Equality USA in 2004-2006, and chairperson of South Bay Bisexual Organizers and Activists in 2000. Toby was one of the principal authors of the BiLaw amicus brief filed in the Obergefell, DeBoer, Bourke, and Tanco Supreme Court marriage cases in 2015. Toby received her J.D. with Distinction from University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2012. Prior to beginning her legal career Toby was a Project Manager at Hewlett-Packard. Toby lives in the SF Bay Area with her wife, Jean, and their very special daughter, Kalen.

Jodi A. Argentino– Argentino is a Partner with Argentino & Jacobs, LLC, located in Morristown and Montclair, New Jersey, where she practices exclusively in the area of Family Law and focuses on LGBT families and complex parentage.  Jodi received her JD from Syracuse University College of Law in 2002, where she also received a Certification of Specialization in Family Law and Social Policy and was a Teaching Assistant for The Children’s Rights and Family Law Clinic.  Jodi is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association as well as of the Family Law Institute of same.  Jodi is also the current Vice Chair of the NJSBA LGBT Rights Section, and a member of the NJSBA Family Law Section and has served with the District X Fee Arbitration Committee of the NJ Office of Attorney Ethics.  Jodi has written extensively on LGBT-related Family Law issues and is a presenter for NJICLE and for the NJ Administrative Office of the Courts. Jodi is a member of BiLaw and is a co-founder of LGBTeach, LLC.  Jodi, a proud soccer mom, resides in Montclair, NJ with her three sons.

Merisa Bowers– Merisa is a University of Cincinnati graduate and a cum laude graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. She works to promote her family’s long-standing value that everyone, regardless of class, gender, income, race, or age, deserves competent and compassionate legal representation. Realizing Ohioans’ need for aggressive yet affordable representation, Merisa established her law practice in January 2010. Merisa has experience with Ohio’s foremost criminal justice and civil rights advocates. Her prior experience includes working as an administrative assistant at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP in Cincinnati, a Federal Judicial Externship with the Honorable Sara Lioi in the Northern District of Ohio, and working as the litigation law clerk at Friedman & Gilbert in Cleveland, Ohio. She continues to have strong professional relationships with some of Ohio’s premiere litigators.

Judith Branham– Judith Branham is a Vice President in Stroz Friedberg’s Minneapolis office where she assists law firms and organizations in handling data breaches, privacy issues, cybercrime and digital forensic investigations. Ms. Branham previously served as an attorney at Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP. Before joining Faegre Baker Daniels, she was in 3M’s legal department where she was the notable recipient of The Pyramid of Excellence award given for her outstanding and innovative guidance in developing 3M’s eDiscovery program, including handling international data transfers. Ms. Branham is a frequent speaker and author on the topic of Cyber Security, Privacy, Data Breaches, and eDiscovery.

Jason Burch– Jason Burch is an associate in Sidley Austin’s Chicago office. His practice focuses on advising life sciences companies in a variety of regulatory compliance and enforcement matters, including criminal and civil investigations by the United States Department of Justice and the Food and Drug Administration. Jason currently serves on the Board of the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee, and on the Auxiliary Board of Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre. He earned his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was a legal advisor to the Northwestern Access to Health Project, an interdisciplinary human rights team that designs community-level public health initiatives in developing countries. Before practicing law, Jason played professional baseball for six seasons, and worked as a legislative strategist in Austin, Texas.

Joan M. Burda– Joan M. Burda practices law in Lakewood, Ohio. She is the award-winning author of Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples, Second Edition and Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Clients: A Lawyer’s Guide. The third edition of the estate-planning book is due out later in 2015. She writes about LGBT legal issues and frequently speaks on LGBT legal issues at national and international conferences and workshops. Joan and her spouse, Betsy, are celebrating 25 years together (5 legally married) in September 2015.

Dominic Campodonico– Dominic Campodonico is a partner in Gordon & Rees’ San Francisco office.  He has more than 17 years of experience serving as national, regional, and/or local counsel in litigation involving manufacturers of a variety of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology products.  He has extensive experience handling sales and marketing litigation strategies and assists his clients with high-stakes matters that frequently occur simultaneously with litigation, such as risk management and compliance, FDA/regulatory issues, government investigations, False Claims Act cases, and crisis communications. In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Campodonico is an active member in the community serving on various Boards of Directors including Under One Roof, the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefits District, and the Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF) Justice & Diversity Center.  He has also served on many committees including the Equality Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues for BASF and the judiciary and dinner committees for Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom.  He has had many roles at Gordon & Rees including co-chairing its national LGBT Affinity Group, the Recruiting Partner for the Summer Associate Program, and the Chair of the firm’s Community Service, Diversity, and Pro Bono Committees for the San Francisco office. Mr. Campodonico has spoken and been published on LGBT legal issues at national and local seminars.

Alana Chazan– Alana Chazan, Esq. is a family law attorney and mediator who focuses on the needs of LGBT families in Los Angeles at her law firm, Chazan Family Law, P.C. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Chazan was an Equal Justice Works Fellow, who spent three years developing family law, domestic violence and immigration legal services for low-income gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender survivors of domestic violence at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Bay Area Legal Aid. Ms. Chazan is a California certified domestic violence advocate. Ms. Chazan’s writings on sexuality and the law have been published in the Texas Journal of Women and the Law and in the New York City Law Review. Ms. Chazan is also a California bar exam tutor and grader with Bar Winners, and a Professor of Law at the People’s College of Law in Los Angeles, California. Prior to law school, Ms. Chazan received an M.A. in Political Science at the New School for Social Research, and she graduated with honors from the University of California Santa Cruz.

Gregory Cochran– Gregory Cochran is a Partner at Nossaman LLP. He is a physician/healthcare attorney with broad experience in transactions, regulatory counseling and peer review, licensing administrative law and in legal issues unique to foundations and integrated healthcare delivery systems. Mr. Cochran’s clients include medical staffs, medical groups, individual physicians, hospitals and health systems. His work is informed by more than a decade of experience as an emergency medicine physician, allowing Mr. Cochran the opportunity to offer a deep understanding of the legal issues impacting his clients through first-hand industry experience. He currently serves as the Editor in Chief for the American College of Legal Medicine’s online publication, Legal Medicine Perspectives.

Liza Cristol-Deman– Liza Cristol-Deman is a partner at Brancart & Brancart, a law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area that represents plaintiffs in housing discrimination cases throughout the United States.  She joined the firm in 1997 after graduating from Stanford Law School. In her first year of practice at Brancart & Brancart, she won a verdict for the plaintiffs in the first-ever California trial involving housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.  Since then, she has successfully handled approximately 150 housing discrimination cases, including discrimination based on race, national origin, familial status, disability, source of income, and sexual harassment. Recently, she served as lead counsel for the class in a certified class action involving violations of California’s residential security deposit statute at an apartment complex in Silicon Valley.  Liza and her law partner tried the case in April 2014.  The jury found in favor of the class and awarded over $2.25 million in damages. Liza has been honored by many state and local agencies for her work, including the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s “Civil Rights Hero Award.”   She is a regular contributor at fair housing conferences and State Bar trainings.  She also served as one of the contributing authors of the recently published Rutter Group deskbook entitled California Fair Housing and Public Accommodations (The Rutter Group 2014).

Brian Esser– Brian Esser is a solo practitioner whose practice focuses on building families through adoption, surrogacy, and assisted reproductive technology, and protecting families through proper estate planning.  He regularly works with clients pursuing private placement adoption, as well as families securing the parental rights of a non-biological parent through a second-parent adoption.  He also counsels families on sperm donor agreements, and other aspects of assisted reproductive technology.  He has a particular interest in helping LGBT people build their families, and also the citizenship implications for Americans who build their families abroad using assisted reproduction. Brian started his career at Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC before moving to Baker & Hostetler’s New York office.  He sits on the board of directors of the National LGBT Bar Foundation, and is a member of the ABA’s Family Law Section Committees on Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology.  He has been recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyers Rising Star and one of the Top LGBT Lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.  He and his husband Kevin live in Park Slope, Brooklyn and have two sons through open adoption.

Sam Felker– Sam Felker is a trial attorney at Baker Donelson’s Nashville office. His practice focuses on products liability and food safety, mass torts, insurance coverage and commercial litigation. Over his career, Sam has represented clients in many national mass tort cases including pelvic mesh, fen-phen, orthopedic and spinal implants, Zyprexa, gadolinium, PPA, 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 a trained mediator who is experienced with all aspects of Alternative Dispute Resolution. For many years, Sam has actively participated in the LGBT National Bar Association and lectures on diversity topics at Lavender Law and ABA programs. He has served as coordinating counsel for ACLU matters in Tennessee involving LGBT rights and he frequently represents pro bono LGBT clients. Currently, Sam is president of Tennessee Stonewall Bar Association, which advocates for LGBT diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and he is also a leader in Baker Donelson’s LGBT affinity group, Affinitas.

Valerie L. Hletko– Ms. Hletko is a partner in BuckleySandler’s Washington, D.C. office.  She represents clients in complex civil litigation and in connection with regulatory examinations, investigations, and administrative enforcement actions initiated by the DOJ, FDIC, FRB, 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, fair and responsible banking, and compliance with federal consumer financial 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.

Andy Izenson– Andy Izenson is an Associate Attorney and mediator with Diana Adams Law & Mediation, PLLC, and is a passionate advocate for queer and nontraditional families and for trans and gender non-conforming youth and adults. As a collaborative attorney trained by the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals and mediator trained by the New York Center for Interpersonal Development, Andy aids clients in creating intentional structures and support for their families. Longstanding affiliations with the National LGBT Bar Association, and with the National Lawyers Guild as a member of the NYC Chapter Executive Committee and a legal observer, frame Andy’s commitment to support for queer community and families as well as to a radical, anti-assimilationist politic. Andy is also an activist and educator on gender, sexuality, positive consent practices, and sexual communication, and speaks at various organizations and events on the East Coast about those topics, including the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, Open Love NY, Skidmore College, and Columbia University. Andy studied sociolinguistics at Skidmore College, publishing a thesis on nonbinary gender and paralinguistic communication in the International Journal of Arts and Sciences, and then attended New York Law School as a member of the Justice Action Center and a Trustee Scholar.

Michael R. Jarecki– Michael R. 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. Michael is Second Vice Chair 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 government. Michael is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois College of Law. 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 A. 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 and Business Law 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, Equality NC, Coastal Women Attorneys and St. Jude’s Wilmington Foundation, Inc.

Noah Kressler– Noah Kressler is of counsel in Baker Donelson’s New Orleans office. Mr. Kressler is an experienced corporate finance and transactional attorney whose practice covers a wide range of capital markets, securities law and general corporate matters. He has significant experience advising public and private companies, financial institutions, private equity sponsors, investment banks and shareholders in public and private offerings of equity and debt, including initial public offerings, follow-on and secondary offerings, private placements, strategic investments and acquisition financing. He also advises clients on general corporate and business matters, corporate governance issues and securities law compliance. Mr. Kressler represents many different types of companies, including multinational corporations, middle market companies and emerging growth companies across numerous industries, including financial services, health care, retail, internet and entertainment and media. He has practiced in New York and London. He is a graduate of Vassar College and Tulane Law School, where in 2014 and 2015 he served as an adjunct professor of law.

Stephen C. Lessard– Stephen C. Lessard is a senior associate in the Tax Group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. He is active with the firm’s Diversity and Recruiting Committees, and serves as the chair of the firm’s Veterans Forum and NY LGBT Affinity Group.  He has engaged in a number of pro bono projects, including providing tax advice to non-profit organizations, assisting veterans to upgrade their military discharge, providing life planning advice to LGBT individuals, and volunteering with the Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network. During a 20-year career with the U.S. Navy, Mr. Lessard served in a number of positions on ships and ashore as a Surface Warfare Officer.  He was honored with various personal and unit awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal. Mr. Lessard earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.  He currently serves as Vice-President of the New York County Lawyers Association and is a member of the NLGBT Bar Military Law Working Group and the New York State Bar Association Committee on Veterans.  He was recently named a Minority Corporate Counsel Association 2015 Rising Star.  Mr. Lessard is admitted to the Bar in New York and the United States Tax Court.

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 six 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. Seth received a B.S. in biological engineering from Cornell University and a J.D. from the University of Southern California.

Laura J. Maechtlen – Laura J. 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.  Laura’s practice is focused on complex employment litigation and includes the defense of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions under federal and California state law.  Laura has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation.  Laura has trial experience, and was a member of multiple trial teams that have secured defense verdicts in the California Superior Courts.  In 2015, Laura was one of five attorneys named as Law360’s “Rising Stars for 2015” in the Employment category.  In 2014, she was named one of the “Top 75” Employment Litigators in California, and one of the “Top 75” Women Litigators in California, and in 2011, was named one of the country’s “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association.  Laura is a past President of the National LGBT Bar Association, and is honored to be the Co-Chair elect for the California Minority Counsel Program.

Angie Martell– Angie Martell is the founder and managing partner of Iglesia Martell Law Firm, PLLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and she has practiced law for over 24 years. In her holistic law practice, she works in a variety of areas, including family, criminal, and business law, and also advocates for the LGBT, Spanish-speaking, and Deaf communities. In 2014, she was the recipient of The Washtenaw County Bar Association’s Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” Award for her work building trust between the community and the legal system, and for tireless devotion to securing fair and equal treatment for all individuals under the law. She also serves as Co-Chair of Washtenaw County’s LGBTQ Rights section.  She is a past Cooperating Attorney with LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund: co-wrote the amicus brief, In the Matter of Sharon Kowalski, Court of Appeals for the State of Minnesota.  Angie has worked extensively in the areas civil rights, family law, LGBT issues, employee rights, criminal defense, mediation, and arbitration.  Angie graduated with a Masters of Law from Harvard Law School and a Juris Doctor from the City University of New York Law School.

Gregory Matalon– Gregory Matalon’s practice concentrates in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, elder law and Not-for-Profit and Religious Corporations Law.  He regularly helps individuals and families plan for the future through the preparation of Last Wills and Testaments, Trusts, Living Wills and Health Care Proxies and Durable Powers of Attorney documents.  Greg provides his clients with the tools to create a tax efficient estate plan, while realizing that the Client’s goals are primary.  Greg also represents Executors and Trustees to navigate the complex Federal and State laws impacting Estates and Trusts.  While representing Executors and Trustees, Greg has identified areas of unsettled law and he has either clarified existing law or, in some cases, created new law through his submissions of Private Letter Ruling requests to both the Internal Revenue Service and New York City Department of Finance.  He has been successful, on behalf of his clients, in each instance. Gregory regularly lectures on various topics of law including: estate planning and estate administration, Medicaid planning, same-sex couples tax planning and Religious Corporations Law topics.  He has lectured before prestigious bar associations (of which he is a member) including: the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), the Nassau County Bar Association and LeGaL and noted accountant organizations including: the National Conference of CPA Practitioners, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the New York Society of Independent Accountants.  Greg is also invited to lecture at the Interchurch Center and various community-based organizations.  This year Gregory was asked to speak by Lawline, a premier provider of continuing legal education.  As a member of the NYSBA, Greg was appointed liaison to the Tax Law Section. In addition, he was granted a seat on the House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the NYSBA. Greg is proud to have represented numerous families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, and to have helped to establish Lutheran Disaster Response of New York, a major charitable organization created in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedies. In addition, to his regular lecture schedule, Gregory has authored numerous articles on estate and tax topics for many professional publications.

Janice Mock– Janice Mock is a Partner at Nossaman LLP, where she is a trial lawyer with over 22 years of experience practicing business litigation. She has represented clients in cases relating to various matters involving, among other things, products liability, commercial business disputes, banking matters, advertising and marketing, fraud investigations, employment matters, real estate, constitutional rights, accounting malpractice, deceptive trade practices and consumer protection, telecommunications, patents, municipal zoning and regulation, and state legislation. Ms. Mock is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and is certified in the U.S. private-sector area.

Richard Milstein– Richard Milstein has been practicing law for over forty years and has had a long career of protecting the civil rights of others.   Specializing in fiduciary litigation and family law, he has dedicated himself to representing the LGBT community, alternative families, children, and vulnerable adults, including the elderly.  As the result of his work for and within the LGBT Community, he received many honors, including the following awards:  SAVE’s Champions of Equality in 2012 and 2014; Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Businessman of the Year in 2007; and the LGBT National Task Force’s Miami Herald Humanitarian Award in 2005. Mr. Milstein handles dissolution of marriage, marital planning, and estate planning, as well as very complex and high profile guardianship and probate matters.  He has been consistently recognized for his work in those fields.  A frequent lecturer and writer, Mr. Milstein is a Board Certified Elder Law attorney.  He is listed in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, South Florida Business Journal’s Best of the Bar,  Florida’s Super Lawyers, Who’s Who for Lawyers in America, and other prestigious legal rating guides.  In his honor and in recognition of his work, The Dade County Bar Association established an award designated the “Richard C. Milstein Award of Excellence.”

Jill Mullins-Cannon– Jill Mullins-Cannon is the managing attorney at Justice & Equality Services, PLLC in Bainbridge Island, Washington. She is a former board member and current volunteer of the GLBT Bar Association of Washington Foundation (QLaw Foundation). During her time on the QLaw Foundation board, Jill led the efforts to create a QLaw Foundation GLBT Legal Clinic. The GLBT Legal Clinic opened its doors in August 2009 and has served more than 500 clients. Jill also led efforts with the QLaw Foundation Project OUTReach to increase access to information about laws impacting the LGBT community throughout Washington State. The other major volunteer activities Jill participates in are Safe Schools Coalition Law & Policy Committee and the Seattle Dyke March. Jill regularly presents CLEs and community education panels. Jill lives on Bainbridge Island, a suburb of Seattle, Washington, with her wife Laura, and her two step-children, Natalie and Zachary. Jill is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington and Wells College in Aurora, New York.

Allegra R. Nethery– Ms. Nethery is a partner with Seyfarth Shaw LLP. As the firm’s full-time Pro Bono and Philanthropy Partner, Ms. Nethery directs Seyfarth Shaw’s overall pro bono program in the firm’s nine offices throughout the United States, ensuring that legal and staff support is provided to maintain pro bono commitments and identifying additional opportunities for volunteer legal representation.  In addition, Ms. Nethery oversees the firm’s community service activities and manages the Seyfarth Shaw Charitable Foundation, through which attorneys and staff can suggest donations to qualified organizations on behalf of the firm.  She works closely with the firm’s attorneys and staff to identify regional and national community service and charitable giving opportunities in order to provide the greatest possible benefit to the communities in which Seyfarth does business and the greatest possible support of the charitable and volunteer efforts of the firm’s attorneys and staff.

John Owen– John Owen is a partner at Jones Day and practices in the areas of capital markets and general corporate law and has represented domestic and international underwriters, issuers, and investors in public and private offerings of debt, equity, convertible, and equity-linked securities; exchange offers; bond and other tender offers; restructurings; and other complex capital markets transactions.  His practice has particular emphasis on advising issuers and underwriters in cross-border offerings, and he has worked on transactions involving issuers and offerings in a number of jurisdictions, including China, France, India, Indonesia, Israel, and the United Kingdom. John serves on the board of directors of the Ali Forney Center, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and other services to homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City.

Tiffany L. Palmer, Esq.- Tiffany L. Palmer, Esq. is a shareholder in Jerner & Palmer, P.C. who focuses her practice on LGBT family law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  She graduated from Rutgers University School of Law. She is an adjunct professor at Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law, teaching Sexual Orientation and the Law. Tiffany is a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, a credentialed, professional organization dedicated to the advancement of best legal practices in assisted reproduction law.  She is also a member of the National Center for Lesbian Rights Family Law Advisory Council and the National LGBT Bar Association’s Family Law Institute. In 2014, Tiffany received the Rutgers University School of Law Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award for her case work and pro bono service on behalf of advancing the rights of LGBT families in Pennsylvania. In 2011, Tiffany was named one of the nation’s “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association. From 2000 to 2003, Tiffany served as Legal Director at the Equality Advocates Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1998 to 2000, she was the Family Rights Project Attorney through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship.

Peter Perkowski– Peter Perkowski is a partner at Gerard Fox and was formerly a partner in the Los Angeles office of Winston & Strawn LLP. Peter has represented individuals seeking asylum and other immigration relief based on anti-LGBT and – HIV persecution, and who have encountered HIV-related bias in immigration decisions. He has also filed amicus briefs on behalf of LGBT/HIV advocacy organizations in many other such cases. For his efforts, in 2013 Public Counsel—the nation’s largest pro bono law firm—named Peter its Immigrants’ Rights Project Volunteer of the Year. Peter has represented advocacy groups in a wide-range of LGBT- and HIV-rights cases, including the Marriage Cases and Prop 8 litigation, and filed amicus briefs in matters where HIV status has been used to punish individuals or deny relief. 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, APLA Health & Wellness, and the Global Forum on MSM & HIV. 

Jim Reed– Jim Reed has concentrated his practice in the legal aspect of relationship transitions of all types since graduating from law school. He has been involved in divorce cases with some of the largest marital estates in Indiana. He represents many professionals (medical, legal, accounting, financial), business owners and executives, community leaders, high-profile individuals in entertainment, sports and politics, and the spouses/partners of these individuals. Because of his experience and the personal nature of the practice, Jim has helped individuals and families find solutions to complex relationship and legal transitions. A growing area of his practice includes counseling domestic and cohabitating partners with implementing plans for estate transitions, health care decision making, joint ownership and survivorship, as well as representing partners in the conclusion of relationships, custody and support of their children, and the division of property and assets. Jim approaches the representation of his clients with years of diverse experience and from a broad perspective.

Jacob Richards– Jacob Richards is an attorney at Lewis, Feinberg, Lee & Jackson (LFLJ) in Oakland, California, where his practice focuses on employment discrimination and employee benefits. Prior to joining LFLJ, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edward M. Chen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. From 2010 to 2012, he served as a law clerk for Administrative Law Judge Steven Berlin in the United States Department of Labor, where he focused on cases involving workers’ compensation, wage and hour laws, and employee whistleblower protections.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Transgender Law Center and is a member of the ABA Labor Employment Section, National Employment Lawyers Association, and BALIF (Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom).

Brandon Román– Brandon Román is an Associate with Squire Patton Boggs. Brandon advises a wide array of domestic and international clients, including banks, non-bank financial institutions, financial market utilities, trade associations, and multinational corporations, on a variety of financial services and tax issues. Brandon assists clients in developing comprehensive strategies to further their legislative and regulatory interests before Congress, relevant congressional committees, and various regulatory agencies.  Brandon also assists various nonprofit organizations with their formation and corporate governance and compliance issues.  Brandon is an active member of various firm diversity initiatives for both Hispanic and LGBT attorneys. Brandon is also a member of the firm’s Recruiting Committee. During his time in law school, Brandon worked as a student-attorney in the Janet R. Spragans Tax Clinic, where he successfully represented a client before the United States Tax Court in obtaining relief. He previously served as a McCleary Law Fellow for the Human Rights Campaign, and has spent time in El Salvador where he leveraged his fluency in Spanish to assist ALDES (La Oficina de Asistencia Legal para la Diversidad Sexual El Salvador) in organizing the country’s first conference on LGBT rights.  He graduated cum laude from The American University Washington College of Law.

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 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 firm-wide LGBT attorney network and is a member of Lambda Legal’s National Leadership Council.

Brian Seaman– Brian Seaman is Counsel in the Philadelphia office of Stradley Ronon and chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee.  A member of the firm since 2003, Brian is an experienced products liability and commercial dispute attorney with significant trial experience. Over the last decade, Brian has successfully defended national manufacturing clients (on products ranging from pharmaceuticals to combustible truck tires to home exercise equipment) and has gained significant experience with fidelity and surety bond disputes. He is also an experienced trial attorney and has acted as lead counsel on more than twenty trials and arbitrations both on the federal and state court levels.  In addition to his work with Stradley’s clients, Brian is dedicated to improving legal diversity within Philadelphia and has become a leader within the firm in that area, currently serving as the firm’s diversity chair.  A 2013 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity program, Brian is a frequent speaker and author on diversity topics and was honored by The Legal Intelligencer both as one of the publication’s “Pennsylvania Diverse Attorneys of the Year” in 2015 and as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” in 2012.  Brian was also named by the Philadelphia Business Journal as “40 Under 40” in 2014 and by Philadelphia Magazine as “Who’s Who in the A-Gay Universe.” Just this year, the National LGBT Bar Association as one of one of only forty attorneys in America named as “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” in 2015.  Outside the office, Brian is an active member of Philadelphia’s theater community, serving as co-founder and chair of Mazeppa Productions and a former board member of the Wilma Theater.

William S. Singer– William S. Singer, a partner of Singer & Fedun, LLC, has been in the private practice of law for over 41 years. His practice concentrates on non-traditional families and non-profit organizations. He has succeeded in extending rights of LGBT and non-traditional families through both the court system and the legislative process. He has been General Counsel of the National LGBT Bar Association since its founding and, among others, serves as General Counsel to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the ACLU-NJ, and the George and Helen Segal Foundation. In 2009, Bill founded the LGBT Family Law Institute. Bill continues to serve as Director of FLI. He is the Legal Advisor to Family By Design, a Fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and winner of numerous awards including National LGBT Bar Association Leading Practitioner Award (2013) and Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union – New Jersey (2012). He received a degree in history with distinction from Rutgers College and his Juris Doctorate degree from the Columbia University School of Law.

Dee Spagnuolo– Ballard Spahr partner, Dee Spagnuolo, counsels clients in the development and implementation of their diversity and inclusion programs with a particular focus on Section 342 of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. She also represents companies, educational institutions, and individuals in complex civil litigation, internal investigations, and compliance and regulatory matters. Ms. Spagnuolo has extensive experience managing internal investigations, communications with law enforcement, disciplinary proceedings, and the interplay between civil and criminal proceedings in the area of sexual misconduct. Ms. Spagnuolo is a member of Ballard Spahr’s internal Diversity Council and Equality Ballard, the firm’s LGBT affinity group. She was recently honored as one of The Legal Intelligencer’s 2015 Diverse Attorneys of the Year.  In 2013, she was recognized by The Legal Intelligencer as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track,” and in 2012, was named one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the LGBT Bar Association. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Pennsylvania “Rising Star,” annually since 2008. Ms. Spagnuolo is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Bowdoin College.  Prior to joining Ballard, Ms. Spagnuolo served as a law clerk to the Hon. R. Barclay Surrick on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Scott Squillace– Scott Squillace is a corporate and estate planning attorney with over 28 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 appointed in 2014 by Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts as Commissioner to represent the Governor on a commission studying unique issues for LGBT Elders. Scott also serves on a variety of professional and non-profit boards including the Board of Overseers for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Board of Directors for the Boston Estate Planning Council. He is an Accredited Estate Planner by the National Association of Estate Planning Councils.

Carole Stanyar– Carole Stanyar is a graduate of Yale University and the Boston College School of Law.  Ms. Stanyar is a highly skilled and experienced trial and appellate attorney with decades of practice experience. She clerked for federal district judge and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Patricia Boyle (1981-1983).  From the start of her practice, as a public defender in Detroit’s bustling Recorder’s Court (1983-1987), and later as a retained and CJA panel attorney in federal court, she has litigated hundreds of cases in state and federal court, including some of Michigan’s most protracted and high-profile cases, both at the trial level and on appeal.  Noteworthy cases include People v. Walter Budzyn (1996) and People v. Leonard Tyburski (1994).  Ms. Stanyar has appeared often in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Couch v Booker (2011), Ege v. Yukins (2007), United States v. Husein (2007), United States v. Anthony Corrado (2000).  She has also argued before the U.S. Supreme Court (Michigan v. Chesternut (1988).  She has extensive experience in presenting and cross-examining experts, in both the hard science and social science arenas. Ms. Stanyar has argued the DeBoer case in the Sixth Circuit, and along with my DeBoer teammates, received the Michigan State Bar’s “Champion of Justice” Award for 2014.

Mario A. Sullivan- Mario A. Sullivan is a named partner at Johnson & Sullivan, Ltd. in Chicago, Illinois.  He counsels clients on a wide range of issues relating to real estate, landlord/tenant, creditor bankruptcy, employment, contract law, business formation, and estate planning.  Mr. Sullivan is a member of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Bar Association (ABA), the National LGBT Bar Association (LGBT Bar), and Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Chicago (LAGBAC). Mr. Sullivan serves as 2014-2017 Nominating Committee Representative for the ABA YLD; a 2014-2015 YLD Liaison to ABA Judicial Division and American Bar Endowment; a 2014-2015 Council Member on the ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline Council; Co-Chair to the ABA Individual Rights & Responsibilities Bullyproof Committee; and a Board Member of the LAGBAC. Mr. Sullivan is a former Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) intern, and has previously served as: 2013-2014 YLD Chair, 2012-13 YLD Chair-Elect, 2011-2012 YLD Secretary-Treasurer; Vice-president of LAGBAC; and former Board Member of the LGBT Bar. Mr. Sullivan graduated from the Illinois State University in 2000 and obtained his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 2005.

David Tsai– David Tsai is Partner in Perkins Coie’s San Francisco and Taipei offices and focuses on complex breach of contract, trade secret, and patent litigation for companies innovating biotechnology, medical devices, software, and hardware. His legal experience includes successfully second chairing international arbitration cases and litigating in the areas of copyrights and trademarks. He also represents clients in patent negotiations, licensing and overall intellectual property strategy.  David is past president of the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association 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 IP Litigation, Best Lawyer Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar and National Asian Pacific American Bar, 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. He also led the drafting of amicus briefs filed in the California same-sex marriage/Prop 8 cases for which more than 100 organizations signed. David is a graduate of Harvard, Stanford, and Santa Clara University.

Joseph Vallo– Joseph Vallo is a Litigation Shareholder with Greenberg Traurig in New York and Fort Lauderdale. Joseph focuses his practice on securities arbitration, mediation, litigation and also has wide-ranging experience in retail brokerage compliance in domestic and international markets. Before rejoining Greenberg Traurig he was with  Burr & Forman.  Prior to that time, Joseph was a Litigation Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, Senior Vice President, Senior Litigation Counsel for Wachovia Securities, LLC, n.k.a Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, where he supervised the firm’s major litigations and arbitrations. Previously, he served as the Senior Vice President and Director of Compliance for TD Waterhouse Group, Inc. and the Divisional Compliance Director at Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. where he was also the Director of International Private Client Group Compliance. Joseph is a 1979 graduate of SUNY Cortland and a 1984 graduate of New York Law School. He is admitted to practice in New York and Florida. Joseph also serves on the Board of the SUNY Cortland Foundation Board of Directors and the advisory board of the Center for Gender Studies. Joseph lives in New York and Fort Lauderdale with his partner, Ethan and his daughter, Emma.

Keith A. Watts- Keith is the managing and a founding shareholder of Ogletree Deakins’ Orange County office.  Keith exclusively practices labor and employment law and has handled a wide variety of matters, including sexual harassment, age discrimination, disability and wrongful termination claims.  Keith’s practice focuses heavily on the advice, counseling and “prevention side” of employment claims and positioning problem employment situations for the best possible defense. Keith represents or works with employers in a wide-ranging, diverse group of industries, including automobile dealerships, advertising agencies, security and alarm companies, computer technology companies, equipment and food manufacturers, non-profit organizations, physicians, retailers and wholesalers, interstate transportation and wind energy companies. 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 co-chair of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips’ Privacy & Data Security and its Financial Services Litigation groups.  Ms. Wilson is resident in the Litigation Division in the Los Angeles office, and advises clients with overall consumer protection-related and financial services disputes and compliance issues, and provides integrated advisory services to assist in the mitigation of the risks associated with data security, information governance and privacy issues. She has been recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in California (2013), and as a Leading Attorney in Privacy and Data Security by the Legal 500 (2012, 2013). Ms. Wilson is a seasoned trial lawyer whose practice focuses on data security and privacy and other consumer protection issues in consumer class and individual actions. She has a lengthy track record of successfully representing clients facing government enforcement actions related to both state and federal consumer protection statutes including the Song-Beverly Act, TCPA, RESPA/YSP, ECOA/FHA, FCRA, FDCPA, HOEPA, TILA, as well as alleged statutory and common law consumer privacy violations.

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. His practice 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 from law firms and financial institutions in the London capital markets. He is the Diversity and Inclusion Partner for CMS and the founder and co-chair of the InterLaw Diversity Forum. Daniel was named the Legal Innovator of the Year at the FT Innovative Lawyers Award in 2012.  In 2013 he was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ezra Young– Ezra’s practice focuses on trans employment discrimination and trans insurance discrimination. Ezra joined the Law Office of Jillian T. Weiss in September 2014. Ezra has extensive experience with transgender health care and insurance issues. Prior to joining the firm, Ezra served as the legal director and associate director to the African American Policy Forum and research director of Columbia University’s Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies.

Arlene Zarembka– Arlene Zarembka has a solo practice with a large LGBT clientele, concentrating in Estate and Medicaid planning, Probate, and Co-Parent Adoptions. She is the author of “Advising Same-Sex Couples after Obergefell and Windsor,” published in the July/August, 2015 issue of the ABA’s GP Solo magazine. Arlene and her spouse, Zuleyma Tang-Martinez, were one of ten plaintiff couples in the ACLU’s 2014 successful challenge to Missouri’s ban on recognition of same-sex marriages. After the 1986 Hardwick decision, both were founders of PREP (now PROMO), Missouri’s state-wide LGBT organization. Arlene was the ACLU cooperating attorney in the successful challenge to St. Louis’ ordinance that prohibited cross-dressing and “lewd and indecent conduct.”  D.C. v City of St. Louis, (8th Circuit 1986). She has written numerous commentaries on civil rights and civil liberties, and co-authored To Establish Justice: Citizenship and the Constitution (Knopf, 2004) with Patricia C. McKissack.  She has received numerous awards for her advocacy of civil liberties and social justice. Memberships include Legal Committee of ACLU of Missouri, and Family Law Institute of the LGBT Bar Association.  She has been a cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Missouri, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Lambda Legal.


Government Agencies

Dwayne Bensing– Dwayne Bensing is a Trial Attorney with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section, focusing on the Section’s desegregation docket as well as discrimination claims by transgender students.  Prior to joining the DOJ, Dwayne was an associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver  & Jacobson, LLP, in Washington D.C.  While with Fried Frank, Dwayne’s work on two asylum matters and representing a transgender client in a federal discrimination case led him to be recognized by the LGBT Bar as one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.”  Originally from Arkansas, Dwayne majored in Political Science and Communication at the University of Arkansas.  After graduating cum laude, he joined Teach for America and taught middle-school Science and Social Studies in inner-city Philadelphia.  After TFA, Dwayne attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he interned with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Committee on House Administration in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Dwayne co-founded the Penn Civil Rights Law Project, published a comment in, and was Symposium Editor for, the Journal of Constitutional Law, and was President of Penn’s Lambda Law.  Dwayne lives in the Washington, D.C., with his partner of nearly 10 years, Christopher.

John Cabeca– John Cabeca is the Director of the Silicon Valley U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Director Cabeca carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO and is responsible for establishing and leading the Silicon Valley satellite office.  Focusing on the Silicon Valley region and actively engaging with the community, Director Cabeca ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.  A 25-year veteran of the USPTO, Director Cabeca most recently served as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and Director of the USPTO. In this role, he worked closely with fellow members of USPTO’s Executive Committee to implement the policies and priorities for the USPTO.  He began his career at the USPTO as a patent examiner after graduating from Widener University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Director Cabeca later became a supervisory patent examiner, supervising examiners in the fields of computer memory access and control and graphical user and operator interfaces. He then joined the Senior Executive Service (SES), serving at the helm of the Patent Technology Center overseeing the semiconductor and electrical systems technologies.

Diana Flynn– Diana Flynn has served as Chief of the Appellate Section of the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division since 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 Appellate Section has filed more than 2000 briefs in federal courts and maintained a success rate of more than eighty per cent.  Ms. Flynn also is responsible for the 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 U.S. Department of Justice. She was the Keynote Speaker at Lavender Law’s 2012 Trans Law Institute, and is a frequent speaker or presenter at events dealing with legal protections 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.

Tamar Hagler– Ms. Hagler is a Deputy Chief in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  She supervises an active docket of investigations and litigation nationwide, enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in housing, land-use and zoning, public accommodations, and public facilities.  Ms. Hagler joined the Civil Rights Division in 2000 as a trial attorney in the Voting Section, where she investigated and litigated cases to enforce federal voting rights.  In 2005, she became a trial attorney in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, serving in that role for five years before becoming a deputy chief.  Prior to joining the Civil Rights Division, Ms. Hagler served as a law clerk to United States District Judge John Garrett Penn and as a staff attorney in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  She has served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, where she co-taught a voting rights law course and has taught in the law school’s trial advocacy program. Ms. Hagler graduated from George Washington University Law School and received her B.A. in Law and Society, Criminal Justice, from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Ms. Hagler is a recipient of the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement for Participation in Litigation.

Eduardo Juarez– Eduardo Juarez is the Supervisory Trial Attorney for 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. In 2014 he was awarded the EEOC Pride Chai Feldblum Award for his significant contributions to the LGBT community. Before his employment with the EEOC, Mr. Juarez was a Trial Attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and he 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 active in various LGBT political and professional organizations and is a past Chair of the LGBT Law Section for the State Bar of Texas.

Randy Katz– Randy Katz has served as a federal prosecutor for over a decade at the U.S. Department of Justice. Randy has prosecuted a variety of significant fraud, drug, violent crime and child exploitation matters and serves as the LGBT Special Emphasis Program Manager. In 2008, he received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, one of the Department’s highest honors, for his role in Florida’s largest health care fraud prosecution. In 2010, Randy received the Timothy Evans Memorial Award, given to the top federal prosecutor in the Southern District of Florida. In 2013, he was recognized as Prosecutor of the Year by International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (Florida) for dismantling a major mortgage fraud organization.  He was recently appointed by the Chief Judge of Florida’s Seventeenth Judicial Circuit to serve on the Circuit’s Professionalism Panel. Randy is a graduate of Duke Law School, with high honors, where he served on the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal and graduated, with honors, from the University of Maryland. Randy clerked for the Honorable Gerald B. Tjoflat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and worked as a litigation associate at a national law firm.

Dylan Nicole de Kervor– Dylan Nicole de Kervor is an Attorney with the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS) of the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.  FCS ensures that all federal agencies consistently and effectively enforce civil rights statutes and Executive Orders that prohibit discrimination in federally conducted and assisted programs and activities. Prior to joining FCS, Ms. de Kervor was a Civil Rights Analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), where she served as a lead staff member for rulemaking and enforcement efforts related to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the first cross-cutting federal civil rights law to prohibit sex discrimination, including gender identity, in health care.  In this capacity she advised on legal and policy issues raised by Section 1557, provided guidance and technical assistance on enforcement matters, and shepherded the publication of a Request for Information.  Ms. de Kervor continues to provide technical assistance and guidance related to Section 1557.Ms. de Kervor received her J.D. and M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego. She is a member of the State Bar of California.

Lori Kisch– Lori Kisch is Special Litigation Counsel in the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.  As Special Ligation Counsel, Ms. Kisch represents the United States in Title VII litigation against state and local governments.  Her work includes seeking relief in Title VII cases on behalf of LGBT individuals, which recently included the filing of Statements of Interest in Jamal v. Saks & Co., 14-cv-2782 (S.D. Tex.) and Burnett v. City of Philadelphia-Free Library, et al., No. 09-cv-4348 (E.D. Pa.).  Prior to joining the Employment Litigation Section in 2008, Ms. Kisch was a partner at Wiggins, Childs, Quinn, & Pantazis, PLLC, where she represented plaintiffs in Title VII class actions and multi-plaintiff suits as well as matters brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Alyssa Lareau– Alyssa Lareau has worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division since 2009.  She first served as a Trial Attorney in the Special Litigation Section, where she investigated adult and juvenile detention facilities, nursing homes, and police departments for constitutional violations.  Since 2014, she has worked as an attorney with the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, where she coordinates with federal agencies to ensure consistent enforcement of civil rights statutes and Executive Orders prohibiting discrimination in federally conducted and assisted programs and activities and participates in investigations and lawsuits related to the failure to provide language access services.  Alyssa has advised the Department of Justice’s Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) working group on LGBTI issues and worked on developing the related final PREA rules.  She serves on the Civil Rights Division’s LGBTI Working Group, and is a co-chair of the Working Group’s Criminal Justice Subcommittee.  Alyssa received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.  Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.  In 2012, the National LGBT Bar Association named Alyssa one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

Chuck Little– Chuck Little currently works in the Tort & Commercial Litigation group in the Law Department of Chicago Public Schools (“CPS”).  Chuck defends CPS, its administrators, teachers and staff principally in cases involving automobile accidents, sexual assaults, deaths/suicides of students and other extremely varied tort work.  At CPS, Chuck navigates cases through pleadings, discovery, arbitration, trial and appeal.  For about five years prior to joining CPS, Chuck worked in the private sector in principally in real estate matters, including title disputes, contested mortgage foreclosures and evictions. Immediately following law school, Chuck served for approximately two years as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Barbara McDonald in the Commercial Law Section of the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  During law school, Chuck worked as a judicial extern for two semesters to the Honorable Alexander P. White in the Tax & Miscellaneous Remedies Section of the Law Division in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  Chuck actively volunteers many hours of his time as co-chair of the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC), which investigates, evaluates and screens sitting judges and applicant attorneys seeking to become judges.  In the past, Chuck has also volunteered as a member of the junior board of Chicago House, the Youth Program at the Center on Halsted and served a chair and vice chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s LGBT Committee.

Marion Mollegen McFadden- Marion Mollegen McFadden is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs in HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD).  In this role, she is responsible for overseeing a portfolio of affordable housing and community development programs, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), and CDBG Disaster Recovery funds, including the $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition.  Before joining CPD in August 2014, she led interagency efforts to guide the use of $50 billion in emergency appropriations for recovery from Hurricane Sandy.  She served as Chief Operating Officer and Acting Executive Director for the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, was a founder of the Rebuild by Design competition (named by CNN.com as the first of ten great innovations in 2013), and coordinated the post-task force Sandy work at HUD as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary. She was a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Management Excellence Medal for her work on the Sandy Task Force.  For more than a dozen years, Marion served as program counsel to many of HUD’s grant and loan guarantee programs and was a key drafter of the Equal Access rule, which ensures access to HUD-assisted housing without regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. Marion holds a JD magna cum laude from Howard University School of Law (2000) and a BA from Northwestern University (1994). She and wife and children live in Takoma Park, MD.

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 a Deputy Assistant Chief of Trials for the Labor & Employment Division of the Corporation Counsel. Ms. Miller has tried over sixty 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 she served as the first openly gay Chair of the Diversity Committee for the Corporation Counsel.

Debra Murphy– Debra Murphy is an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  The OCR reviews recipients of DOJ’s financial assistance to ensure that they are complying with applicable civil rights laws, and investigates complaints of discrimination from individual program beneficiaries and employees.  One of the civil rights provisions that the OCR enforces is the nondiscrimination grant condition in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  Ms. Murphy chaired DOJ’s intra-agency working group that developed its Frequently Asked Questions about the VAWA nondiscrimination grant condition, and routinely conducts civil rights training for recipients of federal financial assistance from OJP and DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women.  She is also a volunteer attorney with the Name and Gender Change Clinic, operated by Whitman-Walker Health and Trans Legal Advocates of Washington in Washington DC.  Ms. Murphy worked at a domestic violence and sexual assault program in Illinois for approximately 10 years, and was the Coordinator of Sexual Assault Programs at the University of Illinois.  She has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois, and a law degree from Duke University. 

William Ridgway– William Ridgway is an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, where he serves as Deputy Chief of the National Security and Cybercrimes Section. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Ridgway has investigated and prosecuted cases involving terrorism, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, and fraud. As part of his duties, Mr. Ridgway serves as the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Coordinator and the National Security Cyber Specialist for the Office. Mr. Ridgway is also a member of the Local Executive Board for the Chicago Regional Computer Forensics Lab. Mr. Ridgway received his J.D. with distinction from Stanford Law School and his B.S. with distinction in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. Mr. Ridgway clerked for the Honorable Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and for the Honorable Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Rachel See– As Lead Technology Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, Rachel See provides strategic guidance to NLRB attorneys seeking the production of electronically stored information as part of their investigation and prosecution of charges of unfair labor practices, and also advises the Agency regarding its own information governance policies and discovery and oversight practices. Before entering government service, she was a partner at Williams Mullen in Richmond, Virginia, where she led the firm’s Electronic Discovery and Litigation Technology practice group. She previously was an associate in the eDiscovery practice group of Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago. Rachel speaks frequently on LGBT issues, and has conducted transgender inclusion and competency training at numerous federal agencies and other organizations. She is a member of the Steering Committee of Trans Legal Advocates of DC, and she has advised many transgender individuals regarding identity documents and other legal issues. Rachel, her wife and their four children live in Richmond, Virginia. An accomplished classical musician, she regularly performs with the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra and the Capital Pride Symphonic Band, as well as other ensembles in the Washington DC metropolitan area. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her law degree from the Duke University School of Law.
Joseph Wardenski– Joseph Wardenski is a Trial Attorney in the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, which enforces federal civil rights laws protecting students in public schools, colleges, and universities.  Mr. Wardenski has co-chaired the Civil Rights Division’s LGBTI Working Group since 2013.  In recognition of his work on behalf of LGBTI students, Mr. Wardenski was awarded the Assistant Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 2012 for the Tehachapi, CA gender-based harassment case and in 2014 for his work on the Arcadia, CA case, the first time the federal government resolved a complaint of sex discrimination brought on behalf of a transgender student.  Mr. Wardenski has spoken frequently on DOJ’s enforcement efforts on behalf of the LGBTI community.  Before joining the Civil Rights Division in 2010, Mr. Wardenski was a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in New York.  He holds an A.B. in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, M.P.P. from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.  In 2012, Mr. Wardenski was recognized by the National LGBT Bar Association as one of the “Best LGBT Attorneys Under 40.”


Non-Profit

Samantha Ames– Samantha Ames is a National Center for Lesbian Rights Staff Attorney and Coordinator of the #BornPerfect Campaign to End Conversion Therapy. She has testified on the harms of conversion therapy and the constitutionality of efforts to end it before both state and federal bodies, as well as the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Switzerland. Samantha joined NCLR in August 2012 as a Policy Fellow in the Washington, D.C. office, creating advocacy materials for NCLR’s federal policy work, legislation, and court cases. In 2013, she moved to San Francisco to work as a Staff Attorney in NCLR’s national office, focusing on conversion therapy cases and youth issues. In 2014, she joined the Youth Project and became the founding #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator. Prior to joining NCLR, Samantha worked with the DC National Lawyers Guild, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Samantha received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2008, where she graduated cum laude with a major in theatre arts and honors in psychology. She received her J.D., with honors, from George Washington University Law School in 2012, as well as the Justice Thurgood Marshall Civil Liberties Award.

Robin Belleau- Robin Belleau received her Juris Doctor with honors from the Northern Illinois University College of Law and a Master’s Degree in Counseling with honors from Northern Illinois University.  She is both an attorney and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She practiced law for 8 years before becoming a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. During her tenure in the law she was a DuPage County Senior Assistant Public Defender, Kane County State’s Attorney, and then an associate in a general practice firm. She was the Clinical Director for the Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program for 3 years, before becoming Executive Director in January of 2014.

Mary L. Bonauto- Mary L. Bonauto serves as Civil Rights Project Director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). As GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director since 1990, Mary has litigated on discrimination issues, free speech and religious liberty, and relationship and parental rights. With Vermont co-counsel, Mary won 1999’s Baker v. State ruling leading to the nation’s first civil union law.  She was lead counsel in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (2003), which made Massachusetts the first state where same-sex couples could marry, co-counseled in Kerrigan v. Connecticut DPH, and served on the 2009 and 2012 Maine ballot campaign executive committees. Mary led GLAD’s challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, Gill and Pedersen, leading to the first federal District and Appeals Court victories against DOMA, and coordinated amici briefs for Windsor at the Supreme Court.  As part of the DeBoer legal team in Michigan, Mary argued for nationwide marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court in April. Mary holds a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, is the Shikes Fellow in Civil Liberties and Civil Rights and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, a 2014 MacArthur Fellow, and is currently on an advisory board for the American Constitution Society. 

Denise Brogan-Kator- Denise Brogan-Kator is the Senior Legislative Counsel for the Family Equality Council, responsible for advancing equality for all families at the states level.  She is also an adjunct law professor at the University of Michigan Law School.  She graduated from the University of Michigan Law school (matriculating, in 2004, as the first openly transgender law student).  Denise has a 20-year history of public and private advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community, including as a past Executive Director of the statewide LGBT advocacy organization, Equality Michigan. After law school, Denise and her spouse, Mary Kator, founded the Rainbow Law Center to serve the legal needs of the gay and transgender populations of Southeast Michigan.  Prior to law school, Ms. Brogan-Kator worked as the Chief Financial Officer for several small-medium size businesses, having earned her MBA from the University of Colorado in 1985.  She served in the US Navy Submarine Force from 1972-1976. She lives in West Central Florida with her spouse, Mary, her mother-in-law, Kitty, and 6 cats.  She has three grown daughters and a 20-month old granddaughter.

Daniel Bruner– Daniel Bruner is the Senior Director of Policy at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC, which specializes in HIV care and LGBT health and wellness.  He joined Whitman-Walker in 1995, and served as Director of Legal Services from 2004 through 2014.  Dan’s areas of expertise include disability, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination law; access to health care; and public health law and policy.  Prior to joining Whitman-Walker, Dan was a partner at the Washington, DC law firm of Spiegel & McDiarmid, and volunteered with Whitman-Walker, the Pennsylvania AIDS Law Project and Lambda Legal.  Between 2000 and 2005, he taught seminars on AIDS and the Law and courses on Public Health Law at American University’s Washington College of Law.  Dan has received awards from the LGBT Bar Association of DC and the Washington Council of Lawyers, and is a past Co-Chair of the DC Consortium of Legal Services Providers.  He received his law degree (magna cum laude) and master’s degree 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), and has given many presentation on HIV and LGBT law.

Sasha Buchert- Sasha Buchert is a Staff Attorney with Transgender Law Center where she works to remove barriers for transgender and gender nonconforming people in obtaining meaningful employment, competent health care coverage and access to accurate identity documents.  Before joining Transgender Law Center, she was had the privilege of working at Basic Rights Oregon where she served as the Communications Manager and was a member of their legal advisory group.  Sasha also served as board member of Oregon’s LGBT Bar Association and as the chair of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board, where she was the first openly transgender person to be appointed to an Oregon state board.  Sasha received her J.D. from Willamette University.

Arli Christian– Arli Christian serves as Policy Counsel for the National Center for Transgender Equality. As Policy Counsel Arli is dedicated to improving and expanding access to legal services for trans communities through NCTE’s Trans Legal Services Network and works with state advocates to modernize name change laws, state ID regulations, and birth certificate policies. Arli also serves on the Steering Committee of Trans Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW). Arli received a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law in 2013 and a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2004. Prior to law school Arli worked at an immigration law firm in San Francisco and a socially responsible investment organization in Maryland. Arli speaks English and Spanish and grew up in New York City.

Lisa Cisneros– Lisa Cisneros directs California Rural Legal Assistance’s LGBT Program, a program dedicated to providing direct legal services and advocacy on behalf of rural, low-income LGBT communities in California.  Lisa began practicing law in 2007.  After graduating from UC Berkeley, Lisa led the launch of CRLA’s LGBT program when it began as a fellowship project with assistance from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Pride Law Fund.  In 2010, Lisa became a judicial law clerk in the Northern District of California, and later became an associate at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.  Lisa returned to CRLA in September 2014.  Lisa’s past accomplishments include representing employees and injured consumers in individual discrimination cases, as well as large scale class actions and mass tort litigation, and representing civil and constitutional law professors as part of an amicus brief filed in connection with Hollingsworth v. Perry, as it was appealed before the Supreme Court.  In 2010, Lisa co-authored with Cathy Sakimura, “Recognizing and Responding to the Needs of Low-Income Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clients,” in the Clearinghouse Review Journal of Poverty Law and Policy.  Lisa has presented at numerous conferences on the topic of legal services and civil rights for low-income LGBT people.

David Dinielli– David Dinielli spearheads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s LGBT Rights Project as Deputy Legal Director. He joined the SPLC after a long career with the Los Angeles law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP, where he specialized in complex litigation and played leading roles in important LGBT rights cases. These cases include the California Supreme Court challenge to Proposition 8 and the defense of legislation prohibiting the practice of gay-to-straight “conversion therapy” on minors in California.  He is currently serving as counsel in M.C. v. MUSC, representing a child with intersex traits forced by the state to undergo sex assignment surgery at age 16 months. Dinielli served as a special counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust action against the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. He also served as a law clerk to Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Dinielli earned his law degree magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was the managing editor of the Michigan Law Review and elected to Order of the Coif. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College.

Debra Erenberg– Debra Erenberg joined JAS as the Director of State Affairs on August 28, 2012. Debra comes to JAS from Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), where she worked as Midwest Regional Director, serving as the lead staff person on human rights advocacy efforts in 13 states. As Director of Affiliate Development for NARAL Pro-Choice America, Debra provided strategic support and training to the organization’s 27 state affiliates and campus organizing efforts at more than 100 schools. In twenty years of advocacy, organizing, election campaigns and nonprofit management, Debra has also worked with Rainforest Action Network, America Votes, Center for Science in the Public Interest, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and others. She holds a J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center, a Master’s degree in Public Policy (M.P.P.) from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal– Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, is a civil rights attorney specializing in the legal needs of LGBT and HIV-affected people of color, immigrants, and low-income people. Most recently, he served as the legal director of The Center for HIV Law and Policy, where he used HIV as a lens to address racial justice, criminal justice, immigration, and public health issues. He also 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 Supreme Court voting rights case. He also worked at Fried Frank, where he defended New Haven’s immigrant-friendly municipal ID 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.

James D. Esseks– James D. Esseks is Director of the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & HIV Project.  James oversees litigation, legislative lobbying, policy advocacy, organizing, and public education around the country that aims to ensure equal treatment of LGBT people and people living with HIV.  James is counsel in Obergefell v. Hodges and Bourke v. Beshear, two of the marriage cases now pending before the United States Supreme Court.  Previously, he represented Edie Windsor in the United States v. Windsor DOMA challenge; was counsel in Schroer v. Billington, where a federal court ruled that Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination covers transgender people; and brought successful challenges to bans on adoption and foster parenting by lesbians and gay men in Florida, Arkansas, and Missouri.  He has also worked extensively to ensure that claims of religious liberty are not used as an excuse to harm LGBT people.

Chinyere Ezie– Chinyere Ezie is a Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center (“SPLC”) LGBT Rights Project, where her advocacy work focuses on transgender and intersex communities. Prior to joining SPLC, Chinyere clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and worked as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton in New York City. Chinyere is a William J. Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

Mieko Failey- Mieko Failey, Esq. is a Staff Attorney and Manager of the Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Legal Services Department, managing the delivery of direct legal services to LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Mieko was awarded a Loyola Law School Public Interest Fellow at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, where she provided and continues to provide direct legal services to LGBTQ youth survivors of dating violence, sexual violence, and hate violence.  Previously, Mieko interned for The ACLU of Southern California’s LGBT Student Rights Project and The Center for Juvenile Law and Policy, advocating for those who were wrongfully convicted or unfairly sentenced as juveniles.  Mieko received her Bachelors in Sociology with highest distinction from UC Berkeley and received her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School with a Public Interest Concentration.  She is Co-Chair of the LGBT DV Issues Committee for the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council.  She has received awards from Loyola Law School, the Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association, and The National LGBT Bar Association for her advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

Lawrence Felzer– Lawrence Felzer is Director of Development & Finance at SeniorLAW Center, a nonprofit legal service organization protecting the rights of Pennsylvania’s seniors.  He previously was Associate Director at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania for 8 years. Larry graduated from the evening division of Temple University School of Law and his undergraduate Bachelor of Business Administration is also from Temple University. He is active in the Philadelphia Bar Association and currently serves as an elected member of the Board of Governors.  Previously he served in the leadership positions of Chair of Public Interest Section and Co-Chair of LGBT Rights Committee.  Larry is also a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates.  He was recently elected the first openly LGBT President of the Temple Law Alumni Association (TLAA) and is the former chair of the board of Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia (GALLOP).  Larry was one of the co-organizers of the first Gay Community Night with the Phillies in August 2003.   Larry has received numerous volunteer honors including ACLU of PA Volunteer Service Award (2014), TLAA’s Diversity Leadership Award (2013), GALLOP’s Michael Greenberg Community Service Award (2012), TLAA Service Award (2008) and AIDS Fund Volunteer of the Year (2007.)

Brett M. Figlewski, Esq.– Brett Figlewski joined the LGBT Bar Association of New York (LeGaL) as its first Legal Director in February 2015.  A graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and Middlebury College, Brett worked for a decade as a family law litigator with Sanctuary for Families, one of New York’s leading advocacy organizations for victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking.  He created Sanctuary’s LGBT Initiative, which helped achieve Fair Access to Family Court, landmark state legislation that finally ensured access to civil orders of protection for all victims of domestic violence.  Brett co-authored an article on “Trafficking and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Young Men and Boys” for the Lawyer’s Manual on Human Trafficking and created what is now LeGaL’s weekly legal clinic for at-risk LGBTQ youth.  Brett oversees LeGaL’s vital and burgeoning network of drop-in clinics, an attorney referral system, placement of pro bono cases, and educational efforts organization members as well as the public.

Alison Gill- Alison Gill is the Senior Legislative Counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, where she focuses on state level advocacy to achieve equality for LGBT people. Prior to joining HRC, Alison was the Government Affairs Director at The Trevor Project, where she coordinated advocacy for LGBT youth mental health and safety through policy initiatives at the federal, state, and local level. Previously, Alison worked at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, where she provided technical assistance and resources to advocates seeking policy change at the state and local level. Alison also engages in local LGBT advocacy in Washington, DC, through engagement with organizations such as Whitman-Walker Health. Alison received her J.D. from George Washington University Law School.

Heron Greenesmith– Heron Greenesmith leads the Movement Advancement Project’s (MAP) LGBT movement research analyses and conducts research in support of MAP’s public policy work. Before joining MAP, Heron was Legislative Counsel at the Family Equality Council where she focused on federal regulatory reforms for LGBT parents and their children. She writes about bisexuality, health, employment discrimination, and LGBT families, among other topics. Heron is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and American University, Washington College of Law and is admitted to the New York and Massachusetts bars. She is a board member of the National LGBT Bar Association, a former fellow with the Rockwood Leadership Institute, and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

Remington Gregg– Remington Gregg serves as legislative counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, principally counseling the organization on federal legal and policy issues related to the military and veterans, education, immigration, foreign affairs, domestic violence, racial justice, and hate crimes and profiling. Prior to joining in 2013, Gregg was Associate Counsel and Advisor for Open Government in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising on a range of legal and policy issues related to science, technology, and national security, and reducing legal and regulatory burdens to create a more open and accountable government.  He has also worked on civil rights litigation and policy with the American Civil Liberties Union and NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  Gregg graduated from Binghamton University (State University of New York) and New York Law School.  He is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.

Stefan Johnson– Stefan Johnson is the Help Desk 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 with HIV.  Johnson has been with Lambda Legal’s Western Regional Office in Los Angeles since 1998. He oversees the functioning of the Help Desk in all of Lambda’s five offices. He has a Juris Doctorate degree from Willamette University School of Law in Salem, Oregon and is a member of the Oregon State Bar. Prior to Lambda Legal, Johnson was a deputy district attorney in Multnomah County, Oregon where he handled more than five hundred felony and misdemeanor trials.

Jay Kaplan- Jay Kaplan has been the staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT Project since its founding in 2001. He has worked on cases including challenging undercover sting operations targeting gay men, fighting Michigan’s constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, defending the validity of second parent adoptions granted in Michigan, and recently advocating for a transgender high school student to be able to run for prom court. Jay was honored with the 2006 Unsung Hero Award from the Michigan State Bar and the 2010 Virginia Uribe Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association (NEA). Jay is a graduate of Wayne State Law School. For 13 years he worked for Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) a disability rights agency and specialized in the areas of special education, vocational rehabilitation and guardianship reform. He founded the HIV/AIDS Advocacy Program at MPAS, which provides legal services to persons living with HIV/AIDS and served as staff attorney for the project for 7 years. He also implemented an information and legal referral program for sexual orientation legal issues and the development of a GLBT legal resource manual for Michigan. Prior to his work at MPAS he worked for several legal services programs, specializing in housing and family law issues.

John Knight– John Knight is a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project and the Director of the ACLU of Illinois’ LGBT & HIV Project.  In these positions, he directs litigation — primarily in Midwest states — designed to confront bias and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons and those affected by HIV.  Knight also drafts and comments on laws and regulations that affect the LGBT and HIV communities, assists with the ACLU’s lobbying efforts, and works to expand public support and understanding of LGBT people and people impacted by HIV.

James G. Leipold– James Leipold is the Executive Director of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), a position he has held since 2004.  Prior to joining NALP, he worked at the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for five and a half years.  Prior to joining LSAC in 1998, he was the director of admission at Temple University School of Law, where he was also an instructor in legal writing and research.  He is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University and Temple University School of Law.  He is one of the leading experts on the entry-level legal employment market and speaks and writes frequently on trends in legal employment for recent law school graduates.

Eric Lesh– Eric Lesh is the Fair Courts Project Manager for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the rights of LGBT people and people affected by HIV. Lesh focuses his work on judicial independence and access to justice issues. In his capacity, he engages the LGBT community on the importance of state and federal courts. Lesh works on initiatives to promote diversity on the bench, combat bias in the legal system, and defend the judiciary from attacks that threaten LGBT and HIV-related civil rights. Lesh received a B.F.A. in Musical Theater from the Boston Conservatory and his J.D. from Hofstra Law School, where he was an LGBT Rights Fellow. Prior to his work at Lambda Legal, Lesh worked for the Wall Street firm of Beigelman, Feiner & Feldman, where he focused on appellate practice. Lesh served as the director of a nonprofit organization, which implemented bullying prevention strategies in New Orleans public schools. He appeared in plays across the country, including the original workshop of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening. Lesh is licensed to practice Law in New York and his articles have been published in the Family Court Review and Artificial Intelligence and Law.

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, Dru was the first staff attorney for Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, where he advocated for transgender equal rights through test-case litigation, public policy efforts, community organizing and public education. In 2007, Dru co-founded the Jim Collins Foundation, the only national nonprofit organization that raises money to fund gender-confirming surgeries. He is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and served as chair of the WPATH Legal Issues Committee from 2010 to 2013.

Jennifer L. Levi- Jennifer L. Levi is the director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues. She co-edited Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, the first book to focus on legal issues facing transgender people in the family law context. Jennifer has served as counsel in a number of precedent-setting cases establishing basic rights for transgender people, including: Doe v. Clenchy, recognizing a transgender female student’s right to use the appropriate restroom; O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue which established that medical care relating to gender transition qualifies as a medical deduction for federal income tax purposes; and Adams v. Bureau of Prisons, which successfully challenged a federal prison policy excluding medical care for transgender inmates who came into the system without a transition-related medical plan, among many others. Jennifer is a law professor at Western New England University. She serves on the Legal Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and is a founding member of both the Transgender Law & Policy Institute and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.

Karen L. Loewy– Karen L. Loewy is a Senior Attorney and the Seniors 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 those living 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.

Suraj Madoori– Suraj Madoori is the manager of the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA) and federal policy at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC).  With HIV PJA, Suraj manages a 13,000-member national advocacy network at an intersection of social justice and human rights in the domestic HIV epidemic. Additionally, he leads AFC’s federal policy positions on a host of national legislation. Since 2012, he’s coordinated HIV PJA’s campaigns in five issue areas of economic justice, criminalization, queer/transgender justice, HIV/AIDS policy and prevention strategies. Most recently, he was named a U.S. Human Rights Network’s 2014 Fighting Injustice through Human Rights Education (FIHRE) fellow, engaging with human rights campaigns to intersect HIV issues within broader social movements. A Chicago native, Suraj worked at the American Medical Association as a journalist. He was also a case-manager to HIV-positive LGBTQ youth clientele at Howard Brown Health Center. A graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago, he has additionally earned master degrees in medical journalism, public health, bioethics & health policy. Suraj is a recipient of the 2009-2010 Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for public service.  His writing appears in POZ.com, Treatment Issues, Huffington Post, Windy City Times and the Journal of Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Medicine.

Louise Melling– Louise Melling is a Deputy Legal Director at the ACLU and the Director of its Center for Liberty, which encompasses the ACLU’s work on reproductive freedom, women’s rights, lesbian gay bisexual and transgender rights, and freedom of religion and belief.   In this role, she leads the work of the ACLU to address the intersection of religious freedom and equal treatment, among other issues. Before becoming Deputy Legal Director, Ms. Melling was Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, in which capacity she oversaw nationwide litigation, communications research, public education campaigns, and advocacy efforts in the state legislatures. Melling has been with the ACLU since 1992, serving in several roles before becoming the Director of its Reproductive Freedom Project in 2003 and most recently a Deputy Legal Director. She is a 1987 graduate of Yale Law School. She is the author of several articles including, Religious Refusals to Public Accommodations Laws: Four Reasons to Say No, 38 Harv J. of Law and Gender (2015);  Inconvenience Or Indignity? Religious Exemptions to Public Accommodations Laws, 22 Journal of Law and Policy 705 (2014)(co-authored with Marvin Lim); and The Legal Education of Twenty Women, 40 Stan. L. Rev. 1299 (1988) (co-authored with Catherine Weiss).

Shannon Minter– Shannon Minter is the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the nation’s leading legal advocacy organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families.  Minter is counsel in Tanco v. Haslam, one of the marriage cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, 2015, as well as other cases seeking the freedom to marry in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.   Minter is an openly transgender man and has litigated many cases affecting transgender people.  He is an editor of Transgender Rights, an author of Family Law for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons, and previously served on the ABA’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.  In 2015, Minter was appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.  He received a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.

Ayako Miyashita- Ayako Miyashita is the HIV Law & Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute.  Her focus is on law and policy matters which impact people living with HIV and AIDS (“PLWH”).  Her work addresses matters such as HIV criminalization, the legal needs of PLWH, and privacy and confidentiality concerns in HIV-related legislation.  Ayako regularly provides training and education on state and national laws and policies impacting PLWH. Previous to joining the Williams Institute, Ayako provided direct legal services to PLWH including assisting clients in obtaining disability benefits and other supports necessary to live independently.  Her expertise runs a broad spectrum of public benefits including income support, health coverage, and other support services necessary for individuals living with disabilities.  Her policy work focused on Americans with Disability Act violations in the administration of local, state and federally-funded public benefits, including General Relief and California’s Medicaid progam (Medi-Cal).Ayako earned her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, after receiving her B.A. from UC Santa Cruz.

Kerene Moore– Kerene Moore is currently a practicing attorney for Legal Services of South Central Michigan where she has represented underserved Michigan residents in civil legal matters for the past eight years. Kerene graduated from the University of Michigan where she earned a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degree.  Due to her strong commitment to public service, she was recognized as a Dean’s Public Service Fellow by the University of Michigan Law School.  Throughout her career, Kerene continues to advocate for members of many marginalized groups, including undocumented immigrants, disabled persons, survivors of domestic violence, and GLBTQ community members.  She is one of few attorneys in the state of Michigan to successfully litigate domestic matters for same-sex family members who lack traditional access to justice due to the state’s same-sex marriage ban.  Kerene also serves as Co-Chair of the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s LGBTQ Rights section and as Vice President of the Jim Toy Community Center, a resource for GLBTQ community members in southeastern Michigan.

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.

Jenny Pizer– Jenny Pizer is Senior Counsel and directs the Law & Policy Project for Lambda Legal, the country’s oldest and largest legal advocate for the LGBT movement. Jenny litigates to secure same-sex couples’ family relationships including with marriage; to obtain fair conditions for LGBT people in health care, employment and education; and to challenge the misuse of religion to discriminate. She also drafts legislation, advises policymakers, and works with community advocates to advance LGBT protections and to oppose overbroad religious exemptions. Jenny was lead counsel in Majors v. Jeanes, the successful federal case against Arizona’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. She co-authored a series of amicus briefs explaining the threats to LGBT people of the religious challenges by Hobby Lobby and others to the ACA’s contraception coverage rule. In 2008, she won a unanimous California Supreme Court victory for a lesbian patient denied care due to her doctors’ discriminatory religious objections. From 2011 to 2012, Jenny served as Legal Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Before that, she directed Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project. She is a graduate of NYU School of Law and Harvard/Radcliffe College.

Ethan Rice– Ethan Rice is a Staff Attorney with Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.  In this capacity, he works on impact litigation regarding many legal issues impacting trans communities and The Name Change Project in partnership with law firms and corporate legal departments around the country. Ethan is a graduate of Florida State University College of Law.  He was a child welfare attorney in Florida for before relocating to New York City.  As a graduate fellow at FSU College of Law, Ethan researched and co-authored, Juvenile Life without Parole for Non-Homicide Offenses: Florida Compared to the Nation.  The article was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Florida in its decision finding sentences of life without parole for juveniles unconstitutional when imposed for non-homicide crimes.  He co-authored an amicus brief for Florida State University’s Children’s Advocacy Clinic in support of overturning Florida’s statutory ban on LGB individuals and couples adopting children in the case In re: Matter of Adoption of X.X.G and N.R.G.  Ethan has a B.A. in International Relations.

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.

Scott A. Schoettes– Scott A. 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 does a significant amount of amicus work on issues of import to people living with HIV, notably twice co-authoring amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court’s review 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, works on the legislative reform of laws criminalizing conduct based on HIV status, and was recently appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, where he co-chairs the Disparities Committee.  He has presented on various topics related to HIV discrimination at forums across the country, including the White House.  Schoettes graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown Law and clerked for the Honorable J. Frederick Motz (U.S.D.C. Md.).

Reggie Shuford– Reggie Shuford joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in September 2011. Prior to joining the ACLU-PA, he served as the director of law and policy at the Equal Justice Society (EJS), a national strategy group heightening consciousness on race in the law and popular discourse. From 1995-2010, Reggie served as senior staff counsel in the national ACLU’s Racial Justice Program. During his tenure there, he helped to pioneer legal challenges to racial profiling practices nationwide. He was the ACLU’s chief litigator in challenges to racial profiling, leading national litigation efforts and consulting with ACLU state affiliates and others in cases of “driving while black or brown,” airport profiling, and profiling related to the war on terror. Reggie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina’s School of Law in Chapel Hill, where he was his graduating class president and the recent recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. He is a former Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow and recently received the 2014 Minority Business Leader Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal and the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the William Way LGBT Community Center. In February 2015, he was selected as a 2015 CBSPhilly GameChanger and, in April, a 2015 Diverse Attorney of the Year by the Legal Intelligencer.

Terra Slavin- Terra Slavin, Esq., is the Deputy Director of Policy and Community Building at the Los Angeles LGBT Center where she is working to develop a leading LGBT policy department at the largest LGBT organization.  Prior to this position, Slavin was the Center’s Lead Staff Attorney where she was responsible for overseeing the delivery of comprehensive and holistic legal services for LGBT survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  Slavin serves 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, an effort which Slavin Co-chaired.  Slavin is also a liaison to the ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence.  Slavin graduated from Northeastern University School of Law.

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. He started there as a staff attorney in 2006, and for nearly five years at SLDN, he took part in a multifaceted approach to advancing the civil rights of LGBT servicemembers through law, policy, outreach, and education. Prior to joining SLDN, Aaron spent three years working 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.

Anne Tamar-Mattis– Anne Tamar-Mattis, Esq, is the founder and Legal Director of Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC), the first organization in the country focusing on legal advocacy for the civil and human rights of children born with intersex traits.  She is currently serving as counsel in M.C. v. MUSC, representing a child with intersex traits forced by the state to undergo sex assignment surgery at age 16 months.  She has served for many years as an organizer in the LGBTQI communities, and teaches as adjunct faculty at UC Berkeley School of Law.  Ms. Tamar-Mattis is in demand around the country as a speaker on topics relating to legal and ethical issues affecting children with intersex conditions, including UCSF Children’s Hospital, Yale Law School, the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, and the Society for Pediatric Urology, to name a few.  Her articles have been published in such venues as the Journal of Pediatric Endocrine and Metabolism, and the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice.

Camilla Taylor– Camilla Taylor is the Marriage Project Director (national position) in the Midwest Regional Office of Lambda Legal. Taylor was lead counsel in Lambda Legal’s marriage equality lawsuit, Varnum v. Brien, in which the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down Iowa’s marriage ban in April 2009. Taylor’s other cases include Bogan v. Baskin, Robicheaux v. Caldwell, Darby v. Orr, and Garden State Equality v. Dow. In addition to her work as a litigator, Taylor was the primary drafter of Illinois marriage legislation, has contributed to legislative efforts concerning marriage and parenting around the country, and has testified multiple times before state legislatures in support of marriage bills and in opposition to measures that would permit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Harper Jean Tobin- As Director of Policy, Harper Jean coordinates all aspects of advocacy on federal administrative policies and regulations for NCTE and works to provide information for the public about laws and policies that affect transgender people. She also serves on the board of HIPS, an organization that promotes rights, health and safety for those involved in sex work, sex trade, or drug use in the DC area. Harper Jean previously worked at the National Senior Citizens Law Center’s Federal Rights Project. Harper Jean’s writing on transgender equality and other issues has appeared in numerous publications. A Kentucky native, she received degrees in law and social work from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is an alumna of Oberlin College.

Liz Vennum– Liz Vennum serves as Legal Outreach Coordinator at the Campaign for Southern Equality, where she coordinates Community Law Workshops across North Carolina to protect the rights of LGBT individuals and families. She previously served as a law clerk for Mike Lewis Attorneys, where she assisted attorneys and paralegals with ongoing litigation to secure worker’s compensation for deserving plaintiffs who had been denied benefits.

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.

Sam Wolfe- Sam Wolfe is a civil rights attorney and advocate with the Southern Poverty Law Center who has led high-profile litigation of national significance. Sam founded and continues to help lead the SPLC’s LGBT Rights Project. His work, often set in the Deep South, focuses on achieving greater respect and equality for LGBT people. His cases include the first-ever, consumer fraud lawsuit challenging conversion “therapy” that purports to change sexual orientation from gay to straight. He represents transgender clients in employment and prison discrimination cases and initiated the first marriage equality case in Alabama. He also helped defeat a policy that prevented teachers from stopping anti-LGBT bullying, something never before accomplished by litigation. The suit also achieved a landmark consent decree that established a blueprint for remedying anti-LGBT school environments nationwide. Sam and his team have restored freedom of speech and expression to LGBT students in multiple Southeastern school districts. Previously, Sam was a litigation associate at a leading international law firm in New York City. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. Sam is on the board of directors of Affirmation – LGBT Mormons Families & Friends and has served in U.S. Air Force special operations.

Sandra S. Yamate- Sandra S. Yamate is the CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (“IILP”). IILP is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession in the US and around the world through its research and educational programming. Sandra spent ten years as Director of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She was the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, she was a litigator in Chicago for ten years. Sandra serves on the board of the National Judicial College and the Executive Committee of the Harvard Law School Association. She has helped found and served on the boards and as an officer of numerous bar associations and civic and community organizations. A Sansei, Sandra earned her JD from Harvard Law School as well as an AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Keren Zwick– Keren Zwick the Managing Attorney for the LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). She represents low-income LGBT individuals who are seeking assistance with all forms of immigration relief. Keren also does work to promote a limited and humane use of the immigration detention system for LGBT/H individuals. Under Keren’s leadership NIJC has represented hundreds of LGBT noncitizens in their applications for asylum and has successfully litigated LGBT asylum claims in Circuit Courts around the country. Keren joined NIJC following two years at the Seventh Circuit. While Keren was a law student at Columbia Law School, she successfully represented clients in the Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic.


Academia

Michael Boucai- Michael Boucai is an Associate Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School, where he teaches Criminal Law, Family Law, and courses on the legal regulation of sexuality and reproduction. His most recent scholarship has sought to amplify some of the more disruptive aspects of the claim to same-sex marriage. “Glorious Precedents: When Gay Marriage Was Radical,” published this year in The Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, is a study of three same-sex marriage cases brought during the heyday of gay liberation. “Sexual Liberty and Same-Sex Marriage: An Argument from Bisexuality,” published in the Spring 2012 issue of The San Diego Law Review, argues that gay marriage bans unconstitutionally burden individuals’ right under Lawrence v. Texas to choose homosexual relationships. Boucai is a graduate of Yale (B.A., history), Georgetown (J.D.), and Cambridge (M.Phil, history). He clerked for the Honorable Rosemary Barkett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Prior to joining the SUNY Buffalo faculty, he served as the Sears Law Teaching Fellow in the Williams Institute at UCLA.

Kylar Broadus– Kylar Broadus is an associate professor at Lincoln University in Missouri. He has been named the Senior Public Policy Counsel of the Transgender Civil Rights Project under the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Broadus has had a career as an activist, writer, lawyer, professor, lobbyist and public speaker. In his work as an attorney, Broadus focused on LGBT law, specializing in transgender rights.

Todd Brower- Todd Brower is the Judicial Education Director for the Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA School of Law. He is a professor of Constitutional Law at Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California.  He has an LL.M from Yale Law School, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an A.B. from Princeton University, and was a Fulbright scholar in France.  Professor Brower served on the California Judicial Council – Access and Fairness Advisory Committee and is the author of various law review articles, research studies and publications on the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons in the courts of the United Kingdom, California and New Jersey.  He has worked with the courts of many states and federal agencies on judicial education programs and with the National Judicial College, the National Association of State Judicial Educators, the National Association of Women Judges, the National Center for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the California Center for Judicial Education and Research.

Dale Carpenter– Dale Carpenter is the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, where he teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, the First Amendment, and sexual orientation and the law. In 2014, he won the University’s top award for graduate and professional teaching, earning the title Distinguished University Teaching Professor. He was selected Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer for 2013. Since 2004, he has served as an editor of Constitutional Commentary. Professor Carpenter received his B.A. degree in history, magna cum laude, from Yale College in 1989. He received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. He clerked for The Honorable Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1992-93. He was in private practice in Texas and California, 1993-2000. Professor Carpenter is a frequent television, radio, and print commentator on constitutional law, the First Amendment, and sexual orientation and the law. Since 2005, he has been an active blogger on the popular legal blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, which is hosted by the Washington Post.

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.

Mary Anne Case– Mary Anne Case is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Law School, Mary Anne Case studied at the University of Munich, litigated for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in New York, and was professor of law and Class of 1966 Research Professor at the University of Virginia before joining the Law School faculty. She was a Visiting Professor of Law at the Law School in autumn of 1998 and at New York University during the 1996-7 academic year and the spring of 1999. She has also served as Bosch Public Policy Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin for the spring of 2004, Crane Fellow in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University for the 2006-7 academic year, and Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School for the spring of 2013. Among the subjects she has taught are feminist jurisprudence, constitutional law, regulation of sexuality, marriage, family law, sex discrimination, religious freedom and European legal systems.

Martha Ertman– Martha Ertman is a law professor at University of Maryland Carey Law School who teaches Contracts, Commercial Law and Contract Drafting, and writes about family agreements. Her most recent book, Love’s Promises: How Formal & Informal Promises Shape All Kinds of Families (2015) aims to reach people outside of law schools with informal, often irreverent stories about how contracts and mini-contracts she calls “deals” can help people ensure that the people they think of as “family” are legally recognized as such. It braids a memoir about three parents—all gay—raising their son with law chapters about other families shaped by repro tech, adoption, cohabitation, and marital agreements. The Family Equality Council named it 2015 Family Week Book Club Pick, and Salon excerpted the segment discussing agreements re: fidelity and religion. Her writing on the families she calls “Plan B” has garnered widespread media attention through radio, blogs, and a Slate piece on the Irish marriage vote last May.

William N. Eskridge Jr.– William N. Eskridge Jr. is the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at the Yale Law School.   He is the author of The Case for Same-Sex Marriage (Free Press 1996) and Gaylaw (Harvard Press 1999), as well as many other books and articles arguing for equal treatment of LGBT persons and couples.

Geoffrey Heeren– Geoffrey Heeren is an Associate Professor and the founder and director of the Valparaiso University Law School Immigration Clinic. The Clinic engages in direct representation and advocacy projects on behalf of immigrants, including asylum seekers and children. Prior to joining Valparaiso, Geoffrey was a clinical teaching fellow at Georgetown Law, where he supervised students handling asylum hearings in the Immigration Court.  Geoffrey first practiced immigration law at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, where he handled a wide range of cases and advocacy work, including direct representation of immigrants in detention, federal appellate work, and affirmative civil rights litigation. While working as a legal aid attorney in Chicago, Geoffrey also taught asylum law as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago. Geoffrey is a graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU Law School.

Courtney Joslin– Courtney 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 Marcus– Professor Nancy Marcus, LL.M., S.J.D. is the founding constitutional law professor at Indiana Tech Law School, where she also offers courses in Sexual Orientation and the Law and other subjects. Throughout her career, Marcus has been devoted to LGBT-rights advocacy.  A founder of BiLaw and the Chair of the American Bar Association Litigation Section’s LGBT-Rights Subcommittee, she has previously served on the Board of the Lesbian and Gay Law Foundation and on the Board of Madison, Wisconsin’s LGBT Community Center, Outreach. She has been a volunteer with many LGBT-rights organizations over the decades, frequently speaking at conferences and panels on LGBT-rights issues and often interviewed by her local media channels on same-sex marriage and other constitutional matters.  Marcus has authored a number of law review articles on LGBT rights. Her recent article titled “Bridging Bisexual Erasure in LGBT-Rights Discourse and Litigation,” will be published by Michigan Journal of Gender and Law in fall 2015. Professor Marcus’s scholarship on LGBT-rights has been cited by an LGBT Rights Shadow Report to the United Nations; by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; by a federal district court, and by a large number of other scholars in the legal academia.

Douglas NeJaime– Douglas NeJaime is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Faculty Director of the Williams Institute.  He teaches in the areas of family law, law and sexuality, constitutional law, and legal ethics.  He was previously Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law, Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, and the Sears Law Teaching Fellow at the Williams Institute. 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.

Susannah Pollvogt– Susanah Pollvogt serves as an Associate Professor of Law and Director of Academic Skills and Bar Passage at Washburn University School of Law. She received her B.A. from Williams College and her J.D. from Yale Law School. Pollvogt’s primary area of scholarly interest is the law of equal protection, in particular the doctrine of animus. She has published numerous articles and essays in this area, and is active as an amicus in litigation touching on equal protection issues. Professor Pollvogt also specializes in assisting students in developing academic skills and passing the bar exam. She has a particular interest in methods of active learning and self-assessment.

Allison Rice– Allison Rice is a Senior Lecturing Fellow and Director of the Health Justice Clinic at Duke Law School. Rice supervises law students who provide legal representation to individuals living with HIV, cancer and other serious medical conditions, in cases involving estate planning, disability, insurance, public benefits, breach of confidentiality, and discrimination.  She is also engaged in HIV/AIDS policy research and advocacy, with a focus on health care access, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and HIV criminalization. She collaborates with health care advocates in North Carolina and nationally. Rice is a regular speaker and trainer on HIV legal issues, presenting to medical providers, case managers, government officials, and community members. She is a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina AIDS Action Network. In addition to teaching and supervising students in the Health Justice and HIV Policy clinics, Rice has taught Legal Ethics, Legal Writing, and Legal Interviewing and Counseling at Duke.  Prior to joining Duke Law School in 1994, she was Managing Attorney at Legal Services of Southern Piedmont in Charlotte.  She graduated from Colgate University in 1979, and Boston University School of Law in 1984. Rice is a member of the North Carolina Bar.

Prof. Clifford Rosky– Clifford Rosky is Professor of Law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, where he teaches courses on constitutional law, criminal law, and sexuality, gender and law. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and Amherst College. Before joining the faculty, Professor Rosky served as a Research Fellow for the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law & Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law. Professor Rosky is a two-time recipient of the Dukeminier Award, which recognizes the best sexual orientation legal scholarship published in the previous year. His research has been published in the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, Arizona Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, and Connecticut Law Review.  Professor Rosky has provided legal commentary on issues related to sexuality, gender, and same-sex marriage to numerous press outlets, including The Economist, Associated Press, L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, and the Washington Post.

Scott Skinner-Thompson– Scott Skinner-Thompson is an acting assistant professor at New York University School of Law where his scholarship focuses on anti-discrimination and privacy law, with a particular focus on LGBTQ and HIV issues.  His most recent article, “Outing Privacy,” is forthcoming in the Northwestern University Law Review.  Scott is the editor and contributing author of AIDS and the Law (Aspen, 5th ed., forthcoming 2016), one of the leading resources in the field.  Prior to joining NYU, Scott was a litigation attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Dorsey & Whitney and clerked for the Hon. Dolores Sloviter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Hon. Robert Chatigny of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.  He is a graduate of Duke University School of Law.

Edward Stein– Edward Stein is Professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law in New York and the Director of the Family Law, Policy, and Bioethics Program.  He holds a B.A. from Williams College, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from M.I.T.  Before Cardozo, he taught philosophy at Yale University and NYU, among other schools, and he clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals.  His research interests include legal and philosophical topics related to families, sexual orientation, reproduction, cognition and science.  He has written extensively on legal, philosophical, and scientific topics and he authored two books, The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory and Ethics of Sexual Orientation and Without Good Reason: The Rationality Debate in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, both published by Oxford University Press. 

Ann E. Tweedy– Ann Tweedy is an associate professor at Hamline University School of Law. She previously served as a visiting assistant professor at Michigan State University College of Law and a Fellow at California Western School of Law. After clerking for Judge Gould, US Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit, and Judge Armstrong, Oregon Court of Appeals, she worked for several years representing Indian tribes, first for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and then at Kanji & Katzen, PLLC. She has written on tribal sovereignty under federal law and sexuality and the law. She is also a poet and essayist. Professor Tweedy received her JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and her AB degree from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in English and Philosophy. She is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Homosexuality and a contributing editor for the Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Section newsletter. Her primary teaching areas are Property, Federal Indian Law, and Gender, Sexuality, and Law. She is admitted to the bars of Washington and California (inactive); and she is of counsel to Kanji & Katzen, PLLC in Seattle.

Ari Waldman– Professor Ari Waldman is Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a B.A. from Harvard College. His research and writing focus on privacy, hate and harassment on the Internet, online social networks, and intellectual property. His doctoral dissertation, which he is turning into a book, combines social and legal theory with quantitative field work and empirical analysis to argue for a reorientation of privacy law and policy around the sociological principle of trust. Professor Waldman is the Privacy Expert at About.com. He works with students to write general-audience essays helping members of the public understand their online privacy rights. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about online bullying and creating a safe and secure Internet for all, and serves on the Leadership Council of Out Leadership, a group of openly gay professionals raising awareness about the role of business in advancing LGBT equality.

Tobias Barrington Wolff- Tobias Barrington Wolff is Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania, where he writes and teaches in the fields of Civil Procedure, Complex Litigation, and LGBT law and policy.  Professor Wolff has served as a civil rights lawyer in leading cases addressing issues of LGBT discrimination that include marriage equality and relationship rights, military service, and discrimination in the public marketplace.  He served as chief advisor on LGBT policy to the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama.


Veterans and Armed Services Personnel

Paula M. Neira – Paula 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.


Judges

Hon. Beth A. Allen– Allen is a judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon. Judge Allen serves on the family law bench. Before becoming a judge, she developed a specialized practice dealing with family law and related issues impacting the LGBTQ community. Judge Allen has been an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark College of Law teaching the sexual orientation and gender identity seminar. Judge Allen has received numerous awards for her advocacy in diversity and access to justice issues, including the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association’s Special Merit Award and her favorite, the Superhero Award from Basic Rights Oregon. Judge Allen is the author of The Demise of DOMA? What’s New and What’s Not in Juvenile and Family Law, Juvenile & Family Court Journal, Vol. 65, Issue 1 (2014), and Same-Sex Marriage: A Conflict of Laws Analysis for Oregon, Willamette Law Review, Vol. 32, Number 3 (1996). Since becoming a judge, she has spoken numerous times at judicial conferences, CLEs for attorneys and to the public about lesbian and gay couples and their families. She co-chairs a county workgroup addressing juvenile dependency and justice LGBTQ issues.

Hon. Craig E. Arthur- Arthur is a judge with the Superior Court of Orange County in California.  He is currently in a juvenile dependency assignment and has been in both family and criminal assignments. Judge Arthur is a leader for juvenile justice issues both at the state and local levels.  He currently is a member of his state’s Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness.  Judge Arthur sits on Orange County’s Blue Ribbon Commission, Orange County Children’s Partnership and is the Juvenile Court’s liaison for training and information regarding Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.  He is also leading efforts in developing training with respect to educational rights, obligations and duties relating to foster youth. Judge Arthur is a past member of his state’s Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee and served on a committee preparing a Family Resource Guide. As an attorney, Judge Arthur worked primarily in juvenile dependency law.  Judge Arthur is involved in outreach efforts and is a member of the Judicial Advisory Board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation.  He is involved in high school peer court, as well as mock trials and moot court competitions at the high school, collegiate, and law school levels.

Hon. Bobbe J. Bridges (Ret.)– Bobbe J. Bridges is the founding president and CEO of the Center for Children & Youth Justice, a nonprofit organization she created in 2006 to reform Washington State’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems. She served on the State Supreme Court from 1999 to 2007 and on the King County Superior Court from 1989 to 1999, where she was Chief Juvenile Court Judge for three years. She continues to chair the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care. Before joining the bench, Justice Bridge was the first female partner at the Seattle law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer.  Among her many awards as an advocate for children and youth are the 2015 Debra Friedman Timeless Award from City of Tacoma, 2014 Lifetime of Idealism Award from City Year, 2014 Baxter Award from Foster Parent Association of Washington State, 2010 Advocacy Spirit Award from the National Network for Youth, the 2009 Strategies for Youth Award from the Washington State Lieutenant Governor, the Passing the Torch Award from Washington Women Lawyers, the Seattle Civil Rights Champion Award from Lambda Legal, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Washington School of Law and the Judge of the Year Award from the King County Bar Association.

Hon. Mary A. Celeste– Judge Mary A. Celeste sat on the Denver County Court bench where she was the Presiding Judge 2009 and 2010; the first woman and LGBT to hold that position. She was also the first out LGBT Judge in Colorado. She sat on the Colorado Advisory Committee for the United States Civil Rights Commission and was the NHTSA Judicial Outreach Liaison for Region 8.   She has served as the President of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Foundation, the President of the American Judge’s Association as the first LGBT Judge to hold that position, and as an Adjunct Professor at the D.U. Sturm College of Law.  She has also served as a board member of the LGBT Victory Fund as the Political Committee Chair; the LGBT Community Center; the Colorado Bar Association’s Board of Governors, the Denver Bar Association’s Conciliation Panel and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Board of Governors.  She is the co-founder of the Colorado Legal Initiatives Project, the non-profit organization that helped spearhead U.S. Supreme Court case of Romer v. Evans and is the founder of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association and the Colorado LGBT Chamber of Commerce. She is the current education co-chair for the IALGT Judges.

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.

Hon. Linda E. Giles– Giles serves as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. A graduate of McGill University (B.A., Economics, 1974) and New England School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1977), where she served as Case Comment Editor of the Law Review, Judge Giles was engaged in the private practice of law, specializing in trial practice, before joining the bench.  In 1991, she 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 participated in many educational programs for both attorneys and judges on a variety of topics, such as gender equality, domestic violence, the enhancement of the judicial system, and access to justice, and has served as president of the International Association of LGBT Judges.  She presently teaches “Trial Advocacy” at Suffolk University Law School and is a member of the Board of Editors of the Boston Bar Journal.  Judge Giles is a recipient of the Massachusetts Judges Conference’s Judicial Excellence Award (President’s Award) and the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Public Service Award.

Hon. Steven Kirkland– Judge Steven Kirkland has 12 years of judicial experience, 24 years of legal experience and over thirty years of community service to the people of Houston and Harris County. Judge Steven Kirkland served as a Judge in the 215th District Court of Harris County from 2009 to 2012 and in Houston Municipal Courts from 2001 through 2008.  Prior to taking the bench he represented international oil companies and individual homeowners. Judge Kirkland is currently working in the Houston City Attorney’s office assisting with economic development projects. Judge Steven Kirkland came to Houston from West Texas in order to attend Rice University. After graduating from Rice with a history degree in 1982, he worked as a paralegal at Texaco in order to put himself through the University of Houston Law School.  Judge Kirkland is active in promoting recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, affordable housing, historic preservation, and LGBT rights.  His affordable housing projects have been recognized with awards by the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance and he was awarded the 2006 Government Friend of the Homeless by Coalition for the Homeless of Houston and Harris County.

Hon. 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.

Hon. 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.


Other

Rep. Kelly Cassidy– Kelly Cassidy, a member of the Illinois General Assembly since 2011 has spent her career fighting for the rights of women and the LGBT community as an activist, working for a smarter criminal justice system within the state’s attorney’s office, or ensuring that her three boys have safe spaces to play in our community, she has devoted the last two decades to making government more accessible, efficient and effective. Cassidy has served as legislative director for the Chicago office of the National Organization for Women, which was served as an introduction to the inner-workings of government. Individuals often found the legislative process confusing and legislators inaccessible. It was Cassidy’s job to empower women to advocate on their own behalf with legislators. Prior to her appointment as State Representative, Cassidy was responsible for development of the $20 million grant funding programs within the State’s Attorney’s office. She was a key player in creating programs for domestic violence victims, and victims of hate crimes and human trafficking. Since joining the State Legislature, she has played a critical role in marriage equality, conversion therapy and anti-bullying legislation.

Bradd S. Easton– Bradd S. Easton is the Chief Executive Officer of New Hope Recovery Center, Chicago’s premier addiction treatment facility.  New Hope Recovery Center’s New Hope with Pride program is designed for LGBT individuals and their families.  New Hope Recovery Center is certified by the National Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as an LGBT-owned business entity, the only LGBT-owned addiction treatment facility in the US. Mr. Easton earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School; a Masters in Accounting Science, C.P.A., from the University of Illinois; and a B.S. Finance (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Illinois.

Jamison Green– Jamison Green, PhD, is a pioneering advocate for transgender and transsexual health, civil rights, and social safety. He leads a small consulting firm specializing in transgender education and policy consulting for business, education, and government, through which he and colleagues advise the Human Rights Campaign on the Corporate Equality Index, and many corporate and government clients on transgender workplace issues.  He is the author of the prize-winning book Becoming a Visible Man (Vanderbilt University Press, 2004), and his work on anti-discrimination legislation, healthcare access, and insurance reform has impacted institutions throughout the world, opening access to workplace equality and basic and trans-specific healthcare to trans people in the US and abroad.  He has been recognized by the LGBT Bar Association with its Transgender Advocacy Award, by the Association of Gay & Lesbian Psychiatrists with its Distinguished Service Award, and by the Transgender Law Center with its Vanguard Award. Currently in the midst of a two-year term as President of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), he is also an adjunct full professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in its doctoral program in human sexuality policy and clinical practice. Dr. Green also does expert witness consulting.

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.

Asker A. Saeed– Asker A. Saeed is the Director of Diversity at the northeast regional law firm Day Pitney where he serves as the key thought leader, ambassador and advocate on diversity and inclusion matters and is responsible for developing and implementing programs and operational customs designed to support the firm’s strategic diversity plan. Since joining the firm in September 2012, Asker has been the driving force behind the creation of a sponsorship program for high achieving attorneys of color, the formation of the Day Pitney Alliance LGBT action group, and the implementation of a lateral hiring policy designed to ensure diverse candidate slates. Recently, the firm has been recognized by the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Law Journal for its diversity efforts and was awarded a 90% score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. He joined Day Pitney from United Technologies Corporation where he was most recently Vice President — Customer Business, Commercial at IAE International Aero Engines AG. He is a founding member of the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut, serving three consecutive terms as President, and has been a frequent speaker on diversity and career development issues, both locally and nationally.


Career Counselors

José Bahamonde-González– José Bahamonde-González is the Associate Dean for Professional Education at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.  In this role, he is responsible for the promotion of the Master of Science in Law (MSL) program, prospective MSL student outreach and enrollment.  He is also responsible for the delivery of Professional Development programming and counseling to MSL and LLM students.  He also continues to be involved with minority recruiting and pipeline efforts.  He also serves as faculty advisor to the Latino/a Law Students Association and the LGBT Law Students Alliance. As Chair of the Diversity Advisory Council of the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), Dean Bahamonde-González leads a group of faculty and senior administrators in providing advice and counsel to the President of UMB on diversity issues university-wide. Dean Bahamonde-González earned his B.S. in Management from the University of Massachusetts and his J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law.  He is a frequent speaker on topics related to law student professional development, diversity, legal employment, 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.  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.

Lori L. Lorenzo– Lori Lorenzo is the proud mom of four kids: Amanda, 13; Mark, 11; Kyle, 8; and Ethan, 6. In her role with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), she is responsible for supporting LCLD’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion among Member organizations, developing and managing LCLD’s strategic programs, and promoting understanding of legal diversity issues generally. Lori has published several articles and she is a frequent speaker on diversity with organizations including the American Bar Association, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), and the Association for Legal Administrators, among others. Lori received her B.A. with honors from the University of Florida and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law. Before joining LCLD, her work experience included law practice in structured finance and securitization, small business ownerships (a martial arts company), and several years managing diversity initiatives for law schools.


To view speakers from the 2014 Conference, please click here.