Tiffany Palmer is an experienced family law attorney with a deep dedication to LGBT equality. These qualities led to her appointment last summer as Director of the LGBT Family Law Institute, a joint venture of the National LGBT Bar Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Currently, in addition to volunteering as Director of the LGBT Family Law Institute, Tiffany is a partner at Jerner & Palmer, P.C., where she focuses on adoption and assisted reproduction technology law. Before starting her own firm, Tiffany started the Family Rights Project at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights through a public interest law fellowship funded by Equal Justice Works. There, she designed a direct legal services program for low-income LGBT people to protect and preserve their family law rights. “At that time, same-sex marriage wasn’t even a conversation that people were having in Pennsylvania,” Tiffany says. “People really needed help securing adoption rights and dealing with child custody cases.”
A longtime member of the LGBT Bar, Tiffany was on the planning committee for 2002’s Lavender Law® Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the idea of a including a career fair in the conference was first discussed. Tiffany and fellow planning committee member David Rosenblum designed the proposal for the first Lavender Law® Career Fair. “We did outreach across the country,” Tiffany says, reflecting on her experience organizing the inaugural career fair. “We wanted to bring in law firms and have ‘out’ LGBT students get connected with practitioners in a supportive environment. At the time, it was still really a question of whether to be ‘out’ on a resume.” Looking back, Tiffany notes that 2002’s career fair was significantly smaller than it will be in 2018. “It is amazing to see how much it has grown,” she says.
Tiffany has been attending the LGBT Bar’s Annual Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair since 1999 and values the wealth of resources the LGBT Bar provides in her professional life. “It has been wonderful to be a part of such a knowledgeable group. The Family Law Institute has provided an amazing network of attorneys to reach out to around the country.”
As Director of the Family Law Institute, she is optimistic for the future of the both the LGBT Bar and the Family Law Institute. “I’m really excited about the future of the organization, because there is just so much to still be done,” says Tiffany. “One of the reasons I wanted to come on as Director of the Family Law Institute was to build more connections, to strategize together, and to understand cutting edge issues.”
Under Tiffany’s leadership, the LGBT Bar and The Family Law Institute released an innovative new tool this month. The interactive FLI Member Directory Map allows anyone to find an experienced and LGBT friendly family law practitioner quickly and efficiently. “I’m excited about our directory because it opens up a wealth of resources to help people around the country. People can find a family law attorney and know they will have a certain level of knowledge and expertise.”
On March 2, Tiffany was honored by the Philadelphia-based Mazzoni Center’s Legal Services Department with its “Justice in Action” Award. In 2014, Tiffany received Rutgers Law School’s Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award for her case work and pro bono service on behalf of advancing the rights of LGBT families in Pennsylvania. She was also the recipient of a Best LGBT Attorneys Under 40 Award in 2011.