National LGBT Bar Association

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National LGBT Bar Association
National LGBT Bar Association Logo.png
Area served
United States
Formerly called
National Lesbian and Gay Law Association

The National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association, formerly the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender legal organizations. It was formally founded in 1989 and became an official affiliate of the American Bar Association in 1992. The association is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and its current executive director is D’Arcy Kemnitz.

History of the Association[edit]

The idea of creating a national lesbian and gay bar association was introduced at the 1987 march on Washington, D.C. for lesbian and gay rights. In 1989, at the American Bar Association (ABA) midyear meeting, bylaws for the association were presented and a nonprofit board of directors was formalized.

By the time the second board meeting was held in 1989 in Boston, the LGBT Bar had 293 paid members. At the meeting, the association initiated a campaign to ask the ABA to include protection based upon sexual orientation to its revision of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct for Judges, which has now been accepted by several states.[1]

In 1992, the LGBT Bar became an official affiliate of the American Bar Association and now works closely with the ABA's Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities and its Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

In January 1995, the LGBT Bar became the first national organization to unanimously pass a board resolution calling for transgender inclusion in Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair[edit]

Each year, the National LGBT Bar Association hosts the Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair to bring together legal professionals in the LGBT community. The three-day conference draws over 1,600 attendees and features over 40 workshops and panel discussions as well as plenary sessions, receptions for women and people of color, and other opportunities for attendees to earn continuing legal education (CLE) credits. The career fair, held on the first day of the conference, draws over 500 students and features over 130 recruiters.

Year Lavender Law Site
2018 New York, NY
2017 San Francisco, CA
2016 Washington, DC
2014 New York, NY
2013 San Francisco, CA
2012 Washington, DC
2011 Los Angeles, CA
2010 Miami, FL
2009 Brooklyn, NY
2008 San Francisco, CA
2007 Chicago, IL
2006 Washington, DC
2005 San Diego, CA
2004 Minneapolis, MN
2003 New York, NY
2002 Philadelphia, PA
2001 Dallas, TX
2000 Washington, DC
1999 Seattle, WA
1998 Boston, MA
1997 West Hollywood, CA
1996 New Orleans, LA
1994 Portland, OR
1992 Chicago, IL
1990 Atlanta, GA
1988 San Francisco, CA

Awards Given Out by the Association[edit]

The Dan Bradley Award

The Dan Bradley Award is the National LGBT Bar Association's highest honor. It recognizes the efforts of a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal community whose work, like Attorney Dan Bradley's, has led the way in our struggle for equality under the law. Dan Bradley was the first chair of the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibility's Committee on the Rights of Gay People, now known as the Committee for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.[2] Bradley saw the law as a powerful instrument of social justice, and he believed that lawyers had an obligation to place their skills as advocates at the service of the least powerful among us.

Previous Award Winners

2014 Evan Wofson, Founder and President, Freedom to Marry
2013 James Esseks, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & AIDS Project Director, American Civil Liberties Union
2012 Jennifer Levi, Transgender Rights Project Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
2011 Nancy Polikoff, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
2010 Jon Davidson, Legal Director, Lambda Legal
2009 Dr. Frank Kameny, one of the nation's first gay activists
2008 Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Therese Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney, City of San Francisco

2007 Patricia M. Logue, Associate Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
2006 Urvashi Vaid, Executive Director, Arcus Foundation
2005 Arthur S. Leonard, Professor of Law at New York Law School and author of Law Notes
2004 Ruth E. Harlow, former Legal Director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; Lead Counsel in the landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas
2003 Matthew Coles, Director, ACLU National Lesbian and Gay Rights Project

Leslie Cooper, Staff Attorney, ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project

2002 Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, San Francisco, CA
2001 Phyllis Randolph Frye, Transgender Activist and Civil Rights Leader, Houston, TX
2000 Mark D. Agrast, Legislative Director & Counsel to Rep. William H. Delahunt, Former NLGLA Co-Chair

Allies for Justice Award

Each year, the National LGBT Bar Association honors a legal professional who, in their position of leadership, has allied with the LGBT community and has made a noteworthy contribution to the struggle for civil rights and equality before the law.

Past Allies for Justice Awardees

2014 Alderman Fiona Woolf, partner at CMS Camerona McKenna

Martha Coakley, Attorney General of Mass. James Silkenat, President, American Bar Association Judith Sperling-Newton, Director, AAARTA Laurence Tribe, Professor, Harvard Law School

2013 Todd Solomon, partner at McDermott Will & Emery

Rosie Hidalgo, Director of Public Policy, Casa de Esperanza

2012 Laurie Hasencamp[permanent dead link], Interim Executive Director, Equality California
2011 Frederick J. Krebs, former president of the Association of Corporate Counsel

Robert J. Grey, Jr., partner at Hunton & Williams LLP in Richmond, Virginia, and the executive director at the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity

2010 Wayne Watts, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, AT&T

Llewelyn G. Pritchard, Partner, Helsell Fetterman

2009 Gary Kennedy, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, American Airlines
2008 Veta T. Richardson, Executive Director, Minority Corporate Counsel Association

Hon. Deval Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

2007 Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco

William H. Neukom, President, American Bar Association

2006 Honorable Steven H. Levinson, Associate Justice, Hawai'i Supreme Court
2005 Harold Hongju Koh, Dean, Yale Law School
2004 Hon. John Lewis, Congress member, Georgia
2003 Chris Zawisza, ACLU Attorney
2002 Hon. Charles Robb, Senator, Virginia
2001 James Rogers, Boston College Law School
2000 Hon. Parris N. Glendening, Governor, Maryland

Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award

The award is given to legal professionals who promote LGBT equality through words and actions to create more secure and welcoming workplaces. The award receptions give LGBT legal professionals and their straight allies the opportunity to honor distinguished colleagues who have worked hard to increase LGBT diversity awareness in the corporate office and in the community.

Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40

The LGBT Bar established this award in 2010 to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal professionals under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their field and demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality.

Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition

Each year, the National LGBT Bar Association hosts a writing competition challenging students enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school to submit papers on a cutting edge legal issue affecting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Intersex community.


First Place: $1,000 scholarship, Publication in the Journal of Law and Sexuality at Tulane University Law School, Registration, airfare & lodging for Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference
First Runner-up: Registration for Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference

The National LGBT Bar Association's Student Leadership Awards

The National LGBT Bar Association's Student Leadership Awards are presented to graduating or recently graduated law students who have demonstrated a unique level of commitment to serving the LGBT community throughout their law school careers.


2014 Winner - Deborah Lolai, Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Runner-up – Brenna Ragghianti, Elon University School of Law

2013 Winner - Mieko Failey, Loyola Law School

Runner-up – Elizabeth Dooley, Stanford University Law School

2012 Winner - Michelle Garcia, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Runner-up – Adam Chang, University of Hawaii, Manoa

2011 Winner - Jason C. Beekman, Cornell Law School

Runner-up – Ashland Johnson, University of Georgia School of Law

2010 Winner - C. Hays Burchfield, University of Mississippi

Runner-up - Danielle Hawkes, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National LGBT Bar Association". American Bar Association. American Bar Association. Retrieved 22 February 2012.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Agrast, Mark. "Unfinished Journey". Human Rights Magazine. American Bar Association. Retrieved 22 February 2012.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

  • Official Website:
  • Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair: [1]