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  • 22 Jan 2014 9:12 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Lambda Legal is pleased to announce its posting for the 2014-2015 Tyron Garner Memorial Fellowship for African-American LGBT Civil Rights, expanded in 2013 from a summer position to a year-long funded fellowship. Lambda Legal is a national nonprofit organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Founded in 1973 and headquartered in New York City, Lambda Legal has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas. The Garner Fellowship is a paid, full-time, year-long legal internship awarded to a recent law graduate to work in any of Lambda Legal’s five offices.

    Lambda Legal’s law reform, policy, and education work encompasses a wide range of areas critically important to LGBT people and those living with HIV, such as federal and state constitutional law issues; sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV discrimination in employment, schools, youth in out-of-home care systems, health care, identity documents, the criminal justice system, and other areas; asylum and immigration policy; and harassment and violence. Lambda Legal has been involved in numerous landmark United States and state Supreme Court cases, including Lawrence v. Texas, Romer v. Evans, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, University of Alabama v. Garrett, In re Marriage Cases, Varnum v. Brien, Benitez v. North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group, and Brandon v. County of Richardson. For more information about Lambda Legal, visit www.lambdalegal.org.

    This fellowship honors the memory of Tyron Garner, one of the men Lambda Legal represented in our groundbreaking Supreme Court victory Lawrence and Garner v. Texas (which struck down all remaining state sodomy laws in the country) and helps expand Lambda Legal’s work in African-American LGBT communities. Tyron Garner died in 2006, after his case vindicated the constitutional right to express sexual intimacy in adult relationships.

    The fellowship constitutes one of Lambda Legal’s efforts to increase the diversity of attorneys within the LGBT movement. Through the Garner Fellowship, we seek to encourage and mentor law students dedicated to LGBT issues within African-American communities to become engaged in civil rights work on behalf of LGBT individuals and people living with HIV. The Garner Fellowship will contribute to Lambda Legal’s expansion of our current work to serve more communities of color and address the intersection of LGBT discrimination and racism, sexism, and poverty that affects African-American LGBT communities.

    Qualifications and Responsibilities: We are looking for recent law school graduates who have first-hand understanding of the issues that affect communities of color and have demonstrable interest in working with LGBT and HIV issues affecting African-American communities. The Garner Fellow will work with colleagues to:

    • identify and connect with key African-American leaders and organizations to further inform and guide our efforts to serve African-American LGBT communities;
    • identify important LGBT and HIV legal issues that affect African-American communities, particularly considering inequities and barriers that disproportionately affect African-American LGBT communities;
    • identify poverty-, class- and race-related legal issues that particularly affect African-American LGBT communities that Lambda Legal should address;
    • develop legal resources focused on the specific challenges of people living with HIV in LGBT African-American communities;
    • develop legal resources focused on the specific challenges LGBTQ youth of color face in school, foster care, shelter and juvenile justice systems.

    Compensation: The salary for the Fellowship is $50,000 for the year, and includes health insurance, vacation and other employment benefits. Excellent employer-paid benefits package including medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance. Generous vacation.

    Application: The position is open until filled. The fellowship anticipates an early fall start date, but may be flexible depending upon the successful candidate’s needs. Please send résumé, writing sample, and letter of interest indicating the Lambda Legal office(s) in which the applicant would be interested in working; a description of experience working in African-American communities; a description of interest in addressing LGBT and HIV issues in African-American communities; and particular areas or legal issues of interest relating to the position to:

    Amy Shapiro, Legal Administrative Manager
    Lambda Legal
    120 Wall Street, 19th Floor
    New York, New York 10005-3904
    Fax: 212-809-0055

    Include the words “Tyron Garner Memorial Fellowship” on the first line of the address of the envelope or the subject line of the email transmitting your application materials. Please indicate which of our offices you would consider.

    NO CALLS PLEASE. Due to the high volume of applications, Lambda Legal cannot return phone calls about the position and does not notify applicants of status except when an interview is granted.

    Lambda Legal is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, transgender people and people with disabilities, including HIV, are encouraged to apply.
  • 14 Jan 2014 8:27 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    The new year is in full swing and so is BALIF!  The Communications and Membership Committees have reinstated BALIF Buzz to our Newsletter to show off all the great things our members are doing, and the Membership Spotlight on our website to highlight members of our community.  If you would like to let our Newsletter readers know about the exciting things happening in your life (i.e. a new job, promotion, new baby, marriage, etc) please write us at membership@balif.org to have it included in BALIFBuzz


    Law students, join us for the BALIF Law Student Speed Networking & Resume Review Event Thursday, January 30th, 2014.  Space is limited to the first 40 law student BALIF members who RSVP, so be sure to to let us know as soon as possible if you would like to attend.  More information on the event is below.  


    Standing Proud, BALIF's 34th Annual Gala, is right around the corner on February 28th!  Sponsors of Standing Proud get complimentary tickets and many additional benefits.  You may contact John Robert Unruh at gala@balif.org or go to the BALIF website at www.balif.org for sponsorship information.   We hope to see you there!


    Jennifer Orthwein

    Communications Chair

  • 07 Jan 2014 4:14 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    Happy New Year!


    We are excited to bring BALIF law students Speed Networking and Resume Review on Thursday, January 30th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Pillsbury Winthrop in San Francisco. Please RSVP ASAP as there are limited spots available.


    Join the Pride Law Fund for the Gay Ski Bus to Tahoe on January 25th and for its third annual Boat Cruise around the Bay on May 31st. PLF promotes legal rights for LGBT people and people living with HIV, in part, by providing fellowships to law students and new lawyers who are willing to fight for such rights.


    The grand jewel of all BALIF events, the Annual Gala, is right around the corner on February 28th. With all the recent legal victories related to Marriage Equality, this year's theme is "Standing Proud."


    And if you enjoy events such as the BALIF Gala, the Community Ambassador Committee might be the perfect fit for you. Among other things, Committee members attend the annual Galas and Dinners presented by fellow members of the Minority Bar Coalition.  If you are interested, please email me at communityambassador@balif.org.  


    May 2014 bring you peace, prosperity and happiness.


    Edward Joy

    Community Ambassador Chair
  • 18 Dec 2013 2:43 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    Happy Holidays!

    As we enter the holiday season, we think about how important it is for all of us to give and support the people and causes we care about so dearly. The Social Action Committee has been a flurry of activity, planning service events for 2014 and continuing our work with the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Horizons Foundation, and the Council for Global Equality to identify and execute initiatives to help improve the lives of our brothers and sisters in Russia.

    As the situation in Russia continues to get dire, even in the bright international limelight of the upcoming Sochi Olympics, LGBT Russian civil society needs help. Fortunately, there's something Americans can do: support the Russia Freedom Fund.

    There are fewer than 20 paid staff for LGBT groups in Russia in a country of over 140 million people, a depressingly low number for a country of its size. Persecution of LGBT people, especially LGBT community leaders and youth, continues to carry on at a worrying pace. By supporting the Russia Freedom Fund, we have the opportunity to strike back against Putin's grotesque clampdown on civil society and his efforts to single out and demonize a minority group, all for the sake of appearing anti-Western to shore up his power.

    We hope that you will join celebrities, athletes, and community leaders with the Uprising of Love campaign to spread the word and support the Fund. If you love social media, than this campaign is tailor-made for you!

    Also, if you are interested in helping LGBT immigrants seeking asylum or refugee status in the U.S., especially here in California , please stay tuned for pro bono opportunities and an important announcement from the Horizons Foundation.

    We look forward to celebrating 2013 and seeing everyone at the BALIF Holiday Party this Wednesday, December 18 from 5:30 - 9:00pm at Tank 18 wine bar. Please RSVP here!

    Jessica Bogo
    BALIF Social Action Committee Co-Chair
  • 12 Dec 2013 2:42 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    BALIF Members and Friends-

    As you sift through your holiday party invitations, there is one that you should be sure not to miss. Please join us on Wednesday, December 18, from 5:30- 9:00 pm at the Tank 18 wine bar in Soma for BALIF's annual holiday party. Please RSVP here! BALIF has planned a special event for a truly extraordinary year. In 2013, tens of thousands of Californians entered into same sex marriages that were previously prohibited. For many of our colleagues and friends, a long wait has finally ended. At this year's party, we will both celebrate tremendous advancements in the law that led to these joyous results, and honor BALIF's pro bono counsel at Munger Tolles for its devotion to both BALIF and marriage equality. I hope to see you all there.

    Nickolas Kacprowski
    BALIF Amicus Chair
  • 06 Dec 2013 2:36 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    I hope that you all had a nice and relaxing holiday with friends, family, and significant others. I had a lovely day, spending it in Miami with my partner's family stuffing my face full of Cuban-style pork and black beans (for my money, pork beats turkey any day!).

    As we kick off the holiday season and the accompanying holiday parties, make sure that December 18 from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. is blocked off for the best one: BALIF's annual Holiday Party, Wednesday, December 18, from 5:30- 9:00 pm at the hip Tank 18 wine bar in Soma. RSVP on the BALIF website.
    We will, of course, be celebrating a momentous year in the advancement of gay rights. We will also be honoring Munger Tolles & Olson LLP with the BALIF Community Service Award for their many contributions to those advancements. It's an event you will not want to miss.

    That's it for now - but if you see one of our law school members in the next week or two, be sure to wish them good luck on finals (and buy them a cup of coffee if they look exhausted!).

    Nick Clements
    BALIF Social Chair
  • 27 Nov 2013 2:32 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    Union Square resurrected the San Francisco Christmas Tree weeks ago, but for me, this week is the real kick-off to the season. I am sure many weekends were spent planning those Thanksgiving menus, reserving that turkey, or maybe trying to find a last-minute place to consume your mashed potatoes and gravy. I spent my weekend ruminating on just how many brussels sprouts one should plan on 23 people eating, and whether great offense will be taken if the sweet potato casserole evolves into roasted sweet potatoes with a bourbon maple glaze.

    This week is a great time to reflect on the year and acknowledge all for which we have to be thankful. DOMA and Prop 8 were huge victories we all carry in our back pockets. We also have marriage equality in more states than ever, most recently adding Illinois to the list. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has passed in the U.S. Senate, the first transgender person, Amanda Simpson, has been appointed by President Obama to the administration as a senior technical advisor to the Department of Commerce, and so much more. Take a minute to reflect and be thankful. Baby steps...

    As we head into the month of December, I hope you join BALIF at our Holiday Party December 18th at Tank 18. After Christmas, join BALIF at the Castro Theatre to laugh along with us at The Kinsey Sicks.

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving and I hope to see you soon!

    Lilah Sutphen
    BALIF Gala Co-Chair
  • 20 Nov 2013 2:28 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    BALIF Members and Friends-

    The holidays are quickly approaching and BALIF has some awesome events coming up to help you through them. The National Center for Lesbian Rights and BALIF are co-hosting a happy hour mixer at Pause Wine Bar this Thursday, November 21st. Also, the BALIF Holiday Party is just around the corner on Wednesday, December 18th at Tank 18. RSVP here! It will be an event you don't want to miss.

    If you missed the FBANC fundraiser benefiting Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, there are still ways to support the victims. Just visit http://nafconusa.org/ to find out more.

    Did you know BALIF has a Twitter account? Follow us to see BALIF news, event info, #ThrowbackThursday posts, and more. If you haven't joined the BALIF Listserv on Google Groups, email me at technology@balif.org and I will make sure you get connected.

    Hope to see you soon!


    Jennifer Orthwein
    BALIF Technology Chair
  • 13 Nov 2013 2:20 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    I hope this finds you smiling.

    Visiting Hawaii this past weekend, the press coverage of the proposed Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013 was widespread and diverse. When I see and hear other states struggling with LGBT equality issues I often wonder what I, as a San Francisco resident, can do to help.

    I think I figured out one small way I can help. I can support my LGBT brothers and sisters right here in the Bay Area (and stop feeling helpless).

    As attorneys and law students we are constantly asked for referrals. You all know you can search for BALIF members by name, but did you know you could search by practice area, Law Firm, or Organization?

    The next time someone needs a real estate attorney or the next time someone is interviewing at a particular law firm, send them to our Member Directory to see if any BALIF members can help. Or better yet, locate an attorney in the directory that would be a good referral and reach out to them yourself before sending the referral. Strengthening our community here will help strengthen our communities in other states.

    Another way you can help is to join me for a casual drink at all of the following:

    1. 2013 Minority Bar Coalition Unity Awards Reception Thursday, November 14th at 5:30 at UC Hastings (honoring our own Chelsea Haley Nelson!)

    2. BALIF/NCLR Happy Hour on November 21, 2013 at 6:00 at Pause Wine Bar.

    3. BALIF's Holiday Party on December 18, 2013 at 5:30 at Tank 18.

    Click on the link and click on "Add to my calendar" and you're set.

    Thank you!

    Peter Catalanotti
    BALIF Outreach Chair
  • 06 Nov 2013 2:13 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Greetings from the Programs Committee! November is finally here, Thanksgiving is around the corner, and there is much for which to be thankful for!

    Please join BALIF and other local minority bar associations next Thursday, November 14th for the 2013 Minority Bar Coalition Unity Awards Reception at UC Hastings. Come celebrate the extraordinary contributions of this year's honorees, including BALIF's very own Chelsea HaleyNelson.

    Also, mark your calendar for Thursday, November 21st for BALIF's happy hour mixer with the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The Programs and Social Committees are planning a great evening for mingling with fellow BALIF members and NCLR representatives and supporters.

    We hope to see you at both events. Have a great week!

    Leah Nutting
    BALIF Programs Committee Chair

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