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  • 02 Oct 2013 10:06 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    I hope everyone is enjoying the fall sunshine - I'm thrilled that it's finally the season for root beer floats.

    In committee news, BALIF's California Conference of Bar Associations (CCBA) Committee is gearing up to represent BALIF next week at this year's conference in San Jose. BALIF is sponsoring several proposed resolutions seeking to amend the California Penal Code to require medical providers in prisons and jails to provide appropriate medical treatment to transgender inmates. If you'll be in San Jose on October 11, please join BALIF's delegation and other CCBA delegates in kicking off the conference LGBT-ish style with a happy hour at Brix Nightclub.

    Don't forget to mark your calendars for BALIF's October events. Meet and greet your fellow BALIF members at happy hour on October 10, at Osha Thai in SF's Financial District. On Saturday, October 26, BALIF members will join other members of the community to beautify Glen Park Elementary. As we say in my home state of Minnesota : Come With!

    Julie Wilensky
    BALIF Secretary & CCBA Committee Chair
  • 25 Sep 2013 10:36 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    BALIF Members and Friends-

    Fall is officially here, which means (mostly) warm days in San Francisco, the Folsom and Castro Street fairs, and the work of the 2014 Gala Committee begins! I am honored to be co-chairing this committee for the third year in a row. Our first committee meeting is this Thursday where we will begin planning the event's theme, awardees, and one totally amazing party. We promise next year's event will be a night to remember with amazing food, drinks, dancing, and a few surprises. So, reserve Friday, February 28th, 2014 on your calendar for BALIF! The Gala will be here before we know it.

    In the meantime, please check out the many exciting upcoming events sponsored by BALIF and our allied organizations listed in this newsletter. Have a great week and I hope to see you soon.


    John Robert Unruh
    BALIF Gala Committee Co-Chair, Treasurer
  • 17 Sep 2013 10:34 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    It was great to see so many of BALIF's female (and male) members at the Give 'em L! LGBT Salon & Talk-Show last Thursday. The speakers were engaging, the views of our new Bay Bridge in the backdrop were stunning, and the two rooms filled with BALIF women were vibrant throughout the evening. Thank you for all who attended. I hope you enjoyed the event as much as I did!

    With the change of seasons we are going to help change the look of our local Glen Park Elementary school. Mark your calendars to join us on October 26, 2013 to help give the school a new face, meet other BALIF members and members of the community, and pay-it-forward to our community.

    Enjoy the warm weather, treat yourself to a scoop (or two) at one of San Francisco's iconic ice cream shops, and have a great week!


    Lilah Sutphen
    BALIF Gala Committee Co-Chair
  • 17 Sep 2013 9:06 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    San Francisco, Sept. 13, 2013 – On Sept. 12, over sixty women came out to see an all-female panel of legal luminaries including Therese Stewart, chief deputy attorney at the San Francisco City Attorneys Office, in BALIF’s first ever LGBT Ladies Salon.  The event was hosted and co-sponsored by Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP.

    The participants focused their discussion on decisions that arose from this year’s Supreme Court term.  Stewart related her personal experiences litigating on behalf of San Francisco in the fight for marriage equality starting from San Francisco’s issuing of marriage licenses in 2004 to the Supreme Court’s June decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry upholding the invalidation of Proposition 8. 

    Other featured speakers included Theodora Lee, attorney and shareholder at Littler Mendelson; Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center; and Pamela Fulmer, partner at Novak Druce and early contributor to the marriage equality litigation.  Leah Nutting, programs committee chair at BALIF, moderated.  In addition to Perry, the participants discussed the impact of decisions related to the Defense of Marriage Act and employment law.


    The Bar Association of San Francsico (BASF) LGBT Equality Committee served as the other co-sponsor of the inaugural event.

  • 11 Sep 2013 10:22 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    It has been quite a summer! I've had so much fun seeing all the pictures and receiving the announcements from my friends about their "official" weddings. My wife and I went to San Francisco City Hall to make it official a few weeks ago and I have to say, despite being Domestic Partners for 2 years, it really does feel different to be married.

    We got a lot of great feedback last week regarding the first BALIF "Connections" Mentorship Happy Hour. If you couldn't make it, there is still an opportunity to become a mentor or mentee. Please email Mario younglawyers@balif.org to let him know you are interested.

    This week, we have an exciting event led by an amazing panel of legal wonder women. Please join us Thursday, September 12th from 6pm-8pm at Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP for Give 'em L! LGBT Salon and Talk Show- Supreme Court Edition. It will be a great opportunity to network and learn more about the key decisions that have launched our movement forward. I hope to see you there!


    Have a great week!

    Jennifer Orthwein
    Chair, BALIF Communications and Technology Committee
  • 04 Sep 2013 10:12 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hi BALIF Members and Friends-

    This month's premier event is BALIF's first ever LGBT Ladies Salon & Talk-Show - Supreme Court Edition. (Gentlemen welcome.) Featured guests include Therese Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney at the San Francisco City Attorneys Office, Ilona Turner, Legal Director of the Transgender Law Center, Theodora Lee, Attorney and Shareholder at Littler Mendelson and more! Tired of stale panels and connection-less networking events? Come try something different. Give 'em L! will take place on Thursday, September 12, 2013.

    On another note, if you love Galas and other grand events, then BALIF's Community Ambassador Committee is right for you. Through ticket swaps with other minority bar associations, Committee members attend other minority bar association's grand events as BALIF's representatives. Lined up for this month alone are the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California's 30th Anniversary Gala and the Women Lawyers of Alameda County's Annual Judges Dinner. If you are interested in joining the Community Ambassador Committee, please contact Edward Joy at communityambassador@balif.org.

    Have a Great Week!

    Edward Joy
    BALIF Community Ambassador Committee Chair

    P.S. Looking forward to seeing all you mentors and mentees to be this Thursday September 5, 2013 at BALIF's first "Connections" Mentorship Happy Hour from 6pm-8pm at the Lookout!"
  • 28 Aug 2013 9:33 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Dear BALIF Members and Friends,

    A Big Thanks to all of the BALIF members who came out to welcome the 2013 Lavender Law attendees at 111 Minna last Thursday! Special thanks to Nick Clements for organizing and Seyfarth Shaw LLP for co-sponsoring this event! A good time was had by all!



    Mark your calendars for the upcoming BALIF / BASF LGBT Women's Networking Event on September 12, 2013 at Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg. It is going to be AMAZING!

    Finally, BALIF is working on a response to the recent draconian anti-gay "propaganda" laws passed in Russia . Any and all ideas on how BALIF should respond on behalf of our members are welcome. Please email OUTreach@balif.org

    Have a great week.

    Pete Catalanotti
    BALIF Outreach Committee Chair
  • 21 Aug 2013 11:10 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    I'm going to keep this short and sweet, since this week is going to be BUSY.

    Lavender Law 2013: Celebrating 25 Years, is happening this week at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. From the career fair to the featured speakers to the more than 50 workshops to the Gala Dinner, this year's Lav Law will be nothing less than phenomenal! More information can be found here. Of particular note is our Lavender Law welcome reception, co-hosted with Seyfarth Shaw LLP, this coming Thursday (August 22, 2013) at 111 Minna Gallery at 8:00 p.m. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Come join us!

    Of course, I would be remiss if I did not promote the BALIF "Connections" Mentorship Program. More information can be found below. If you're interested in either becoming a mentor or are seeking mentorship, or just want more information, please email me at younglawyers@balif.org.

    Have a good week and see you at Lav Law!


    Mario Choi
    BALIF Young Lawyers& Law Student Programs Committee Chair
  • 20 Aug 2013 2:33 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Do you want to help shape California 's laws? Join BALIF's California Conference of Bar Associations (CCBA) Committee. Each year, BALIF sends a delegation to the California Conference of Bar Associations, a group of attorneys from local, specialty, and minority bar associations across the state that are focused on improving California's laws. BALIF's CCBA Committee reviews and determines BALIF's position on resolutions that are debated at the Conference. This year, the Conference will be in San Jose from October 11-13, 2013.

    BALIF's representation and participation at the Conference are crucial to ensure visibility of the LGBT legal community at the statewide level and to bring LGBT issues before the Conference. Last year, BALIF sponsored resolutions to ensure that transgender people in jails and prisons receive appropriate medical treatment.

    If you want to weigh in on this year's proposed resolutions and/or join BALIF's delegation to the Conference, please email Julie Wilensky at ccba@balif.org by August 23, 2013.
  • 14 Aug 2013 9:26 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hi BALIF Members and Friends-

    Thank you for all that came out to the super awesome kickball event this weekend. We had a blast and we hope to do another one in the near future!

    I hope that all of you are getting pumped about Lavender Law which is being held here in beautiful San Francisco August 22-24! We are seeking last minute donations from firms or attorneys so if you want to give please contact balif@balif.org or lawstudentrep@balif.org for more information. For those firms and attorneys who have donated - Thank you!!! Your generosity is greatly appreciated. BALIF wants to send as many law students as possible to take advantage of the great opportunities Lavender Law has to offer.

    Finally, BALIF is seeking mentors and mentees for our annual BALIF "Connections" Mentorship program. We are looking for attorneys willing to volunteer their time to become a mentor for law students and baby attorneys looking to find their way through the legal profession. Going through the mentorship program myself, I found the experience incredibly meaningful professionally and personally. If you are interested in being a mentor or a mentee, please contact Mario Choi (my illustrious mentor) at younglawyers@balif.org.

    I hope you all have a fantastic week. And a warm welcome back to our law students!

    Dustin Helmer
    BALIF Law Student Representative

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