We won the prestigious State Bar of California Diversity Award in the bar association category. The award recognizes the outstanding efforts made by a bar association, law firm or an individual attorney in promoting diversity in the legal profession. Recent winners in the bar association category include the Alameda County Bar Association, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, and the Lesbian & Gay Lawyers of LA. More details about the award and a list of former winners can be found here
BALIF submitted ten-pages of nomination materials to the State Bar summarizing all of the important work we’ve been doing over the past few years, including:
- Fought Prop. 8 through rallys, marches, fundraising, education, donations, and filing of Amicus Briefs.
- Exploded membership growth -- from 400 to 700 in the past two years.
- Launched the monumental BALIF “It Gets Better” Campaign to fight against the alarming rise in suicides among LGBT youth.
- Collaborated in the election of Judge Victoria Kolakowski and other efforts to promote diversity on the bench and in local political office.
- Jumpstarted the “Connections” LGBT mentorship program to included 40+ pairings.
- Raised $150,000+ at annual Gala to support BALIF’s various programs and scholarships.
- Donated thousands of dollars in scholarship money to law students engaged in public interest work.
- Increased community outreach and co-sponsorship of special events and volunteer projects with sister bar organizations and the Minority Bar Coalition.
- Created the “BALIF Stimulus Package” for non-working LGBT attorneys, consisting of free membership, internal job site, and networking events.
- Overhauled website to include an events calendar, internal job site, and searchable attorney profiles.
- Provided LGBT-related MCLE training for Bay Area legal professionals.
To see BALIF’s complete nomination materials, click below.
BALIF Nomination Form.pdf
Congratulations to the 2011-2012 BALIF Board
for all of the blood, sweat, and tears invested. And to all of our members who take such pride in this organization - BALIF is only as strong as our members. We owe special thanks to former Board member Spencer Jones for coordinating our application, and to Emi Gusukuma (AABA President) for nominating BALIF for this award.