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  • 30 Sep 2011 9:17 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    BALIF members Jo Hoeniger, Ernst Halprin and Dan Dean and BALIF board members Lilah Sutphen, Michael Wolchansky and Cara Sherman recently attended the California Conference of Bar Associations (formerly the Conference of Delegates).  Through their hard work, all BALIF resolutions were passed which means they are eligible to be taken to Sacramento.  The resolutions included three civil rights resolutions that touch on the rights of LGBT people, and one civil procedure resolution making mediations confidential like settlement conferences.  Also at the conference, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano was honored for all his hard work and our BALIF members even got to dine with him privately.  BALIF is so proud to have members who continually fight for the rights of LGBT individuals.     
  • 07 Mar 2011 1:26 PM | Anonymous

    For More Information contact:

    Katie Carlson


    BALIF LGBT Bar Marks Equality Milestones at MOMA on March 11

    Join BALIF, the nation’s oldest LGBT Bar Association, as we celebrate the “Art of Equality” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Friday evening, March 11 at 7:00p.m.  Freed from the tables of a typical dinner, we will mix, mingle, and honor this year’s award winners, UC Hastings College of the Law, The Trevor Project, and J.Robert Garcia, this year’s BALIF/La Raza Summer Fellow working on LGBT issues in communities of color.  After the program, we’ll tour art galleries, sip cocktails, socialize with old and new friends, and dance the night away while the DJ spins tunes.

    BALIF honors UC Hastings College of the Law with the BALIF Legal Services Award in recognition of the school’s United States Supreme Court victory in CLS v. Martinez, affirming its right to require recognized student groups to honor and equal access, non-discrimination policy. BALIF Co-Chair David Tsai remarked, “UC Hastings College of the Law’s victory will have nationwide impact.  The United States Supreme Court clearly articulated a principle of equal access for all students, something we knew in our hearts that is now supported by law.”

    BALIF also honors the Trevor Project, the nation’s only 24-Hour national suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth.  Sadly, this year, our country witnessed that the Trevor Project’s mission is more critical than ever, as the national news reported several youth who took their own lives when they felt they had nowhere else to turn.  BALIF Co-Chair Liz Noteware noted that “The Trevor Project has mobilized America to focus on the issues facing LGBTQ Youth, and created a way for all people to get involved, help, and truly make things better.  We look forward to welcoming The Trevor Project’s call center to the Castro very soon!”

    BALIF/La Raza Fellow J. Robert Garcia is the recipient of the innovative La Raza/BALIF Summer Fellowship designed to support a student working on LGBT issues that affect communities of color.  Mr. Garcia is a Stanford Law School student and former White House Intern who served the LGBTQ/Latino community by working on a range of projects advocating on behalf of  LGBT transnational couples and families, and providing LGBT resources to legal service agencies serving the Latina/o community.

    Tickets are available here!
  • 13 Feb 2011 7:11 PM | Anonymous
    BALIF is delighted that Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) has appointed Sabrina Shizue McKenna to a 10-year term on the Hawaii Supreme Court. McKenna, an out lesbian who was born in Tokyo, has been a judge for 17 years on various courts in the state. McKenna would be the first openly gay member of the Hawai’i Supreme Court. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, McKenna hopes her appointment can give “hope to people who feel that they cannot succeed” because of a variety of reasons, including being gay. McKenna has been on the Judicial Selection Commission lists for associate justice two previous times, for chief judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals twice and for an appeals judge five times. She was also one of three names submitted by U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka to President Barack Obama, who picked Leslie Kobayashi as the newest U.S. District Court judge for Hawaii.
  • 13 Feb 2011 7:00 PM | Anonymous

    Remember what it was like growing up “different”?  (Sigh)  Well, here’s our chance to make it a bit easier for teens that are going through the same thing we did.

    BALIF is putting together our very own “It Gets Better” video and is soliciting your help.  We’re seeking inspiration, courage, and the offer of hope.  We want to hear from you if you have a unique story or message about your coming-out and entry into the legal profession.  Extra points for BALIF members who:

    1. Entered the legal profession to “fight back”, as a result of bullying they personally suffered or witnessed;

    2. Entered the legal profession specifically to fight for LGBT rights;

    3. Are members of minority groups; or

    Lawyers, legal professionals, judges, in-house counsel, and students are all welcomed.  Videotaping is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday evening (2/16) and Saturday afternoon (2/19).  Please be available on one of those two dates.

    We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to participate in the video. Or if you’re camera shy, you can still help us out with this project behind the scenes. Please contact:
  • 24 Jan 2011 11:19 AM | Anonymous
    The State Bar of California is seeking nominations for the President’s Pro Bono Awards and the Loren Miller Legal Services Award. Both awards recognize extraordinary service to California’s poor. Please nominate your colleagues who qualify for these awards.

    Please look to your local legal aid program and those involved in its success for a nominee for the Loren Miller Legal Services Award. This award recognizes a lifetime commitment to legal services and extending legal services to the poor. While many prior recipients of the award have been Executive Directors of legal aid programs, others have been staff attorneys and private bar attorneys. It is not the level in the organization that matters; it is the longevity of dedication to legal services and breadth of service that are key. Each year we receive various nominations for the award, but can only give it to one person. If you know someone who was previously nominated, but did not receive the award, please nominate that person again.

    Bar members and law students who performed extraordinary pro bono service during 2010 are eligible for the 2011 President’s Pro Bono Awards. Up to nine awards may be given each year from among nominees who may be California attorneys, California law firms or the California offices of national and international law firms, associations of California lawyers, law schools accredited by the ABA or the State Bar, and law students (provided the student did not receive compensation or academic credit for the work). The work must be legal work, not civic or public service (i.e., building houses or serving meals in a soup kitchen would not qualify.) If you know someone was previously nominated but not recognized, please consider nominating that person again if their pro bono service in 2010 was significant.

    The nomination deadline for all awards is March 15, 2011. Information and instructions for all awards are available on the State Bar’s website. The 2011 awards will be presented at a reception in September 2011 during the State Bar Annual Meeting in Long Beach. If you have any questions about the awards, please contact Lynn Martinez, Awards Chair, at or 213-235-2630, or the SCDLS Staff Liaison, Sharon Ngim, at or 415-538-2267.

    Date: 2011-03-15
  • 20 Jan 2011 7:14 PM | Anonymous
    Mentors and mentees come shake off those Winter blues with some mentorship camaraderie on Thursday, January 20 at Home restaurant (at the intersection of Church and Market Streets). From 6:00 to 8:30 PM, enjoy complimentary beer, wine and the delicious food that Home is known for. Enjoy the fireplace while mentors and mentees catch up and check in with each other, and discuss goals for the first half of 2011. Even if you don’t have a mentor or mentee, you’re welcome to attend to learn more and to network with your BALIF colleagues. For more information, please contact Dennis Raglin, Chair of the Young Lawyers and Student Committee at
  • 19 Jan 2011 7:18 PM | Anonymous

  • 19 Jan 2011 7:16 PM | Anonymous
    Conference of Delegates Resolutions Due If you would like to submit a resolution for the 2011 Conference of Delegates, the deadline is January 28. Please contact Dan Dean immediately at or 415-362-9314.
  • 18 Aug 2010 3:08 PM | Anonymous

    Unveiling the BALIF 30th Anniversary American Apparel T-Shirt
    It’s the American Apparel Fine Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt – the softest, smoothest, best-looking T-shirt available anywhere.  And now, you can get the official BALIF 30th Anniversary edition.  The shirts are available in Cranberry, Teal, Purple, and Orange. And they come in S, M, L, and XL (in Men’s and Women’s sizes). Only $20 a pop.  Shipping via Priority Mail is $4.  Order now:
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