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  • 20 Oct 2011 9:42 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    California Lawyer seeks nominations 

    for CLAY Awards 


    California Lawyer is currently seeking nominations for the 16th annual CLAY (California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year) Awards. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, DECEMBER 1, 2011.


    Eligibility: The attorney must be an active member of the State Bar of California whose work was completed or resolved between December 2, 2010 and December 1, 2011.


    The lawyer's achievements during this time period have had a significant impact on:

    ***the law,

    ***the profession,

    ***a particular industry; or

    ***the general good of the public.


    Please provide specific details about the attorney's achievement and explain the significant impact the work made in 2011. 


    Click here for more information and to nominate an attorney
  • 20 Oct 2011 9:35 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)



    Jay Creighton: After 17 years of practice as an estate planning, trust, and probate attorney in San Mateo County , Jay Creighton recently opened an office in San Francisco (while still maintaining a smaller office in the City of San Mateo ). Also, he is now an Adjunct Professor at UC Hastings College of the Law -- his alma mater.  This semester, Jay is teaching Wills & Trusts to a class of 55 students.


    Irma Cordova Perez: Irma Cordova Perez has joined MontyWhite LLP in San Rafael . She will continue with her bilingual immigration practice. Irma's addition brings the firm to 50% LBGT attorneys.

  • 07 Oct 2011 4:09 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    The National LGBT Bar Association is accepting statements of interest from individuals who wish to join the Board of Directors as an At-Large Member or as an American Bar Association Delegate. Statements of interest and a questionnaire must be submitted to by 5:00pm EDT on October 3, 2011.
    The National LGBT Bar Association Seeks Candidates for its Board of Directors including American Bar Association Delegates

    The National LGBT Bar Association is an association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, advocates, and affiliated LGBT legal and law student organizations. The mission of the LGBT Bar is to promote justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity. Similar to other professional associations, the Association provides networking and educational opportunities for its members and supporters. The Association annually appoints the board of its sister organization, the National LGBT Bar Foundation, the entity that sponsors the annual Lavender Law Career Fair and Continuing Legal Education Conference. The Association works within a network of 27 LGBT voluntary bar associations from regions, states and municipalities across the nation, and dozens of LGBT law student associations.
    The Association is an official affiliate of the American Bar Association ( ABA ), and as such holds a seat in the ABA House of Delegates. In addition, the Association liaises in an official capacity with many key sections within the ABA , including three seats in the Young Lawyers Division, a seat within the Law Student Division and positions on the Coordinating Committee on HIV/AIDS, the Commission on Women in the Profession and others.
    The business and corporate powers of the National LGBT Bar Association are exercised by, or under the authority of, the Board of Directors. The Board is the highest governing authority of the LGBT Bar. In addition, the National LGBT Bar Association Board of Directors appoints members to the National LGBT Bar Foundation Board on an annual basis.
    The ABA Delegate to the House of Delegates is a voting member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Executive Committee.  The remaining ABA positions are non-voting members of the Board of Directors of the National LGBT Bar Association.
    ABA Delegate Opening Positions:

    • Delegate to the House of Delegates: LGBT Bar Board Member and Executive Committee Member. Management and oversight of all the LGBT Bar Delegates; represents the LGBT Bar to the House of Delegates and executes its vote.  Oversees sponsorship opportunities between the LGBT Bar and ABA ; helps develop joint programs including CLEs for ABA meetings and Lavender Law.
    • Council to the Young Lawyers Division National Representative to the LGBT Bar: Represents the LGBT Bar to the YLD Council and executes its vote in coordination with the Delegates to the Assembly of ABA's YLD. Supports sponsorship opportunities and helps develop joint programs.
    • Delegate to the Young Lawyers Division Assembly (2): Represents the LGBT Bar to the YLD and executes its vote in coordination with the Delegate to the YLD Council. Supports sponsorship opportunities and helps develop joint programs.
    • Representative to the ABA 's AIDS Coordinating Committee: Represents the LGBT Bar to the Committee and executes its vote. Supports sponsorship opportunities and helps develop joint programs.
    • Delegate to the Commission on Women in the Profession: Represents the LGBT Bar to the Commission and executes its vote. Supports sponsorship opportunities and helps develop joint programs. Submits a nominee each year for the Margaret Brentwood Award.

    Sample Duties

    • Participate, and possibly chair, various committees focused on specific aspects of the LGBT Bar's Strategic Plan.
    • Establishing the basic policies of the LGBT Bar and reviewing any proposed changes.
    • Shaping, approving and monitoring the strategy and planning of the organization.
    • Personal financial support of the LGBT Bar is expected of board members. That support includes giving personal time and money. Board members also help develop donors, members, and supporters. Further, some board members may lead fundraising efforts within the Development Committee. However, all board members are ambassadors and are expected to attend and support events and help maintain accountability to donors and sponsors.
    • Enhancing the reputation of the organization, including promoting positive working relationships and communications with members and member societies.
    • Assessing and improving the Board's own effectiveness.
    • Candidates with specific background or experience in finance and/or development is beneficial but not necessary.
    • The ideal candidate will have prior experience serving on boards of directors and will be able to devote up to three hours per week to participate in LGBT Bar board conference calls and related work.
    About the Nominations Committee:
    The Nominations Committee is charged with the task of collecting and evaluating nominations for the Board of Directors. The committee proposes a slate of candidates to the Board in accordance with the procedures specified by the Bylaws, following a formal and rigorous review process which may include personal interviews conducted by committee members.
    The Nominations Committee will consider the experience and skills of individuals while assessing the overall balance and performance of the Board and its individual members, vis-à-vis succession plans for officers to maintain strong leadership on the Board.
    The National LGBT Bar is extremely committed to diversity on its Board of Directors. Factors such as race, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and one's professional area (such as whether an individual works in private practice, for a government agency, as in-house counsel or for a non-profit organization) may be considered.
    Nominations Process and Timeline:
    Individuals must be members in good standing of the National LGBT Bar Association in order to be considered for the position.
    October 3, 2011: Deadline for interested individuals to submit statements of interest based upon the questions provided. Statements should include the individual's contact information, their history with nonprofit boards, and their interest in serving the members of the Association.
    Statements of interest and the questionnaire must be submitted to by 5:00pm EDT on October 3, 2011.
    October 4, 2011: The Nominations Committee compiles and submits a list of candidates to the Association Board of Directors for review.
    October 14, 2011: Over the following weeks, the Nominations Committee assigns individual Board Members to conduct phone interviews with the candidates.
    November 4, 2011: The Nominations Committee selects a slate of candidates for final recommendation to the Board of Directors.
    November 11, 2011: The Board of Directors votes to approve or reject the candidate recommended by the Nominations Committee.
    Each Board Member is elected by the LGBT Bar Board of Directors for a two-year term which will begin in February 2012.  ABA Delegate positions are for 1 year terms beginning in August 2012 in conjunction with the ABA 's Annual Meeting.
    The organization's bylaws require that all Directors provide a financial contribution to the organization.  Acceptable forms of contributions include, but are not limited to, personal donations, in-kind gifts, or securing significant sponsorships.
    The Board usually has five meetings a year, including three in person meetings.  The meetings usually last half a day in length and are held in major cities in conjunction with the ABA Midyear and Annual Meetings, with at least one meeting at the LGBT Bar's Lavender Law® Conference & Career Fair. The remaining two meetings are held by telephone.
    All Board Members are encouraged to attend LGBT Bar programs and meetings where applicable, and act as "good will" ambassadors for the organization by interacting in a positive way with employers, other legal professionals and the public.
    As time permits, Board Members are also encouraged to participate with local LGBT voluntary bar association in their activities. Board Members are covered by a Code of Conduct, must disclose any conflicts of interest and are subject to a background check by the General Counsel. Board members are covered by D&O insurance in the amount of $1 million and by indemnification to the maximum extent allowed by law.
    Additional information about the LGBT Bar and its sister corporation, may be found at:
  • 07 Oct 2011 4:08 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)


    Attention!   The Minority Bar Coalition ("MBC") is seeking applications for an active member of the minority bar community to serve as the representative of the Minority Bar Coalition on the board of the Bar Association of San Francisco ("BASF")! 


    The MBC Representative serves a two-year term on the BASF Board and holds all the rights and responsibilities of all other BASF Board members.  The MBC Representative is expected to also attend quarterly MBC meetings and serves as one of two liaisons between the BASF Board and the MBC. Prior involvement with MBC a plus. 


    Applicants must be current BASF members.


    Please provide the following information or an updated copy of your CV or resume:

    1 name 

    2 firm company or organization 

    3) address 

    4) phone number 

    5) email address 

    6) website and 

    7) number of years of practice.


    Please also provide a brief statement that includes:

    1) a description of your involvement with the minority bar community and your leadership experience bringing the various minority bars together;

    2) a description of the involvement you have had with BASF; and

    3) an explanation of why you would like to serve as the MBC's representative on the BASF board.


    Applications are due to MBC Co-Chair Vid Prabhakaran at by 5 p.m. on October 31, 2011.



    MBC Co-chair


    The Minority Bar Coalition (MBC) is a coalition of Minority Bar associations of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, comprising of nearly 30 organizations. Co-Chairs are responsible for MBC's activities, which include regular meetings for the coalition, receptions, panel discussions, the annual Unity Reception, co-sponsoring events, maintaining the BASF MBC calendar, and distributing information regarding the activities of the member Bar associations and other events of interest. The current Co-Chairs are Vidhya Prabhakaran, Yuval Miller, Micael Estremera, and Ann N. Nguyen. The two MBC Representatives who sit on the board of the Bar Association of San Francisco are Quyen Ta and David Tsai.


    If you are interested in becoming a Co-Chair, please e-mail a short (1 page or less) personal statement (which includes information on why you would like to be a Co-Chair, your past participation with minority bar associations, What ideas you have for MBC, and what you can bring to MBC) and a resume to MBC Co-Chair Ann N. Nguyen at by 5 p.m. on October 31, 2011. Please input "MBC Co-Chair Application" on the subject line.

  • 30 Sep 2011 10:38 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)


    Over 30 people attended the "Connections" Fall social event at Gingerfruit last Wednesday evening.  Several pairs of mentors and mentees met and discussed their goals for the year, including strategies on how to increase their networking opportunities and alternative paths to employment.  We are also delighted that several students and newer lawyers attended to learn more about mentoring and sign up for mentors.  We are amazed at how talented our mentors are - from a sitting judge, to a partners in top national firms, to solos running their own business, to attorneys in the courts and public interest organizations.  We thank them for their time and believe our mentees will learn many valuable lessons from them.  Our search continues for BALIF mentors to lend a hand and sign up.  Please contact Dennis Raglin, chair of the Young Lawyers & Students Committee (


  • 30 Sep 2011 10:33 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    We all love that section in our alumni newsletters that talks about who's doing what.


    Well, we're introducing the BALIFBuzz to show-off all the great things that our members are doing.  BALIFBuzz will be appearing in the weekly BALIF newsletter.   


    New job?

    New client?


    Court victory?

    Significant settlement?

    Baby on the way?

    Recently married or engaged?

    Speaking engagement?

    Award, recognition, certification, or degree?  

    Or anything else you're excited about...


    Keep it to one or two lines.  Please send to


    Can't wait to hear your great news!


    On Lu

    BALIF Membership Chair

  • 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:

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Office: +1 415 874-3045

P.O. Box 193383 San Francisco, CA 94119