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  • 05 Nov 2019 6:38 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    We hope you enjoyed our Halloween Fundraiser that benefited the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA).   BALIF partnered with the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) to throw an unforgettable party where we were able to raise over $8,500 for GAPA!  GAPA envisions a powerful Queer Trans Asian and Pacific Islander community that is seen, heard, and celebrated. We work to unite our families and allies through inclusion, advocacy, and love. Learn more about GAPA here. Thank you to all those who supported and were able to join us last week!

  • 22 Oct 2019 6:43 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    This year's BALIF delegation to the Conference of CA Bar Associations (CCBA) is returning home with several wins and inching closer to passing a resolution to establish the Homeless Bill of Rights.  Please join me in thanking the delegates who lobbied hard for these resolutions and donated their time and resources to represent BALIF at this state-wide conference:  Jen Orthwein, Felicia Medina, Annick Persinger, Michael Wolchansky, Stephan Ferris, and Ari Jones.  

    The CCBA Committee would also like to thank past delegate, Meaghan Zore for a resolution she authored that went on to become AB 1793 and signed into law in 2018.  This law requires the CA Dept. of Justice to affirmatively identify past convictions for cannabis-related offenses that are eligible for recall, dismissal, or redesignation pursuant to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.  Signed into law in the 2019 cycle, BALIF supported SB 495, which prohibits considering a parent's  sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation in determining the best interest of the child in custody proceedings.

    Each bar association delegate is eligible to vote on every resolution, which means the larger our delegation, the more BALIF members' voices are represented. We hope to have more participants at next year's September 2020 Conference in San Diego.  If you'd like to attend or would like to draft a resolution, email for more information.


    1. Changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day 

    2. Banning oxybenzone and octinoxate in sunscreen

    3. Making Election Day a paid holiday in California;

    4. Extending the statute of limitations for all claimants of death and personal injury tort claims against government entities to one year to file the government tort claim (from the currency 6 months) and a full 2 years from rejection notice to file a civil suit in state court. (Re: incarcerated individuals)

    1. Homeless Bill of Rights (5 votes short)
    2. Affirmative defense of consent for assault and battery. See BDSM community (4 votes short)

    1. Decriminalization of sex work

    1. gender-neutral language in the evidence code;
    2. adding transgender as a protected status under the Fair Employment & Housing Act;
    3. requiring hospitals to provide patients with the estimated cost of anticipated services;
    4. allowing transgender employees access to workplace lactation/wellness rooms for post-surgical care; and
    5. banning plastic bags for newspapers.

    Approved resolutions will now be proposed to legislators to be introduced as bills in the 2020 legislative cycle.

  • 20 Aug 2019 12:53 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    BALIF's New Lawyers Committee is accepting applications for both Mentors and Mentees for the 2019-2020 year! BALIF's incredibly successful mentorship program is back and we're hoping to recruit eager law students, post-bar graduates and new lawyers to receive mentorship from experienced attorneys from a wide array of legal backgrounds and life experiences. As any lawyer will tell you, mentoring is an integral part to any professional's success in their career. If you are interested in applying for either a mentee or mentor position, please follow the links to the appropriate application (all responses are confidential).  Pairings will be released close to the end of September, with the annual BALIF Mentor/Mentee Happy Hour to take place in early October. Please check your email for updates. If anyone has any questions, feel free to reach out to Stephan Ferris at

    Click here for the Mentee Application.

    Click here for the Mentor Application.

  • 13 Aug 2019 8:23 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    Women Lawyers of Alameda County will again be awarding one $5,000 law student scholarship this year, courtesy of the Stuart and Rhoda Hing Charitable Trust.  The scholarship will be presented by the Hings at the WLAC Annual Judges’ Dinner on October 24, 2019, at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in Jack London Square.

    The WLAC/Rhoda and Judge Stuart Hing Scholarship was created in 2018.  As an attorney, Judge Hing was a Board member of WLAC, and even after his appointment to the Alameda County Superior Court in 2008, he continued to serve for almost a decade as a judicial liaison to the Board.  This Scholarship represents a continuing commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equality, values shared by WLAC and the Stuart and Rhoda Hing Charitable Trust.

    The ideal candidate for this scholarship is:

    1.     Diverse*;

    2.     A law student**;

    3.     An individual with a demonstrated commitment to advocating for issues impacting women and/or the advancement of women in the legal profession;

    4.     Engaged in a leadership role in her/his/their community or demonstrates significant leadership potential;

    5.     Actively engaged in the Alameda County legal community; and

    6.     Able to attend the WLAC Annual Judges’ Dinner to receive the Scholarship.

    *   Has two or more intersecting background factors: e.g. gender, race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.
    **  Has completed at least one year of law school and is currently in good standing.

    Interested candidates should email the following submissions in a single pdf file to Dorothy Chou Proudfoot at, with the subject line “WLAC/Hing Scholarship Application”: 

    ·          A copy of a certified law school transcript (including proof of good standing); 

    ·          A current resume or curriculum vitae;

    ·          A personal statement of NO MORE THAN TWO DOUBLE-SPACED PAGES, addressing why the candidate exemplifies the description above;

    ·          Up to one (1) letter of recommendation addressing the candidate’s suitability for this scholarship; and

    ·          A statement confirming availability to attend the WLAC Annual Judges’ Dinner on October 24, 2019. A ticket to the Dinner will be provided to the scholarship recipient.

    Finalists will be contacted in September to schedule an interview time on September 24 or 25, 2019.


  • 26 Jun 2019 11:24 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    The BALIF Foundation is proud to announce that Joseph Fordjour of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, has been selected to receive the Foundation's Summer Fellowship.  Joseph is a founding member of Equal Rights for Everyone, a student-led organization addressing intersectional issues.  Joseph will be working this summer at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCL) in the HIV/AIDS Project which addresses varied legal issues of low-income, HIV-positive residents, as well as with the Public Benefits Justice Project addressing access to care issues.  Joseph will also work in the EBCL's Name and Gender Change Workshop which assists clients in the process to obtain a court-ordered name and/or gender change and helps folks update identification to reflect their gender identity. 

  • 11 Jun 2019 4:41 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    The BALIF Foundation is proud to announce that UC Berkeley School of Law rising 3L Janani Ramachandran has been selected as the recipient of the Joint APABA-SV/BALIF Joint Scholarship. Janani is a Board Director at the Family Violence Appellate Project, founded the student group Berkeley Resistance Against Inter-Partner Violence (BRAIV), and is involved in a number of student organizations, including Queers United in Revolutionary Subversion (QUIRS). She will be working at ADZ Law, LLP this summer. 

  • 08 May 2019 1:46 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    Please welcome your new board! We just held our annual board retreat and are excited to get going, but we will need your help. Please email us to get involved. The board roster is listed on our website with the committees that everyone is in charge of. We're especially pleased to announce that we added a Diversity and Inclusion Chair who will sit on the executive committee (along with the co-chairs, treasurer, and secretary). We also added a governance committee that will review board procedures and recruitment. We plan to hold a "meet the board" event soon. Stay tuned for more announcements.

  • 26 Mar 2019 5:31 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    A great way to serve the LGBTQI legal community and become more involved in BALIF is to join BALIF's Board of Directors. BALIF's Directors are elected by the BALIF membership, and each Director holds office for two years. Any BALIF member is welcome to run for the Board or nominate another BALIF member. BALIF seeks a board that reflects the diversity of our LGBTQI legal community, and we specifically encourage people of color, women, transgender people, and non-binary/gender non-conforming people to run for the Board. 

    This election, we will be seeking candidates for the following positions:

    • 4 Gender Non-Conforming Candidates
    • 4 Female Candidates
    • 4 Male Candidates 
    • 3 Law Students (1 GNC, 1 Female, 1 Male)

    To run for the Board or nominate someone else, please send a candidate statement of up to 250 words to our secretary (secretary@balif.organd BALIF's Administrator, Katie Carlson ( by April 1, 2019 at 5:30 pm. BALIF's bylaws require gender parity on the Board, with a certain number of positions allocated to Directors who identify as male, female, or other genders (a broad category including but not limited to non-binary, genderqueer, gender variant, and gender non-conforming). So if you are seeking a position, please indicate the category under which you plan to run.

    Thinking about seeking a position? Know someone who would make a fabulous addition to the Board? Want to learn more about BALIF and what's involved in being on the Board? Please contact Katie at

  • 22 Mar 2019 11:32 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    The BALIF Board:

    • provides this statement as soon as was possible pursuant to notice requirements for special meetings set forth in BALIF's Bylaws; 
    • unanimously elected Jeff Kosbie as Co-Chair and Sam Potts as Secretary for the remainder of this term at a special meeting held on March 21, 2019;  
    • voted to post BALIF's Bylaws and Form 990 to BALIF's website, which can be accessed by logging in as a Member on the BALIF website;  
    • confirms its commitment to its Membership, to BALIF's mission, to transparency, to continuing BALIF's regular programming, and to the expansion of BALIF's programming to be more inclusive of transgender and queer people of color who have historically been excluded from and underrepresented in BALIF; 
    • acknowledges the concerns raised by Members after Board Directors chose to leave the BALIF board following difficult conversations for all Board Directors-both former and current-and commits to pursuing remediation efforts and critical conversations with former and current Board Directors as well as Members as soon as possible and a special announcement will be forthcoming with details on this meeting; 
    • acknowledges specific concerns, including whether BALIF is a welcoming space for QTPOC Members; BALIF's failure to make statements or take action on issues of importance to QTPOC legal professionals and BALIF's lack of support for other community organizations; BALIF's gala sponsorship policies; and current and former Board Directors-on both sides of the issue-feeling like discussions on the Board reflected personal animus rather than professionalism;
    • takes the concerns raised by former Board Directors and BALIF Members seriously, including the concerns raised by transgender and QTPOC Directors and Members who have felt excluded, as well as the concerns raised by those who resigned;
    • thanks the Board Directors who left the Board for their service to BALIF; and 
    • will likely extend the deadline to run for elections, and encourages Members to run for the Board to continue BALIF's important work, and reiterates the statement in BALIF's newsletter for the past several weeks that "BALIF seeks a board that reflects the diversity of our LGBTQI legal community, and we specifically encourage people of color, women, transgender people, and non-binary/gender non-conforming people to run for the Board."

  • 22 Jan 2019 8:28 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    BALIF is outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision today to allow the Trump administration’s ban on transgender service members to go into effect temporarily while the cases against it proceed in the lower courts.  In a separate order, the Supreme Court today denied the Trump administration’s request that it hear legal challenges to the ban this term. 

    The Supreme Court is acting as an enabler of the Trump administration, supporting the President’s cruel and outrageous preoccupation with clearing the military of brave, honorable, patriotic and hard-working service members simply because of their gender identity.  By refusing to treat members and forcing transgender service members to hide when they suffer from gender dysphoria, this administration and the Supreme Court are putting transgender service members at serious risk for an array of serious medical symptoms. The consequences of not providing medically necessary treatment to some transgender service members who need it will no doubt have grave consequences.

    Plaintiffs challenging the ban are transgender men and women serving in all branches of the military, service academy and ROTC members, as well as individuals seeking to enlist.  Some of the Plaintiffs include individuals who have completed multiple deployments overseas. 

    Before Trump ordered the ban, transgender people served openly under a policy that has now been in place for more than two and a half years.  President Trump attempted to put an end to that starting with a Tweet in July 2017, without consultation with military leadership. 

    BALIF supports our transgender members of the armed forces.  It is BALIF’s hope that the ban will not survive judicial scrutiny as it progresses in the courts below and eventually to the Supreme Court.

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