Message from the BALIF Board
First - thank you to all of our panelists, volunteer attorneys, and attendees who came out to BALIF's annual resume review and interviewing skills workshop! You're all awesome! Our attorneys gave candid, live feedback to our participants to help them develop their careers.
Also, the Young Lawyer's committee is excited to announce that Judge Jon Karesh of the Superior Court of San Mateo is BALIF's mentor of the year. Judge Karesh (who was also one of my previous mentors) is the mentor of Daniel Galindo of UC Hastings. Judge Karesh , the Assistant Presiding Judge, invited Mr. Galindo to his courtroom to observe especially interesting cases, wrote letters of recommendations and made the time to truly get to know Mr. Galindo and his interests. Thank you Judge Karesh for your continued mentorship of BALIF's members - you are truly deserving of your recognition!
Lastly, thank you BALIF members for voting in our 2019-2020 board elections. I am pleased to announce the following members will joining or continuing with our board:
We are very exciting to have familiar and fresh faces added to the BALIF board who will continue to work for inclusivity, intersectionality and incredible events!
BALIF Gala & Development Co-Chair
BALIF/FBANC Spring Diversity Mixer
On behalf of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), in collaboration with the Filipino American Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC), I would like to invite the MBC and all of its members to the BALIF/FBANC Spring Diversity Mixer.
At BALIF and FBANC, we want to celebrate and bring together the diverse legal workers and attorneys in the LGBTQ community. Many of us in the LGBTQ community hold complex identities that may not be well represented in the mainstream whether because of our race, gender, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. Whenever possible, it is important for us to reflect on that diversity and provide support to others within our community who may be different than us. To that end, we are hosting a happy hour on:
BALIF has gone to the Supremes!
On December 22, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District of Hawaii's preliminary injunction barring enforcement of #45's discriminatory travel ban. Immigration Equality, BALIF, and many other organizations submitted an amicus brief in favor of the injunction and against the ban. The Ninth Circuit cited and discussed the amicus brief (a rare occurrence) in support of its conclusion that the injunction is in the public's interest.
The Trump Administration appealed the Ninth Circuit's decision. Amici, including BALIF, revised their brief and submitted it to the United States Supreme Court on March 26, 2018.
Read that brief here.
BALIF will update the community on this important case going forward. Want to get involved in BALIF's amicus efforts? Please email
for more information.
Board Member Jennifer Orthwein
BALIF IS PROUD TO SUPPORT SB 990
In late 2017, BALIF's CCBA Committee debated a resolution at the CA Conference of Bar Associations (CCBA) Conference of Delegates that provides for equal access to rehabilitative and other programming opportunities to LGBTQI and other prisoners at high risk for sexual assault placed in solitary confinement for their own protection. The resolution overwhelmingly passed. That portion of the resolution has now been included in current legislation being considered by the CA legislature: SB 990.
SB 990 will help ensure that the dignity of transgender people is honored in incarceration settings and that LGBTQI people and others at high risk of sexual assault and harassment have an equal opportunity to access rehabilitative, educational and work programs. SB 990 will also require that people entering jails and prison be given an opportunity to specify their preferred first name, gender identity, gender pronoun, and honorific (e.g., Mr., Ms, Mx.) and will require all facility staff to use the designated name, pronoun and honorific when addressing the person. SB 990 will further require that people housed outside of the general population for their own safety be provided equal access to rehabilitative, religious and educational programs.
We are very proud to support SB 990 and submitted our Letter of Support to Senator Wiener on April 2, 2018. You can view that letter here. We are also proud to have ensured the support of CCBA's lobbying staff as this bill moves through the legislature.
The National LGBT Bar Association is proud to launch their
Commit 2 Inclusion
campaign this month.
A petition is being circulated to law schools around the nation, asking the legal education community to support diversity and inclusion and reject hate groups.
The campaign recognizes that the rise of hate groups in our society and in our justice system is a direct threat to diversity and inclusion efforts and equality at large. Hate groups are defined by the FBI as those whose primary purpose is to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons of or with a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity which differs from that of the group's members or the organization.
asks members of the legal education community to publicly acknowledge their commitment to the rule of law and the principles of the
American Bar Association's Resolution 113
. That guiding Resolution urges all providers in the legal profession, including law firms and corporations, to attract and retain the talent of diverse attorneys.
Law students, law professors, administrators, and law school groups must work to uphold the rule of law and promote access to justice for all. Hate groups hurt our collective efforts to foster a diverse workplace and a more inclusive society. Hate groups marginalize diverse communities and promote hostility against them. Discrimination and hate have no place in law schools or the legal profession.
National LGBT Bar Association is
committed to working toward a more equitable future led by legal professionals committed to the U.S. Constitution, its Bill of Rights, and its rule of law.
Join them today
The AIDS Legal Referral Panel FREE Spring 2018 MCLE Training Programs
Call: 415-701-1200 ext. 303
Top 10 Things You Should Know About Employee Benefits Law
Thursday, April 19th, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
* Presented by Kirsten G. Scott, Esq. - Renaker Hasselman Scott LLP
Representing LGBTQ Clients in Immigration Court
Tuesday, May 1st, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
* Presented by Gam Galindo, Esq. - Galindo & Associates, P.C.
Disability Rights in the Workplace - Reasonable Accommodations and Medical Privacy
Sponsored by the State Bar's Labor & Employment Law Section
Tuesday, May 22nd, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
* Presented by Noah D. Lebowitz, Esq. - Duckworth Peters Lebowitz Olivier LLP
Long Term Disability/Veterans Benefits Training
Thursday, June 14th, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
* Presented by John Unruh, Esq. - Unruh Law
Negotiating for Tenant Attorneys: How To Do Right for San Francisco Tenants
Monday, June 25th, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
* Presented by Deepa Varma, Esq. - San Francisco Tenants Union
301 Battery Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA
Meet the Judges:
San Francisco Community
KABANC Spring Mixer
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Location: Dirty Water, 1355 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Join KABANC for their spring mixer and make connections with the board, attorneys, and students in the Bay Area. Appetizers will be served. The first 20 guests will receive a ticket for a free drink!
37th Annual Real Property Law
37th Annual Real Property Law Section Retreat
Thursday - Sunday, April 19 - 22, 2018
Hyatt Regency Embarcadero
Five Embarcadero Center
Online Registration HERE
Earn up to 15.75 Hours MCLE Credit Including Credit in Legal Ethics, Elimination of Bias, and Competency Issues
Hotel Reservation Deadline
Program and Special Activities Highlights
April 5: Early Program Registration Deadline
April 12: Pre-registration deadline.
Register onsite after April 12.
Registration Fees and Deadlines
- Choose from 47 Education Programs
- Includes Credit in Legal Ethics, Elimination of Bias and Competency Issues
- More than 100 Speakers Covering a Wide-range of Program Topics, including Perennial Favorite Top 10 Real Estate Cases of 2017
- Featuring Special Documentary Presentation "Balancing the Scales" with filmmaker Sharon Rowen and California Supreme Court Justice Therese Stewart
- Complimentary Breakfast (Friday-Sunday) and Lunch (Friday/Saturday)
- Networking Receptions
- Special Offsite Events including Chinatown Walking Tour and Dim Sum Tasting, Alcatraz by Night, Beach Blanket Babylon, and more!
- Early-bird pre-registration: April 5
- Final pre-registration: April 12
- Full 4-day Registration Fee or a One-day Registration Fee
- Full Retreat Fee (if registered by April 5; prices increase after this date)
- Section members: $695
- Non-section members: $790, includes free 2018 Section membership
- Discounted full-retreat fees offered for young attorneys, in-house counsel, government, professor and full time law students
- One-Day Fees (if registered by April 5; prices increase after this date)
Registration/General Information & Special Assistance
- Thursday: $75 | Friday or Saturday: $275 per day | Sunday: $150
For General Information and Special Assistance please call
Join us for LGBTQ Advocacy Day in Sacramento on May 21!
Join Equality California and our partners for our annual LGBTQ Advocacy Day on Monday, May 21 in at the California State Capitol. Register today at
Highschool and college students can register for free, here:
Day will welcome hundreds of LGBTQ leaders, activists and allies from across California for a day of grassroots political action to raise awareness about critical priorities for the LGBTQ community, people living with HIV, and all communities impacted by the divisive actions of the Trump Administration.
Participants of LGBTQ Advocacy Day will:
- Learn how to harness grassroots political power
- Receive training on our legislative priorities and how to advocate for them
- Attend a rally and press conference on the West Steps
- Meet face-to-face with California legislators and staff, urging them to pass key legislation to protect and expand the civil liberties of all Californians
When: Monday, May 21, 2018
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Where: West Steps, California State Capitol, Sacramento, CA
Limited scholarships and travel grants are available.
We will be lobbying on a variety of issues important to the LGBTQ community including healthcare, education, HIV/AIDS, transgender rights, criminal justice reform, and immigration.
If you have questions about the advocacy day, registration, travel grants, or accessibility accommodation requests (materials, translation, on-site interpretation, and more), please contact Brad Lundahl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can ensure that our legislators and policymakers continue to make California a beacon of hope for the rest of the country.
2018 Bay Area Women Attorneys Mixer
2018 Arturo Gonzalez Summer
Law Student Fellowships
Giving to the BALIF Foundation
Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the BALIF Foundation. The Foundation recently launched and is working to assist BALIF in bringing LGBT judges to the bench and supporting scholarships, stipends and fellowships for law students and attorneys working in the LGBTQ community.
You can donate here.
In the four years ahead, we believe the Foundation's work will be critical in helping to protect our community.
For more information about the BALIF Foundation or how to get involved, contact Jamie Dupree
BALIF & The BALIF Foundation
BALIF is the Bay Area's LGBT Bar Association, which is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, which can engage in political activity. Its Board members are elected by the BALIF membership and chair various committees of the BALIF bar association.
The BALIF Foundation is BALIF's charitable arm. Donations to the BALIF Foundation are tax deductible because it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The BALIF Foundation is dedicated to increasing the number of LGBT judges on the bench through educational programming, supporting LGBT community organizations, and providing scholarships, summer stipends, and fellowships for LGBT law students and young attorneys seeking to help the LGBT community through legal work. It gave its inaugural summer fellowship for the summer of 2017.
Job Postings Now on BALIF Website
Looking for a job or a law school internship? As a BALIF member you get access to all job postings. Click
to see the opportunities, or log into the
with your membership ID and password, and select JOBS on the menu on the left.
BALIF/FBANC Spring Diversity Mixer
A.L. Nella & Co, CPA
Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Pacific Gas & Electric
Perkins Coie LLP
Sanford Heisler Kimpel, LLP
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Tycko & Zavareei LLP
White & Case LLP
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Baker Botts LLP
Bonora Rountree, Trial Consulting & Research
Callaway & Wolf
Clarence Dyer & Cohn LLP / Swanson & McNamara LLP
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Futterman Dupree Dodd Croley Maier LLP
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Golden Gate University
Helbraun Law Firm
Jackson Lewis P.C.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Minnis & Smallets
Perkins Coie LLP
Pritzker Levine LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Robert Half Legal
Roeca Haas Montes De Oca LLP
Sally Morin Professional Law Corporation
San Francisco City Attorney's Office
San Francisco District Attorney's Office
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Joanna Barron - ADR Services, Inc.
C. Todd Norris - Bullivant Houser Bailey P.C.
Michael Colantuono - Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC
Gordon Atkinson - Gluck Daniel, LLP
Peter Borkon - Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
Frederick Hertz - Law Offices of Frederick Hertz
John E. Hill - Law Offices of John E. Hill P.C.
Kelly McCown - McCown & Evans
Jahan Sagafi - Outten & Golden LLP
Saya Wallace - Paul Hastings LLP
Teresa Renaker - Renaker Hasselman Scott LLP
Peter Pierce - Richards, Watson & Gershon
Debra Schoenberg - Schoenberg Family Law
Bao M. Vu - Stoel Rives LLP
John Robert Unruh - Unruh Law, P.C.
Board of Directors
Jamie Dupree, Chair
Chelsea HaleyNelson, Secretary
John Unruh, Treasurer