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Weekly Newsletter | November 17, 2020
Upcoming Events
December 10 - 2020 Diversity Conference & Awards

December 10 - BALIF Holiday Party

From November 13-19, we celebrate Transgender Awareness Week, culminating in the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Friday November 20. During this week and beyond, I encourage you to educate yourself about the lived experiences of transgender people. 

Much of your education will highlight the violence our communities have experienced. This year is on track to be one of the most deadly for transgender people. While figures vary, often due to erasure of transgender people’s identity, at least 34 transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) people have been killed by violent means this year. Because of intersecting racism, transphobia, and xenophobia, the vast majority those killed are Black and Latinx transgender woman. 

Janet Mock wrote in her book Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, “This pervasive idea that trans women deserve violence needs to be abolished. It’s a socially sanctioned practice of blaming the victim. We must begin blaming our culture, which stigmatizes, demeans, and strips trans women of their humanity.”

We can all take steps to make our society more safe and welcoming to TGNC individuals. I am proud of the National LGBT Bar for continuing to advocate for state laws banning the LGBTQ “panic” defense. You can incorporate concrete strategies to make your workplace more accepting and affirming of trans folks. Check out the training we provided last May, Trans Issues in the Legal Workplace. Further, I encourage everyone to take steps to make our society more equitable across all axes of subordination, and to support decriminalization and decarceration efforts. Recently, BALIF fundraised to support TGI Justice Project, and organizations like the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project are also doing incredible work.

Finally, I want to encourage everyone to hold a different image of TGNC folks in their mind: conceptualize trans joy. Our lives are not defined by the worst things that ever happened to us. Our lives are not limited to the narrow conceptions of others. Our lives are ours alone to live and to enjoy. I wish all transgender and gender non-conforming people all the joy in the world. We will persevere! 

In solidarity, 
Ari Jones 

BALIF Programs Co-Chair
BALIF Communications Co-Chair
Pronouns: they/them/their

Find a Transgender Awareness Week event in your area:

BALIF Holiday Party
Thursday, December 10, 2020 | 6:30pm
Virtual Event
RSVP for BALIF's first ever virtual Holiday Party, hosted by BALIF Board members and drag kweens, Juicy Liu and Pop Roxxx!

This year's party will include:

  • Holiday crafts ⭐ We'll provide a variety of low-stress activities you can participate in. 

  • Drag performances ⭐ Enjoy performances from our hosts Juicy Liu and Pop Roxxx, and some mystery special guests! 

  • Ugly sweater contest ⭐ Post your best (or worst) holiday sweater to Instagram or Twitter, tag @balif_bar, and use the hashtag #BALIFholiday2020 to be entered into our contest! Winner announced at the holiday party. 
ACBA 2021 Membership Discount
The Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA) is proud to honor the relationships its built over the years with our fellow local bar associations. To promote further collaboration, ACBA is partnering with BALIF to offer a membership discount. The ACBA will offer a 50% discount* on new ACBA membership to BALIF members.

New members: Create your account online here, and select Partner Bar Membership at checkout.

Former members: Contact the ACBA Membership Assistant at

*Must not have been an ACBA member in the last 3 years
BALIF's Job Board
Post your job opening and start your job search with BALIF's job board! This member's only webpage hosts job openings submitted by BALIF members. Want to submit a posting? Email You can access our job board at
An Evening with CA Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | 5:00pm
Virtual Event
BALIF members are invited to join Lambda Legal on World HIV Day! Lambda Legal will be hosting the CA Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara on World AIDs Day (December 1st, 5:00-6:00pm). He will be discussing the Equal Insurance HIV Act and PrEP access.

We would love for you to attend and please RSVP if you are interested in attending!!
The Dukeminier Awards Student Writing Competition
Friday, December 18, 2020 | Deadline
Writing Competition
The Dukeminier Awards Student Writing Competition annually recognizes the best law review note written by a student in the field of sexual orientation and gender identity law. The First Place award is $1,000 and will be recognized as part of the Dukeminier Awards: Best Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law Review Articles of 2020.

Entries are due by December 18, 2020 to with the subject line “Writing Competition Submission.” For any questions, see the attached flyer or email
San Francisco Queer Nightlife Fund
San Francisco Queer Nightlife Fund ( We are organizing a direct relief mutual-aid fund for LGBTQ nightlife workers-i.e. DJs, servers, artists, bartenders. Our goal is to raise 200K to provide enough relief to 200 LMI workers for lifeline expenses (e.g. food, shelter, basic telecom, medical necessities).
We need support from members of the LGBTQ community who still have livelihoods and savings during this time of crisis, to help those who work paycheck-to-paycheck and do not have savings to weather unemployment and the COVID-19 economic downturn. We have only raised 36.5% of our 200K goal, and have already received over $235,053 in minimum funding requests from 201 applicants.
BALIF Membership
In celebration of Pride and BALIF's New Year (which starts on July 1, 2020), and in recognition of the current financial crisis caused by COVID-19, we are automatically extending all existing BALIF memberships through the end of our 2020-2021 fiscal year - June 30, 2021 - for free! We are also offering free memberships to all law student members and/or members that are currently unemployed. Please help spread the word and help us grow our BALIF community. Folks who would like to take advantage of this special offer should email
For details on how this will impact your membership, auto-renewal, and more, please see our full update here
BALIF Support
Let's Keep In Touch!
We are moving virtually these days and have hosted some successful get togethers, including the Lavender Graduation and Pride Power Hour to raise money for Aunt Charlie's.  Check out the  BALIF Forum for Pro Bono/Volunteer Opportunities and Suggested Donations.  We're in this together, and BALIF's Covid Response Team is here to help. Our "Covid Resources" on the website offers resources and community connections during these troubling times. Let us know how you're dealing with the outbreak, and if you have any resources to share with our members. You can reach us here:
Out of Work During COVID?
Remember, BALIF offers deeply discounted memberships for unemployed attorneys. During this time, we think community is especially important, and we intend to continue offering the networking opportunities that our members depend upon. 
BALIF Board of Directors
BALIF Foundation
BALIF Foundation 
Board of Directors

Jamie Dupree, Chair
Shay Aaron Gilmore

Chelsea HaleyNelson, Secretary

Jeff Kosbie, Treasurer

Nina Paul

Linda Scaparotti

Alex Touma

John Unruh

Giving to the BALIF Foundation

Please consider making a tax deductible donation to The BALIF Foundation. The Foundation supports scholarships, stipends and fellowships for law students and attorneys working in the LGBTQI community. You can donate here to support the Foundation's work, which is increasingly needed to protect our community.

For more information about The BALIF Foundation or how to get involved, contact Jamie Dupree and Shay Gilmore.
BALIF & The BALIF Foundation

BALIF, which is the Bay Area's LGBTQI Bar Association, is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, which means it can engage in political activity. BALIF's Board members are elected by the BALIF membership, and these BALIF Board members chair various committees of the BALIF Bar Association.
The BALIF Foundation is BALIF's charitable arm, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is dedicated to supporting the BALIF Bar Association through educational programming, supporting LGBTQI community organizations, and providing scholarships, summer stipends, and fellowships for LGBTQI law students and attorneys seeking to help the LGBTQI community through legal work. Among other projects, the BALIF Foundation has sponsored summer fellowships every year since 2017.
Our 2020-2021 Sponsors
Partner Level
Counsel Level
Advocate Level
Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Cooley LLP
Duane Morris LLP
Goodwin & Procter LLP
Hanson Bridgett LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Severson & Werson P.C.
Shea Labagh Dobberstein
Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
White & Case LLP
Benefactor Level
Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP
Bonora Rountree, Trial Consulting & Research
Callaway & Wolf
Cannata O'Toole Fickes & Olson LLP
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP
Crowell & Moring LLP
Futterman Dupree Dodd Croley Maier LLP
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Helbraun Law Firm
Jackson Lewis P.C.
Pritzker Levine LLP
Robert Half Legal
Roeca Haas Montes De Oca LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP
San Francisco City Attorney's Office
Santa Clara County Prosecuters
Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Wilmer Hale
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Patron Sponsors
Alston & Bird LLP
Arent Fox LLP
Danko Meredith
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Sideman & Bancroft LLP
Squire Patton Boggs LLP
Swanson & McNamara LLP
The Liu Law Firm, P.C.
Thomson Reuters
Winston & Strawn LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson LLP
Individual Sponsors
Peter Borkon - Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP
Michael Colantuono - Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC
Ryan Derry - Paul Hastings
Haapala, Thompson & Abern LLP
Frederick Hertz - Law Offices of Frederick Hertz
John E. Hill - Law Offices of John E. Hill P.C.
Outten & Golden LLP
Teresa Renaker - Renaker Hasselman Scott LLP
Katie Carlson Cartwright
Administrative Director
P.O. Box 193383
San Francisco, CA 94119
415.874.3045 [T]
415.520.0708 [F]