Stay Up-To-Date:
Weekly Newsletter | January 12, 2021
Upcoming Events
January 27- BALIF CLE Series: LGBTQ+ Employment Discrimination Claims Post-Bostock 

February 10 - LGBTQ+ Employment Discrimination Claims in Practice

March 5 - BALIF 41st Annual Virtual Gala

Congratulations to all of you who took the California Bar Exam last October and recently received their results! Whether passing or not, we all honor the dedication, focus, and resilience needed to prepare for such an extremely difficult exam in the most challenging of circumstances given the current economic, health, and social crisis and election cycle. If you have a success story that you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you! If you didn't pass the exam and would like some informal mentorship as you plan out your next steps, we'd love to hear from you too and see how we can help. Please email
Christine Capuyan
BALIF New Lawyers Committee Co-Chair
Stephan Ferris
BALIF New Lawyers Committee Co-Chair
2020-2021 Membership & Donation Drive
We encourage all of you, whether current or lapsed member or friend, to consider donating to BALIF, joining BALIF, and/or renewing your BALIF membership! Like most nonprofits, BALIF has been financially impacted by the pandemic. Nevertheless, we have been able to put together extensive, timely, and unique programming for nearly every facet of our LGBTQI+ legal community, as detailed in our BALIF Year-End Review below. We also did all of this while extending free 2020-21 memberships to all BALIF members existing as of June 2020 as well as all new law student, recently graduated, and/or currently unemployed members. We will not be able to continue this great work without the engagement and financial support from members and friends like you. So please do consider donating at and/or becoming a new member or renewing your existing membership at!

Please note that all members who were on auto-renew prior to June 2020 are no longer on auto-renew. This means that all existing members will need to affirmatively renew their membership before June 2021 to continue their membership beyond June 2021 and/or be placed back into auto-renewal. What better day to renew than today?
BALIF CLE Series: LGBTQ+ Employment
Discrimination Claims Post-Bostock
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | 2:00pm
Virtual CLE

David Nahmias
Staff Attorney at the Impact Fund

DeCarol Davis
Legal Aid at Work

Presented in coordination with Legal Aid at Work, The Impact Fund, and Squire Patton Boggs
Laws prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace have shifted rapidly in recent years. This training will describe the current state of federal and California law prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, with a particular focus on protections for transgender people (including facilities access, name and pronoun use), privacy considerations, and accommodations for mental health disability.Participants will learn how to recognize these common legal issues and identify next steps when claims arise. Participants will gain an understanding of the resources and legal strategies available in providing free direct services to low-income LGBTQ workers and the avenues by which workers can assert their rights.

Eligible for 1.5 hours of Elimination of Bias CLE credit. 

Free for BALIF Members
$25 Non-Members

Questions? Email

This is part one in BALIF's series on LGBTQ employment discrimination. Look out for more details on part two, to be held February 10, 2021.
BALIF CLE Series: LGBTQ+ Employment
Discrimination Claims in Practice
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 | 2:00pm
Virtual CLE

Elizabeth Kristen
Director of the Gender Equity & LGBT Rights Program & a senior staff attorney at Legal Aid at Work

Jeff Kosbie
Gibbs Law Group

Jared Odessky
Skadden Fellow in Legal Aid at Work’s Gender Equity & LGBTQ Rights Program

Presented in coordination with Legal Aid at Work, The Impact Fund, and Squire Patton Boggs
Recent advancements in LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination law have come at a time of significant change for the federal and state judiciaries and administrative agencies. This training will briefly review the current substantive law of LGBTQ+ workplace rights before turning to the procedural and practical considerations of representing LGBTQ+ clients. Participants will gain an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and of bringing suit in federal and state court. They will also learn how to issue spot other work-related legal claims that often accompany charges of LGBTQ+ discrimination.

Eligible for 1.5 hours Elimination of Bias CLE credit.

Free for BALIF Members
$25 Non-Members

Questions? Email

This is part two in BALIF's series on LGBTQ employment discrimination.
BALIF 41st Annual Virtual Gala
Friday, March 5, 2021 | 7:00pm
Virtual Event
BALIF's 41st Annual Gala is on March 5, 2021. If you haven't done so yet, now is the time to sponsor BALIF and purchase your tickets to the Gala. This year's format is a virtual party.

Your sponsorship of BALIF and ticket purchases will fund law student scholarships, mentor programs, CLE's, Amicus briefs on LGBTQI issues, LGBTQI recruiting, social events to LGBTQI lawyers, community outreach, and much more. If your business or firm would still like to sponsor the Gala, it is not too late to take advantage of some of the many benefits of sponsorship, such as recognition through the end of 2021 on the BALIF website and newsletter, and complimentary tickets to the gala.

Help Us Celebrate our Awardees!!

  • 2021 Legal Service Award - Impact Fund's Impact LGBTQ project
  • 2021 Community Service Award - El/La Para Trans Latinas
  • 2021 Trailblazers Award - The Transgender District of San Francisco
  • 2021 Foundation Law Student Association of the Year Award – to be announced
  • 2021 Julius Turman Award – to be announced 
BALIF Year-End Review
BALIF has been busy! In celebration of all we have accomplished under our new board, please enjoy this year-end review of our work from June to December 2020. You can view the virtual publication here, on Issu, or as a PDF available for download here. BALIF thanks you for your continued membership and support. In honor of our 40th anniversary, we hope you'll consider giving to our 40 for 40 campaign.
Opportunity: Apply for the Positions of U.S. Circuit Court Judges, U.S. District Court Judge, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Marshal
Senator Feinstein has established a Judicial Advisory Committee in each federal district to review candidates (on an ongoing basis) for the positions of U.S. District Court Judge, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal positions in all four of California’s federal districts. Decisions are expected to be announced in the next 10 days.

In furtherance of ensuring a diverse applicant pool, we encourage all interested BALIF members to apply! You can find the complete application form and further instructions here.
ALRP Needs New Board Members
The AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) is looking for new Board members. ALRP is the oldest legal services organization in the country dedicated to providing legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS, and was formed by a handful of BALIF members back in 1983. ALRP has a 30 person Board of Directors and is looking for new members who reflect the diversity of the community that ALRP serves. While Board members take on a number of critical roles for the agency, the focus of ALRP board work is around fundraising and ensuring that the agency has the resources it needs to sustain its essential legal services.

For additional information, please reach out to Bill Hirsh, ALRP Executive Director, at or 415-701-1200, ext. 308.
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
Do you want to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration?
The American Constitution Society is building a talent databank of talented lawyers who have demonstrated a commitment to public interest, civil rights, and progressive causes who are interested in a Biden-Harris administration executive branch appointment.
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 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]