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Civil Rights Advocacy

LGBT Bar LA promotes the interests of its members and the GLBT community as a whole by preparing and joining amicus briefs filed in legal cases raising issues of importance to the community. These activities are coordinated by LGBT Bar LA's amicus committee.

If you are interested in being on LGBT Bar LA's amicus committee or are aware of matters that may be appropriate for amicus briefing by LGBT Bar LA, please contact us 213.486.4443.

Pro Bono

Join the ABA LGBT Litigator Committee
The ABA invites you to join the ABA Section of Litigation LGBT Litigator Committee. Established in 2008, the LGBT Litigator Committee's mission is to help educate the ABA Section of Litigation on legal issues affecting the LGBT community, the role litigators can play in addressing these issues, and unique issues LGBT litigators face within their law practices. The Committee is chaired by Laura Brill and David Tsai. The Committee's mission is to also provide resources, such as educational and networking opportunities, and promote policies enhancing the full participation of LGBT people within the legal profession. Please visit the Committee's web page to join the Committee and learn about its upcoming events:

LGBT Bar LA encourages its members participate in a variety of pro bono activities throughout the year and is an active voice on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered interests. However, LGBT Bar LA is unable to provide legal advice or referrals on individual cases because it is not a licensed referral service. For low- or no-cost referrals, LGBT Bar LA suggests:

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (http://www.lacba.org), (213) 243-1525
  • L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center (http://www.lagaycenter.org), (323) 993-7670
  • Public Counsel (http://www.publiccounsel.org), (213) 385-2977
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association (http://www.bhba.org), (310) 601-2440

These suggestions are provided as a courtesy only. LGBT Bar LA does not guarantee that any of these organizations will ultimately accept your case, nor does it make any representations regarding the services of any of these organizations.

LGBT Bar LA asks its members who want to get involved in educational programs involving middle and high school students to select from any of the following exceptional programs sponsored by the Los Angeles Superior Court. It will take as little as three hours per year, and will have a great effect on the next generation. Work with students and Los Angeles Superior Court judges to help change lives.


Description: Approximately 75 high school students attend lunch at a local courthouse with judges, attorneys, and other justice system officials. The students hear presentations about the legal system and participate in an interactive game of “Legal Jeopardy.”

Attorneys would be Responsible for:

  • Eating lunch with the students and co-presenting with the judges.
  • Sponsoring luncheons. For example, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles recently secured grant funding of $5000 to pay for transportation and lunch costs for six (6) Power Lunch programs this year.
  • Assisting in the coordination with high school teachers or administrators.

Dates: As determined by the participating school.
Location: Any courthouse in Los Angeles County.
Time Commitment Per Attorney: Approximately 2 hours per Power Lunch
How to Get Involved: Contact Marlow Gory of the LA Superior Court for more information at mgory@lasuperiorcourt.org


Description: Each year, dozens of middle and high school teams compete in a mock criminal trial at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. The students play the parts of attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and bailiffs. Superior Court judges and experienced mock trial attorneys preside at the trials.

Attorneys would be Responsible for:

  • Scoring student presentations.
  • Coaching mock trial teams.
  • If experienced in this program, presiding over the trial.

Dates: October and December.
Location: Stanley Mosk Courthouse.
Time Commitment: One evening, approximately 2.5 hours.
How to Get Involved: To sign up, please visit the Constitutional Rights Foundation website or email Sylvia Andresantos at Sylvia@crf-usa.org


Description: One judge and two attorneys team-up to make presentations and conduct a moot court in middle and high schools. The activities revolve around an actual U.S. Supreme Court case that raised issues of interest to students.

Attorneys would be Responsible for:

  • Visiting the same class two times during the school year and presenting a different case on each visit.

Dates: As determined by the attorney and judge volunteers.
Location: Program sites are located at schools throughout Los Angeles.
Time Commitment: 3 hours per visit. 1 hour to prepare; 1 hour to travel to and from school; and 1 hour in the classroom.
How to Get Involved: To learn more and sign up, please visit the Constitutional Rights Foundation website or email Sylvia Andresantos at Sylvia@crf-usa.org


Description: The Los Angeles Teen Court is an early intervention program that provides an opportunity for selected juvenile offenders to be questioned, judged, and sentenced by a jury of their peers.

Attorneys (and Law Students) would be Responsible for:

  • Providing guidance to student jurors when they discuss a case.

Dates: Dates vary based on the 16 Teen Court sites.
Locations: The 16 Teen Courts in Los Angeles County are: Antelope Valley, Canoga Park High School, Carson High School, Compton High School, Dorsey High School, Fairfax High School, Franklin High School, Gardena High School, Grant High School, Jordan High School, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Roosevelt High School, Taft High School, Van Nuys High School, Venice High School, Wilson High School.
Time Commitment: Minimum involvement is 2.5 hours per Teen Court session.
How to Get Involved: Contact Camilo Cruz of the LA Superior Court for more information at ccruz@lasuperiorcourt.org


Description: Stopping Hate and Delinquency by Empowering Students (SHADES) is a new Teen Court program focusing on early intervention for bias and hate related crimes. Youth jurors, who are trained by the Museum of Tolerance, will adjudicate school-based hate/bias related offenses and determine appropriate sentencing options for such cases.

Attorneys (and Law Students) would be Responsible for:

  • Supervising and mentoring the minors.
  • Tracking the minor’s progress in completing the terms imposed by the SHADES jury and judge.

Dates: Once program is launched, participation will be monthly.
Location: Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Dept. 102.
Time Commitment: Approximately 15-20 hours over a six-month period.
How to Get Involved: Contact Camilo Cruz of the LA Superior Court for more information at ccruz@lasuperiorcourt.org

Charitable Efforts

LGBT Bar LA maintains a Charity Committee, which has adopted the Trevor Project as its sponsored charity. The Trevor Project offers the Trevor Helpline, the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, at 866-4-U-TREVOR.

In addition to operating the crisis and suicide prevention helpline, the Trevor Project provides online support to young people through the organization’s Web site, and also provides lifesaving guidance and vital resources to educators and parents.

Partnering and Co-Sponsorships

LGBT Bar LA frequently partners with other national and local organizations and bar association to present educational events, workshops and forums for networking and the exchange of career and law practice information. LGBT Bar LA also co-sponsors various seminars, social and charitable events for the mutual benefit of the organizations involved and the community at large. If your LGBT organization, law firm, corporation, bar association or company would like to partner with LGBT Bar LA or co-sponsor a workshop, CLE seminar or social event please contact the LGBT Bar LA co-presidents at: lglacopresidents@gmail.com or call the LGBT Bar LA Message line at: 213 486-4443

Email us at:

P.O. Box 480318
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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