Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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warandpeace
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Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby warandpeace » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:55 pm

What sort of path may one take if they were to pursue that of an LGBQT activist? I've been wondering for some time if there is such thing as "LGBQT" law, and if it's a big enough practice to make a living off of it? Is there a distinction between private/government? I probably have more questions, but I feel like these are the basics of what I'm asking.

My school just created a Queer Studies Minor, and I'm very interested in taking it, if I can really see myself in this career. I'd like to create change, but I don't know if I'm only kidding myself.

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Cupidity
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby Cupidity » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:12 pm

Depends what you mean by LGBTQ law.

If you mean, "I want to practice family law, and specialize in LGBTQ issues, such as handling same-sex adoptions, marriages, estates, divorces." Then absolutely, there is a decent small-sized firm market for that. There are also growing fields that handle the darker aspects of LGBTQ life, such as Domestic Violence attorneys who focus on the LGBTQ community, and HIV law.

If you mean, "I want to work on grandiose civil rights issues," your employment field gets a lot smaller, but still, there are a decent number of positions available at the HRC, and ACLU. If you are interested in equal rights more generally, you can also target organizations like Civil-Rights Divisions of AG's, DOJ, and the EEOC.

While I'm personally very interested in LGBTQ discrimination litigation, that presented a very small target. Fortunately, by broadening my search, I wound up at a litigation boutique that specializes in employment discrimination and consumer protection class actions, which includes some suits relating to LGBTQ and Gender discrimination.

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warandpeace
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby warandpeace » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:30 am

Cupidity wrote:Depends what you mean by LGBTQ law.

If you mean, "I want to practice family law, and specialize in LGBTQ issues, such as handling same-sex adoptions, marriages, estates, divorces." Then absolutely, there is a decent small-sized firm market for that. There are also growing fields that handle the darker aspects of LGBTQ life, such as Domestic Violence attorneys who focus on the LGBTQ community, and HIV law.

If you mean, "I want to work on grandiose civil rights issues," your employment field gets a lot smaller, but still, there are a decent number of positions available at the HRC, and ACLU. If you are interested in equal rights more generally, you can also target organizations like Civil-Rights Divisions of AG's, DOJ, and the EEOC.

While I'm personally very interested in LGBTQ discrimination litigation, that presented a very small target. Fortunately, by broadening my search, I wound up at a litigation boutique that specializes in employment discrimination and consumer protection class actions, which includes some suits relating to LGBTQ and Gender discrimination.


Does the ability to work on the "grandiose civil rights issues" become a reality the higher up in the T14 you go? Or is it all luck?

Would you still recommend the minor (there are some women's studies classes included) if I'm interested in civil rights in general?

And a very terrible question to ask, but what is the average salary if one were to end up in that direction/how much do you make?

Thanks, this is very helpful.

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TIKITEMBO
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby TIKITEMBO » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:46 am

http://www.lambdalegal.org/

This organization might be able to provide some advice. They're active in quite a few states I believe.

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Cupidity
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby Cupidity » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:52 am

TIKITEMBO wrote:http://www.lambdalegal.org/

This organization might be able to provide some advice. They're active in quite a few states I believe.


Just to distinguish lambda in case OP is unfamiliar, it is largely a volunteer organization comprised of lawyers donating pro bono time. They do have a few internship positions for law students in the summers, but they don't have as many full-time employees as HRC.

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caputlupinum
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby caputlupinum » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:03 am

I've seen lots of gay adoption attorneys..

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warandpeace
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby warandpeace » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:55 am

caputlupinum wrote:I've seen lots of gay adoption attorneys..


And that's basically all they do? That's their entire practice? These are smaller firms, right?

splbagel
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby splbagel » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:28 pm

There will be a lot of new immigration work when DOMA gets overturned! I'd love to work for these folks: http://www.immigrationequality.org/

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Opie
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby Opie » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:52 pm

I'm interested in this kind of thing too, even though I'm straight. Mostly in the employment spectrum, but I wouldn't mind family law or other fields.

As for the grandiose civil rights thing... That would be nice, but if you want say ACLU or something, you're talking HYS or maybe CCN.

As for minors, they won't help you get any law job. In the off chance you find a "gay" law firm, you probably won't need to prove yourself with a minor.

ShastaNikki
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby ShastaNikki » Tue May 08, 2012 9:53 am

OP: is this minor part of UG or LS? If you're finishing up UG, by all means add it! (Law school admissions love that sort of thing...or at least mine did.)

If it's an LS concentration, then it's really up to what you think you will be interested in and what you have room for in your schedule. Some students take those types of classes as a break from Black law or to boost their GPAs. I personally am an 0L set in a JD/MA in Gender & Women's Studies track (unless I don't get funding from the MA, in which case I'll be dropping it). Because I want to do family and juvenile law, I can see and justify a definite connection between the extra degree and my career goals. If you are a current law student, I would discuss your question with career services. If you're still in UG, find your school's pre-law advisor.

As far as practicing goes, a friend of mine has her own small law firm (just she and another 2011 JD grad); they are all about family and elder law/estate planning, but they focus a lot on LGBTQ issues. They recently did a pro bono case to get a couple's name legally changed. While there's not a lot else legally they can help individuals with here in Nebraska (marriage and adoption still aren't allowed), they do what they can. I agree with a previous poster who mentioned there'll be a lot more work when DOMA is repealed!

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Cupidity
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Re: Is LGBQT law a "real" thing?

Postby Cupidity » Tue May 08, 2012 10:01 am

Since my comments on this thread are nearly three months old, I think its worth noting, I ended up getting one of those grandiose jobs, so. . . it happens?




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