15th Annual Update and Anniversary Celebration
To view photos from the event, click here.
A recording of the event will be posted here.
12:00 – 12:30 p.m. – Lunch
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. – Research that Matters: The Impact of LGBT-related Research on Law and Policy
Speakers: Brad Sears (The Williams Institute), Douglas NeJaime (The Williams Institute), Lee Badgett (The Williams Institute), Nan Hunter (The Williams Institute), Chuck Williams (The Williams Institute), Marc Solomon (Civitas Public Affairs Group), Tim Sweeney (advocate/adviser, moderator)
1:45 – 2:00 p.m. – Break
2:00 – 3:15 p.m. – Addressing Discrimination & Economic Inequality for LGBT People
Speakers: Christy Mallory (The Williams Institute), Lee Badgett (The Williams Institute), Masen Davis (Global Action for Trans* Equality), Jody Herman (The Williams Institute), Rachel Moran (UCLA School of Law, moderator)
3:15 – 3:30 p.m. – Break
3:30 – 4:45 p.m. – 12th Annual Williams Institute Moot Court Final Round
Competitors: Harvard Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Judges: Hon. Carlos F. Lucero (Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals), Hon. M. Margaret McKeown (Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals), Hon. Dean Pregerson (U.S. District Court Central District of California)
4:45 – 5:45 p.m. – Judging Civil Rights
Speakers: Hon. Carlos F. Lucero (Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals), Hon. M. Margaret McKeown (Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals), Hon. Dean Pregerson (U.S. District Court Central District of California), Adam Romero (The Williams Institute)
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – 15th Anniversary Awards Gala and Reception
SPEAKERS ON PANEL 1
R. Bradley (Brad) Sears is the founding director, current Executive Director and Roberta A. Conroy Scholar of Law at the Williams Institute, and Associate Dean and an Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law. Sears was the only staff member when the Williams Institute started in 2001, and has since helped to create and develop the Williams Institute’s core programs and strategies. He has published a number of research studies and articles, primarily on discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace and HIV discrimination in health care.
At UCLA School of Law, he teaches courses on sexual orientation law, disability law, and U.S. legal and judicial systems. Sears has given hundreds of academic and community presentations on HIV/AIDS and LGBT legal issues. He has testified before Congress and a number of state legislatures, authored amicus briefs in key court cases, helped to draft state and federal legislation, and been cited by a number of major media outlets.
Sears graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. During law school, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. After law school, he clerked for the Hon J. Spencer Letts of the Central District of California; founded the HIV Legal Checkup Project, a legal services program dedicated to empowering people living with HIV, and served as the Discrimination & Confidentiality Attorney for the HIV/AIDS Legal Services Alliance of Los Angeles (HALSA). Sears has served on the board of directors or advisory boards for Being Alive Los Angeles, HALSA, USC’s AIDS Education Training Center, the Center for Health Justice, and UCLA’s LGBT Studies program. Sears has received Being Alive Los Angeles’ Volunteer of the Year Award and, in 2009, was recognized on Advocate’s Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list. In 2010, under his leadership, the Williams Institute received the “Treasures of Los Angeles” award from the Los Angeles Central City Association.
Douglas NeJaime is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Faculty Director of the Williams Institute. He teaches in the areas of family law, law and sexuality, constitutional law, and legal ethics.
Before joining the UCLA faculty, NeJaime was Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law and Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Before that, he was the Sears Law Teaching Fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA.
NeJaime is the co-author of Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law (with William Rubenstein, Carlos Ball, and Jane Schacter) (5th ed. West 2014). His recent scholarship includes “Conscience Wars: Complicity-Based Conscience Claims in Religion and Politics,” 124 Yale Law Journal 2516 (2015), with Reva Siegel; “Before Marriage: The Unexplored History of Nonmarital Recognition and Its Relationship to Marriage,” 102 California Law Review 87 (2014); “Constitutional Change, Courts, and Social Movements,” 113 Michigan Law Review 877 (2013); “Marriage Inequality: Same-Sex Relationships, Religious Exemptions, and the Production of Sexual Orientation Discrimination,” 100 California Law Review 1169 (2012); “Winning Through Losing,” 96 Iowa Law Review 941 (2011); and “Lawyering for Marriage Equality,” 57 UCLA Law Review 1235 (2010), with Scott Cummings.
NeJaime is a two-time recipient of the Dukeminier Award, which recognizes the best sexual orientation legal scholarship published in the previous year. He is also the 2014 recipient of UCI Law’s Professor of the Year Award and the 2011 recipient of Loyola Law School’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
NeJaime has provided commentary on issues relating to sexual orientation and same-sex marriage to numerous press outlets, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NPR, and NBC News.
M.V. Lee Badgett is a Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute. She is also the director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as a professor of economics. She studies family policy issues and labor market discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, and gender. Her latest book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage(NYU Press, 2009), focuses on the U.S. and European experiences with marriage equality for gay couples. She co-edited of the recent book, Sexual Orientation Discrimination: An International Perspective (Routledge, 2007). Her first book, Money, Myths, and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men (University of Chicago Press, 2001), presented her groundbreaking work debunking the myth of gay affluence. She is also the author or co-author of numerous journal articles and policy reports.
Prof. Badgett’s policy-related work includes testifying as an expert witness in legislative matters and litigation, analyzing public policies, consulting with regulatory bodies, briefing policymakers, writing op-ed pieces, speaking with journalists, and advising businesses. In 2010 she was an expert witness in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial on the constitutionality of Proposition 8.
She is quoted regularly in newspapers across the country, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. She has appeared on television in the United States and England and on many radio shows in the United States and Europe, including NPR’s “On Point,” “Talk of the Nation,” and “Odyssey: A Daily Talk Show of Ideas,” along with CNN American Morning.
In 2008, Curve Magazine named Badgett one of the twenty most powerful lesbians in academia. The Advocate magazine named her one of “Our Best and Brightest Activists” in 1999 for her research and for her efforts to found the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies (now merged with the Williams Institute). She was named one of the “Out 100” by Out Magazine in 2001 for her first book.
Badgett received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1990, and has a BA in economics from the University of Chicago (1982). She has also taught at Yale University and the University of Maryland.
Legal Scholarship Director at the Williams Institute and Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at Georgetown University Law Center. She co-authored (with William Eskridge) the law school casebook Sexuality, Gender and the Law, now in its third edition, and has published dozens of law review articles in the fields of sexuality and gender law and health law. Before beginning her teaching career, Dean Hunter founded the LGBT Rights and AIDS Projects at the national ACLU headquarters in New York. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Her awards include the Pioneer of Courage award from the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the first Dan Bradley award from the National LGBT Bar Association.
Mr. Williams is the President of Williams & Associates and received his B.A. and M.B.A. from UCLA. Until 1985, Mr. Williams worked as a senior executive for Sperry Corporation, where he held several positions, including Vice President for Strategic and Business Planning and Vice President and General Manager for Worldwide Operations. Most recently, he has taught business courses in policy and strategy and consults in this area. Mr. Williams is currently a board member of the UCLA Foundation, as well as a member of the Gill Foundation’s OutGiving Advisory Committee. Mr. Williams has been recognized by various LGBT organizations and publications. In 2002, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association honored him with their Co-President’s Award, and OUT magazine named him one of their “Out 100” in the December issue. In October 2003, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center presented Williams with its Board of Directors Award. Mr. Williams’ inaugural donation of $2.5 million to create the Williams Institute was the largest donation ever given to any academic institution in support of a gay and lesbian academic program in any discipline. As the institute has grown, Mr. Williams has given over $12 million to support the organization’s programs. Because of his generosity and support, the Institute has impacted policy throughout the country on important LGBT issues.
Marc is a nationally recognized political strategist and campaign leader with nearly 25 years of experience in campaign management, policy development and execution, communications leadership, and field mobilization. For the past 12 years, Marc has been one of the key architects of the marriage equality movement.
As national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, Marc drove the marriage movement’s political strategy while managing a staff of 25 with expertise in communications, field organizing, digital media, messaging, lobbying, public engagement, and general campaign management. Marc is a regular national media spokesperson, appearing on Meet the Press’ Press Pass and quoted frequently in national publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico.
Marc’s 2014 book Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Public—and Won, is described by U.S. News and World Report as “a playbook for progressive causes,” was named a Best Book of 2014 by Slate which called it “the definitive political history of marriage equality.” He is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities, businesses and law firms, and gatherings of leaders and funders of other social movements.
In addition to his work on marriage equality, Marc has served as a policy adviser to U.S. Senator Danforth in Washington, D.C., a community development strategist in St. Louis, and a researcher for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. In May 2009, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick presented Marc with the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s prestigious Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award, given yearly to an individual who espouses FDR’s ideals “with respect to democracy, justice, individual freedoms, and citizenship.” In 1999, the Rockefeller Foundation named Marc one of America’s next generation leaders and invited him to participate in its prestigious two-year Next Generation Leadership fellowship program.
Marc is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Marc resides in New York City.
Tim Sweeney (moderator)
Tim Sweeney has worked for 38 years to advance equality for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. His first political organizing experience occurred in California, working alongside Harvey Milk and community allies from a variety of backgrounds to defeat a ballot proposition that would have banned gay people from teaching in public schools. Beginning in 1981, he served five years as executive director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. With only few hundred thousand dollars and four staff, Lambda filed lawsuits to allow gay college students to meet on campuses of public universities and led the fight to sue landlords in the nation’s first successful HIV discrimination case.
From 1986 to 1993, Tim was deputy director and then executive director of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where he helped to build the largest community-based HIV/AIDS service, prevention, and advocacy organization in the world. Under his leadership and working alongside allies, the organization helped secure passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Ryan White CARE Act. From 1994 to 2000, Tim also worked as the deputy executive director for programs of the Empire State Pride Agenda and Foundation, where his leadership in coalition building ensured passage of New York’s anti-hate crimes law, and helped to raise more than $5 million in state funding for LGBT health and human service organizations. From 2001 to 2007, Tim was program director of the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, where he worked to build national efforts to support the rights of lesbian and gay couples in civil marriage and provided support for organizations implementing a California law that safeguards the rights of LGBT students.
From 2007 to 2013, Tim was the President and CEO of the Gill Foundation, where he led the development of funder collaborations on marriage equality, non-discrimination protections and the Colorado progressive roundtable.
Tim has served on several nonprofit boards of directors, including AIDS Action Council, Third Way, Movement Advancement Project, Freedom to Marry and the Center for Community Change.
SPEAKERS ON PANEL 2
Christy Mallory is Senior Counsel and Anna M. Curren Fellow at the Williams Institute, and oversees state law and policy work at the Williams Institute. In that capacity, she focuses on a variety of topics, including sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections, state-level recognition for same-sex couples, and other state and local level laws and policies impacting LGBT people. Her work has been published in several media outlets, journals, and books including When Mandates Work (UC Press, 2013), the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Albany Government Law Review. Christy received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Arizona.
See bio under “Speakers on Panel 1.”
Masen Davis is a transgender advocate who has dedicated his life to the struggle for LGBT equality. He served as Executive Director of Transgender Law Center from 2007-2015, which grew to become one the largest transgender advocacy organization under his leadership. From sweeping changes to California nondiscrimination law to unprecedented healthcare access initiatives for transgender people across the United States, Masen’s leadership has had a tremendous impact on the rights and wellbeing of transgender people. His advocacy was critical to the elimination of discriminatory insurance exclusions in California, creating a pathway for transgender Americans to access transition-related care. Masen was also an integral part of the coalition that helped pass California’s School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) to ensure transgender students have access to facilities and activities that match their gender identity, and he led the campaign to defend the new law against an anti-LGBT referendum effort.
Currently, Masen serves as Interim Co-Director for Global Action for Trans* Equality and consults with NGOs and foundations on a range of social justice issues. In addition, he serves as a Board Member for Freedom for All Americans, an Advisory Board Member of the Harvard Kennedy School’s LGBTQ Policy Journal, and a 2015-16 Regents’ Lecturer at UCLA. His writings have been published in various books and journals, including Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice, New Directors in Student Services, and the Seattle Journal for Social Justice. Masen received his Masters of Social Welfare from UCLA, and Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University.
Jody L. Herman is a Williams Institute Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute and holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from The George Washington University, where she also earned her M.A. in Public Policy. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the development of anti-discrimination protections in public facilities for transgender and gender non-conforming people. She has worked on issues of poverty, women’s rights, and anti-discrimination policy development with non-profit research, advocacy, and direct-service organizations in the United States and Mexico. Before joining the Williams Institute, she worked as a research consultant on issues of voting rights in low-income minority communities and gender identity discrimination. She served as a co-author on the groundbreaking report Injustice at Every Turn, based on the National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality. At the Williams Institute, her work has included research on the fiscal and economic impact of marriage for same-sex couples, the fiscal impact of employment discrimination against people who are transgender, and the development of trans-inclusive questions for population-based surveys. Her main research interests are the impact of gender identity-based discrimination and issues related to gender regulation in public space and the built environment.
Rachel Moran (moderator)
Rachel F. Moran is Dean Emerita and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. Prior to her appointment at UCLA, Professor Moran was the Robert D. and Leslie-Kay Raven Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law. From July 2008 to June 2010, Moran served as a founding faculty member of the UC Irvine Law School.
Moran received her A.B. in Psychology with Honors and with Distinction from Stanford University in 1978, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa her junior year. She obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1981, where she was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal, Runner-Up in the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Prize Competition and Teaching Assistant to the Associate Dean. Following law school, she clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and worked for the San Francisco firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe. She joined the Boalt faculty in 1983. She was a visiting professor at UCLA (1988, 2002), Stanford (1989), NYU School of Law (1996), the University of Miami Law School (1997), the University of Texas (2000) and Fordham Law School (2005). From 1993 to 1996 Moran served as chair of the Chicano/Latino Policy Project at UC Berkeley’s Institute for the Study of Social Change, and in 2003, she became the director of the Institute. In 1995, she received the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award.
Moran is highly active in the legal community. In September 2011, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as a member of the Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise. She was appointed as President of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 2009. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF), a member of the American Law Institute and served on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools. She sat on the Standing Committee of the Division of Public Education of the American Bar Association; serves on the Board of Advisors for the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy; and was on the Executive Board of the Berkeley Law Foundation. In 2015, AALS President-Elect Kellye Testy invited Moran to serve as a member of the Program Committee for the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, and she also was asked to serve as a member of the Selection Committee for the AALS Pro Bono Awards.
In May 2014, she was selected by American Bar Association (ABA) President James R. Silkenat to serve on the ABA Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education. In August 2014, the American Bar Foundation (ABF) selected her as the inaugural William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law. In this capacity, she is co-directing an initiative on the future of Latinos in the United States with Robert L. Nelson, Director Emeritus of the ABF. In recent years, she was also inducted into the Lincoln Club and the Chancery Club of Los Angeles, and in 2013, she was elected to the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Board of Governors. Moran also served as chair of the AALS Nominating Committee for 2013 Officers and Members of the Executive Committee. She recently completed her service as a Senator for the Phi Beta Kappa Society. In addition, in 2003 Moran chaired the Planning Committee for Taking Stock: Women of All Colors in Law Schools for the Association of American Law Schools and previously chaired the Steering Committee for UC ACCORD.
SPEAKERS ON PANEL 3
Hon. Carlos F. Lucero
Judge Carlos F. Lucero was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by President Clinton June 30, 1995. He received a B.A. degree from Adams State College, where he was the editor of The South Coloradan, and a J.D. degree from the George Washington University Law School in 1964.
Judge Lucero clerked for Judge William E. Doyle, United States District Court for the District of Colorado, during the 1964-1965 term. Prior to his clerkship, he was a staff aide for the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure. He entered private practice in Alamosa, Colorado where he became senior partner of the law firm of Lucero, Lester and Sigmund. He served as president of the Colorado Bar Association in 1977-1978. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers, American Bar Foundation, and the Colorado Bar Foundation, of which he was president.
Judge Lucero currently serves as a Special Advisor to the Latin America and Caribbean Division, Rule of Law Initiative, American Bar Association. In this capacity he has participated in liaison and training programs in Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and other Latin American countries. He has twice led the American delegations on environmental capacitacion building for the Chilean Judiciary.
Judge Lucero has authored many notable opinions, including Kitchen v. Herbert, 755 F.3d 1193 (10th Cir. 2014) (first among the circuits in ruling that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional), Hawker v. Sandy City Corp., 774 F.3d 1243 (10th Cir. 2014) (concurring opinion) (criticizing the school to prison pipeline), Peterson v. Martinez, 707 F.3d 1197 (10th Cir. 2013) (holding that the second amendment does not protect a right to concealed carry), Alexander v. Oklahoma, 391 F.3d 1159 (10th Cir. 2004) (dissenting opinion) (arguing that victims of the Tulsa riot of 1921 should be allowed to pursue redress), Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Services Corp. v. Owens, 287 F.3d 910 (10th Cir. 2002) (striking down a parental permission abortion law with no health exception), and Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Slater, 228 F.3d 1147 (10th Cir. 2000) (upholding affirmative action program for government contractors).
Judge Lucero has received numerous awards, including the Professional Service Award of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the Professional Service Award of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the George Washington University. In 2006, he was presented the National Jurist of the Year Award by the Hispanic National Bar Association.
Hon. M. Margaret McKeown
Judge McKeown was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Clinton and was confirmed by the United States Senate in 1998. She attended the University of Madrid and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wyoming with a B.A. in 1972 and from Georgetown University Law Center with a J.D. in 1975. She received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University in 2005.
Judge McKeown was a White House Fellow in 1980-1981, serving as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior and Special Assistant at the White House. In 1993, she served as a Japan Society Leadership Fellow. Judge McKeown is immediate past President of the Federal Judges Association and is currently Chair of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative Board. She serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, the Executive Council for the American Society of International Law, the managerial board of the International Association of Women Judges, and the Editorial Board of Litigation Journal. She is vice-chair of the Georgetown Law Board of Visitors and Jurist-in Residence at the University of San Diego Law School.
Judge McKeown has lectured and taught extensively on intellectual property, international law, human rights law, litigation, ethics, judicial administration, and constitutional law in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. She is co-author of “Trial Tactics in Trade Secret Litigation,” in Intellectual Property Counseling and Litigation (Matthew Bender), “The Promises of a New World Information Order,” in The Knowledge Economy (Aspen Institute), and “The Lost Sanctuary: Examining Sex Trafficking Through the Lens of Ah Sou” (Cornell Journal of International Law); “Happy Birthday Statute of Anne: The Dance Between the Courts and Congress” (Berkeley Technology Law Journal); “To Judge or Not to Judge: Transparency and Recusal in the Federal System,” (The Review of Litigation); “The Internet and the Constitution: A Selective Retrospective,” (Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts); and “Culinary Ambiguity: A Canonical Approach to Deciphering Menus,” (Harvard Journal on Legislation). She is also an author of Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (West Group).
Judge McKeown has received a number of prestigious awards, including the ABA Margaret Brent Women of Achievement Award, the Georgetown University John Carroll Award, the Georgetown University Law Center Drinan Award for Public Service, the California Bar Intellectual Property Vanguard Award, the University of Wyoming A&S Outstanding Alumnae, the Outstanding Mentor Award from Big Sisters, the Federal Bar Association Community Service Award, and the Girl Scouts’ “Cool Women” Award.
Judge McKeown has been active in community and civic affairs. She has served on the national boards of Volunteers of America and Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and is the past chair of the White House Fellows Foundation.
Hon. Dean Pregerson
Judge Pregerson is a Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in History and received his law degree from UC Davis. He has been a member of the federal bench in Los Angeles for 19 years.
Prior to joining the court, Judge Pregerson worked as a litigation partner in several law firms. Judge Pregerson has also worked as a parole hearing officer, legal aid lawyer, and assistant public defender. Judge Pregerson was named one of “California’s Top 100 Leading Lawyers” by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and has also been named one of the top 500 judges in America.
Judge Pregerson co-founded his court’s Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (“CASA”) program, a post-plea diversion program that offers eligible defendants an alternative to incarceration and was hailed by the district’s former U.S. Attorney as “an example of breaking the vicious cycle of recidivism.”
Judge Pregerson is a regular lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and has been a panelist on numerous legal education programs addressing criminal and civil law topics. Among his civic activities, Judge Pregerson served as a commissioner of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. He also served as President of the Los Angeles Parks Commission, where he helped oversee the largest municipal recreation and parks agency in the country.
Judge Pregerson is also an active member of the Los Angeles nonprofit community. He served for many years as a board member of Bet Tzedek (House of Justice) Legal Services, a nonprofit legal services organization that every year provides indigent legal services to about 12,000 clients of all backgrounds throughout Los Angeles County. For over two decades, Judge Pregerson has been an advisor to the Board of the GSA/Salvation Army Bell Homeless Shelter, which provides short term and transitional housing, comprehensive mental health services, and vocational training programs to 350 men and women. Almost one-third of the Bell Shelter residents are veterans. Judge Pregerson also serves on the Salvation Army’s Los Angeles Metropolitan Board, and was recognized for his leadership role in creating Operation Angel Island, which provided housing and vocational opportunities on the Bell Shelter campus for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. Judge Pregerson was awarded the 2014 Los Angeles Director’s Community Leadership Award by FBI Director James Comey, in a ceremony in Washington D.C.
Adam Romero is Senior Counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law at the Williams Institute. Previously, Romero was a senior associate at the law firm WilmerHale, where he was a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation and Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Groups. He successfully represented the plaintiffs in Cooper-Harris v. USA, the first case in the nation to declare unconstitutional laws barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in the veterans-benefits context.
Romero completed clerkships for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for the Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He received his law degree in 2007 from Yale Law School, where he won the Kelley Prize and was a Coker Fellow, an editor of several law journals, and a student director of the Complex Federal Litigation Clinic. He received his undergraduate degree in 2002 from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude and winning the Sherman-Bennett Prize.
Romero has published in numerous volumes and journals and is the co-editor (with Martha Albertson Fineman and Jack E. Jackson) of Feminist and Queer Legal Theory: Intimate Encounters, Uncomfortable Conversations (2009). From 2007-2008, Romero was the Peter J. Cooper fellow at the Williams Institute. Prior to law school, he was a criminal defense investigator for the Bronx Defenders.
The Annual Update is the Williams Institute’s signature annual event addressing issues at the intersection of sexual orientation and gender identity law and policy. Participants and audience members include academics, judges, policymakers, students, community leaders, legal and business professionals, and philanthropists.