About

Founded in 1990, the LGBT Bar Association of the District of Columbia is an independent, non-partisan bar association serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender lawyers, law students, and legal professionals in the national capital area. The LGBT Bar Association of DC works to advance the interests of the LGBT community, to be their voice within the legal community, and to improve their professional lives. An affiliate to the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, the LGBT Bar Association of DC acts in coalition with other local and national groups dedicated to LGBT concerns.

The LGBT Bar Association of DC’s advocacy and activities on behalf of the LGBT community include:

  • Raising issues of concern with officers and directors of the American Bar Association, the D.C. Bar and other state and voluntary bars.
  • Sponsoring a Mentor-Mentee Program.
  • Recruiting and training volunteers to provide pro bono legal services for people living with HIV/AIDS through Whitman-Walker Clinic.
  • Responding to discrimination against LGBT attorneys and litigants in the legal system by authoring briefs, joining coalitions, lobbying legislators, etc.
  • Sponsoring the D.C. Bar Candidates Forum and endorsing candidates for local bar offices and the judiciary.
  • Operating an attorney referral service that annually matches hundreds of individuals with lawyers who are sensitive to and knowledgeable about the legal issues affecting LGBT people.
  • Hosting continuing legal education programs, social activities and other membership networking events.
  • Sponsoring public forums on legal issues of concern to the LGBT community.
  • Drafting, analyzing, and advocating legislation to advance the legal rights of LGBT people.

Our Mission

The mission of the LGBT Bar Association of DC is to advance the rights of persons in the LGBT community, to be their voice within the legal community, and to improve their professional lives.

Funding

The LGBT Bar Association of DC, is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) tax-exempt corporation supported entirely by its members and other private contributors. Contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes, but membership dues may be deductible as a business expense to the extent permitted by law.

Board of Directors

Co-Presidents:

ALISON SHARE is the Legislative Director for Rep. Dan Kildee. She handles the Congressman’s work on the House Financial Services Committee, in addition to a number of other policy areas, including LGBT Rights. Prior to joining Rep. Kildee’s staff, Alison worked as an Associate at Crowell & Moring in the Public Policy group. She also clerked for Judge Peter Hall on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Alison received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Vermont Law School in 2008.

JAMES SHOWEN is a partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP. His practice is focused primarily on advising and representing public and private companies on a variety of corporate, securities, and partnership transactions, including public and private securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions. He also counsels public companies in connection with their obligations under the federal securities laws, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and stock exchange rules, and advises boards and board committees as to fiduciary duties and corporate governance matters generally. He received an A.B. from Duke University, and a J.D. from West Virginia College of Law.

Secretary

KATIE O’CONNOR is the Director of Policy Development and Programming at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, where she and develops and implements national programming for ACS’s Democracy & Voting and Equality & Liberty portfolios. Before joining ACS, Katie was a staff attorney with the Voter Protection Program at Advancement Project, where she coordinated and advocated with local and state election officials, legislators, and community organizations to ensure fair and accessible elections.  Prior to joining Advancement Project, she worked as a staff attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project in Atlanta, where she litigated several federal court challenges to laws that burdened the fundamental right to vote. Katie received her B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law.

Treasurer

BRANDON ROMAN works at Squire Patton Boggs in developing comprehensive strategies to further assist clients with their legislative and regulatory interests before Congress, relevant congressional committees, and various regulatory agencies. Brandon also assists various non-profit organizations with their corporate formation, including assistance with obtaining tax-exempt status with the IRS and state-level tax regulators. He also advises nonprofit organization, such as charities and trade associations, on corporate governance and compliance issues. Prior to joining Squire Patton Boggs, he served as a judicial intern for Chief Judge Nancy V. Alquist of the United State Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, as well as for Judge Laura Cordero of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. Brandon also spent time in El Salvador where he leveraged his fluency in Spanish to assist ALDES (La Oficina de Asistencia Legal para la Diversidad Sexual El Salvador) in organizing the country’s first conference on LGBT rights.

Members

MEAGHAN E. HEARN is an associate attorney at Ackerman Brown, PLLC, an eight-member general practice law firm committed to equality. Meaghan focuses her practice on criminal defense and family law. Meaghan earned her B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York College at Cortland in 2005, and her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 2008.

JOE PATRY works at Blank Rome in the area of consumer finance litigation, handling a wide range of complex commercial litigation matters in cases involving negotiable instruments, mortgage assignments, loan origination claims, foreclosures, real property, and similar statutes. Prior to joining Blank Rome LLP, Mr. Patry was in-house counsel at MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., a mortgage industry e-commerce utility.  At MERS, he was responsible for managing and monitoring hundreds of cases, and reviewed, edited, and refined dispositive motions, briefs, and discovery responses in cases around the country.  He regularly assisted the company’s outside counsel with strategy and provided advice and insight on mortgage industry litigation. Joe graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Maine School of Law.

COREY PRACHNIAK is an attorney focused on policy relating to healthcare, LGBT rights, and HIV. He is also one-third of the team behind the new LGBT Healthcare Bill of Rights, a know-your-rights initiative that has been endorsed by nearly every major LGBT organization in the nation. As an Equal Justice Works fellow, Corey launched a new legal project focused on these areas under the sponsorship of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Corey is the Chair of the Steering Committee for LGBT Healthlink, a CDC-funded national organization aimed at ending LGBT health disparities. As Chair, Corey leads the Steering Committee, advises on legal and policy matters, and helps to lead national health, healthcare, and wellness efforts. He is also the Advocacy Director of GLOV, an LGBT anti-violence task organization based in Washington, DC.

ADAM PULVER is an attorney with U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor. He practices in the Civil Rights and Labor Management Division in proceedings relating to anti-discrimination and affirmative action requirements for federal contractors and grant recipients, and union democracy issues under the LMRDA. Before he joined the Labor Department, Adam worked at the ACLU and was an associate at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady. He graduated from Columbia Law School.

JOE SCAVETTA (coming soon!)

JIMMY SMITH is an associate at DLA Piper practicing in corporate and finance. His previous experience includes work with the Harrison Institute for Housing and Community Development, the U.S. Department of Justice Division of Tax Fraud, and the Housing and Urban Development Agency. Jimmy received both his J.D. and his L.L.M. in tax law from Georgetown University Law Center.

Law Student Representative

JORDAN BAILEY is a second-year law student at the Georgetown University Law Center and received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012.  Prior to beginning his legal studies at Georgetown, Jordan served as a legislative aide to Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7). At Georgetown, he serves as the advocacy chair for Outlaw and is involved in the school’s Pro Bono Board. Last summer, Jordan worked as a legal intern for the Brennan Center for Justice.  He will be joining Venable’s D.C. office this year as a summer associate.