Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Law Review Symposium Explores History and Future of LGBT Legal Activism January 25, 2013
Law Review Symposium Explores History and Future of LGBT Legal Activism

Forty years ago, legal activism in support of LGBT rights was in its infancy. Law schools were beginning to form gay and lesbian student groups, and advocates were starting to turn to the courts to seek recognition of their rights. While much progress has been made in the intervening years, many challenges remain. These issues will be discussed on Friday, February 8, when Southwestern presents 40 Years of LGBT Legal Activism:
Taking Stock & Looking Ahead

Presented by the Southwestern Law Review, this symposium seeks to both take stock of the achievements of LGBT legal activism and to bring to the fore some "off-the-radar" issues confronting the LGBT community. In particular, panels will explore: the struggles confronting LGBT people in the criminal justice system, including LGBT prisoner mistreatment and the ongoing targeting of LGBT people by police and prosecutors for a range of vice crimes, like lewd conduct and prostitution; the resistance to LGBT diversity within the legal profession and communities of color; the invisibility of transgender people and issues within the LGBT community itself; and the role of law and social movements in both advancing and harming LGBT rights.

Southwestern Professors Danielle Kie Hart, J. Kelly Strader and Gowri Ramachandran are co-chairing the symposium. "After some substantial victories, in areas such as the invalidation of sodomy laws, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and advances in the right to marry, LGBT rights advocates have reason to celebrate," said Professor Strader, who is also serving as a panelist. "In many areas, however, the LGBT rights movement has difficult struggles ahead. LGBT people continue to suffer at the hands of law enforcement, and LGBT families continue to struggle in many states to achieve equal rights. Our symposium is designed to celebrate what the movement has accomplished, and also to shine a light on the challenges that remain."

Hon. Michael W. Fitzgerald of the United States District Court, Central District of California will deliver the luncheon keynote speech. Nominated by President Obama in 2011 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2012, Judge Fitzgerald is the first openly gay federal judge confirmed to serve in the Central District Court.

In addition to Professors Strader and Hart, scheduled speakers and panel moderators include:  

  • Professor Gabriel Arkles, New York University School of Law;
  • Dr. Scott Barclay, Department of History and Politics, Drexel University;
  • Professor I. Bennett Capers, Brooklyn Law School;
  • Professor Catherine Carpenter, Southwestern Law School;
  • Professor Jay W. Gendron, Southwestern Law School and Former Vice President of Business Affairs and Legal Affairs, Warner Brothers;
  • Hon. Lisa M. Ginoza, Associate Judge, Intermediate Court of Appeals, State of Hawaii;
  • Professor Priya S. Gupta, Southwestern Law School;
  • Professor John Heilman, Southwestern Law School;
  • Professor Cynthia Lee, George Washington Law School;
  • James G. Leipold, Executive Director, The National Association for Law Placement (NALP);
  • Professor Adele M. Morrison, Wayne State University Law School;
  • Professor Douglas NeJaime, Loyola Law School Los Angeles;
  • James D. Nguyen, Partner, Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP;
  • Professor Russell Robinson, Berkeley Law School;
  • Robert M. Saltzman, Associate Dean, USC Gould School of Law and Commissioner, Los Angeles Police Department;
  • Professor Giovanna E. Shay, Western New England School of Law;
  • Professor Kellye Y. Testy, Dean, University of Washington School of Law;
  • Professor Yvonne Zylan, Ph.D., Hamilton College.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the conference begins at 9:00 a.m. The event also offers 7.5 hours of CLE credit. Registration fees are $75 for Non-Southwestern Alumni seeking CLE credit, $50 for Southwestern Alumni seeking CLE credit and $40 for those not seeking CLE credit. Articles written in coordination with the symposium will be published in the Southwestern Law Review; copies of the issue will be sent to participants.

Click here for more information on the event or here to obtain a subscription to the Law Review. The symposium will be held on Southwestern's campus, located at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Parking is available on campus for $8. For a map and directions to Southwestern, click here.