It’s Gotten Better to Be LGBTQ in Big Law, but Struggles Remain

July 29, 2020, 12:06 PM

LGBTQ attorneys in Big Law have seen progress in the form of favorable Supreme Court decisions and less stigma about being out at work. But there are still a number of challenges, especially for certain LGBTQ groups.

Not Over Yet: Attorneys said being out to colleagues and clients can be particularly difficult for trans and nonbinary lawyers who fear biased and discriminatory responses as well as negative career consequences. Life in Big Law as an LGBTQ attorney of color also poses substantial extra barriers to success and recognition.

Seeing and Learning: Bobbie Wilson, a litigation partner at Perkins Coie, said she’s felt being a person of color has posed more problems for her in the legal profession than her sexuality. “It’s almost as if they can’t see past the brown to learn about the gay,” she said. Stephanie Russell-Kraft has the story.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jerome Ashton in Washington at jashton@bloomberglaw.com

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