Blank Rome to Receive 2017 Community Vision Award for Distinguished LGBT Service by LeGaL Foundation
Blank Rome LLP will be presented with the 2017 Community Vision Award by the LeGaL Foundation (the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York) at the foundation’s Annual Dinner in New York City on April 6, 2017, in honor of the Firm’s “distinguished record of service to the LGBT community, including a sustained commitment to achieving equal rights for all members of the LGBT community.” Additional honorees include Matthew Coles of the University of California Hastings College of the Law and Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Excerpt from LeGaL’s press release, announcing Blank Rome as one of the 2017 Community Vision Award winners:
Blank Rome LLP has been committed for 70 years to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment, and is frequently recognized for its efforts. For example, Blank Rome received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. With this score, Blank Rome has been designated as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” by HRC. In addition, Blank Rome has a firm-wide LGBT Affinity Group, which is committed to helping LGBT employees enhance professional and personal growth in the firm and creating a positive work environment that fosters opportunities for their success and advancement. The LGBT Affinity Group also participates in the recruitment of diverse students and lateral attorneys and works to establish and cultivate ties with minority professional communities. Blank Rome has also shown its commitment to the LGBT community through its pro bono work. In addition to New York matrimonial partners Margaret Canby and Caroline Krauss-Browne serving as co-counsel on the Brooke S.B. case, which overturned harmful precedent barring nonbiological parents in same-sex relationships from access to their children, attorneys in the New York office volunteer with the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL) to provide legal assistance to members of the LGBT community in family law matters, including divorce, support, and custody. Working with Immigration Equality and Human Rights First, firm attorneys represent LGBT immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. Blank Rome attorneys have been successful in obtaining asylum for gay, lesbian, and transgender clients fleeing persecution from their countries of origin, including Colombia, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Serbia, the Republic of Georgia, and Uganda. Blank Rome attorneys also represent transgender individuals seeking legal name changes through the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Blank Rome attorneys in the Princeton office submitted an amicus brief in support of the National Association of Social Workers in the Lewis v. Harris matter, affirming the compelling child welfare aspect of safe-sex marriage, and arguing in favor of legal recognition for LGBT families. Attorneys in the Philadelphia office worked with the Mazzoni Center, an organization dedicated to meeting the legal and medical needs of members of the LGBT community, on the LGBT Elder Initiative, drafting and executing advanced planning documents for gay and lesbian elders in the community. Blank Rome also partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union in Allentown, Pennsylvania to defend a city ordinance granting certain rights to LGBT individuals. Blank Rome attorneys have also provided transactional legal assistance to a shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth in New York and a community center supporting the LGBT community in Philadelphia.
To read LeGaL's full press release, please click here.
The LeGaL Foundation is one of the nation's first bar associations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) legal community and remains one of the largest and most active organizations of its kind in the country. Serving the New York metropolitan area, LeGaL is dedicated to improving the administration of the law, ensuring full equality for members of the LGBT community, and promoting the expertise and advancement of LGBT legal professionals. To learn more, please visit http://le-gal.org.