Lambda Legal announced today that attorney Jennifer C. (Jenny) Pizer has rejoined the organization as Senior Counsel and Director of the organization's new Law & Public Policy Project.
"This is a tremendously exciting development for Lambda Legal, because we are welcoming back a well-known and much-lauded attorney with more than 25 years legal experience, including 15 years dedicated to full-time LGBT impact litigation," Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart said. "Jenny will also bring to Lambda Legal valuable expertise gained from her recent work focusing on policy, social science and the law as Legal Director of The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law."
"I'm thrilled to have Jenny rejoin us," added Jon Davidson, Legal Director for Lambda Legal. "We jumped at the opportunity because we know firsthand what an incredibly skilled advocate Jenny is. There's no doubt that her deep knowledge of LGBT legal issues, her creativity, and her deep commitment to social justice will once again enhance our very talented legal team."
Before joining The Williams Institute in 2011 as Legal Director and the Arnold D. Kassoy Senior Scholar of Law, Pizer worked at Lambda Legal for 15 years, serving as Managing Attorney, Senior Staff Attorney, Senior Counsel and National Marriage Project Director. While at UCLA, Pizer co-authored model legislation concerning marriage for same-sex couples and amicus briefs and policy reports addressing family rights of LGBT people, the needs of LGBT students, and employment discrimination. At Lambda Legal, Pizer co-drafted California's broad domestic partnership law, which has become a model for other states and litigated numerous cases seeking equal treatment of same-sex couples including Golinski v. OPM, Diaz v. Brewer, In re Marriage Cases, Strauss v. Horton, and Benitez v. North Coast Women's Care Medical Group. Pizer also was co-counsel on three amicus briefs in the federal challenge to Proposition 8, now known as Hollingsworth v. Perry.
In her new position, Pizer will expand Lambda Legal's policy work, in particular by assisting state and local LGBT groups, elected officials and other policy-makers who are tackling an ever-broader array of LGBT issues, and by working closely with Lambda Legal's Education and Public Affairs department on developing new advocacy initiatives and educational materials. She will also have a national portfolio as a senior lawyer, coordinating with other Lambda Legal attorneys to bring new litigation across the country.
"I'm honored and delighted to be launching this new project with Lambda Legal's extraordinary team of strategic thinkers and problem-solvers, my 'work family' of so many years," Pizer said. "This is a critical time in the movement for freedom, inclusion, and true equality of LGBT people. Because misinformation remains a huge barrier, I'm grateful to be taking up this challenge informed by my deeply satisfying work with the expert scientists and scholars at The Williams Institute. By offering sound policy proposals paired with targeted law reform, we can catalyze long-needed social change and, ultimately, secure justice for this community."