|Professional Legal Organizations||Student-Focused Organizations||LGBTQ+ Rights Organizations||Canadian Organizations|
National LGBTQ+ Bar Association
The National LGBTQ+ Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations.
Minority Corporate Counsel Association
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) was founded to advocate for the expanded hiring, retention, and promotion of minority attorneys in corporate law departments and the law firms that serve them.
OUTlaws and Queer Law Caucus chapters are available for students to join at many law schools across the US and Canada.
The National LGBTQ+ Bar Association has affiliate programs at law schools around the country.
ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
LSAC LGBTQ+ Guide to Law Schools
U.S. Department of Education Resources for LGBTQI+ Students
APLA Health is non-profit organization, whose mission is "to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV." APLA Health is one of the largest non-profit HIV service organizations in the United States.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The mission of the ACLU LGBT Project is the creation of a society in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people enjoy the constitutional rights of equality, privacy and personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.
Equality California and its sister organizations, Equality California Institute and Equality California PAC, share a common mission to ensure and promote dignity, safety and equality for all of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. Founded in 1998. EQCA is the state's largest LGBT civil rights organization. Equality California leads efforts for LGBT civil rights at the state level through an array of strategies including lobbying legislators, building coalitions and empowering other organizations and individuals to engage in the legislative process, and sponsoring bills and leading efforts to ensure their passage.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. GLAAD is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Founded in 1978, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation. Providing litigation, advocacy, and educational work in all areas of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights and the rights of people living with HIV, GLAD has a full-time legal staff and a network of cooperating attorneys across New England.
LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ officials at all levels of government. Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped elect thousands of LGBTQ people to positions at all levels of government. These LGBTQ voices have made significant contributions to advancing equality for LGBTQ Americans – from passing non-discrimination laws to defeating amendments to ban marriage equality.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) represents a force of more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community. Founded in 1980, HRC lobbies Congress, provides campaign support to candidates for federal office, and works to educate the public on a wide array of topics affecting LGBTQ Americans, including workplace, family and discrimination issues.
Since 1994, Immigration Equality has been proud to advocate for and represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-positive immigrants seeking safety, fair treatment, and freedom. Immigration Equality’s work impacts both the individuals we serve and the immigration system as a whole. For more than 20 years, we have been focused on providing free direct legal services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-positive immigrants.
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
ILGA – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex
Association - is the world federation of national and local
organizations dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay,
bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people across the globe. Established in 1978, ILGA enjoys consultative status at the UN Ecosoc Council. It speaks and lobbies in international fora on behalf of more than 1,200 member organizations from 132 countries, who are based in six regions. We are funded by governments, private foundations and the invaluable contributions of hundreds of private donors. Together, they all chip in to help us fight for those who face discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.
Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
LGBT Bar Association of New York
LeGaL was one of the nation’s first bar associations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal community and remains one of the largest and most active organizations of its kind in the country. Focused on the greater New York metropolitan area, LeGaL is dedicated to improving the administration of the law, ensuring full equality for members of the LGBT community, promoting the expertise and advancement of LGBT legal professionals, and serving the larger community.
Log Cabin Republicans
Log Cabin Republicans is an organization dedicated to tolerance, fairness, and inclusion in the GOP. Log Cabin has become a leading voice on the national stage working to educate other Republicans and all elected officials about the importance of gay and lesbian civil rights.
National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ/SGL bias and stigma. As America’s leading national Black LGBTQ/SGL civil rights organization focused on federal public policy, NBJC has accepted the charge to lead Black families in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBTQ/SGL equality.
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) was the first national LGBTQ legal organization founded by women and brings a fierce, longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and our community’s most vulnerable. NCLR is a non-profit, public interest law firm that litigates precedent-setting cases at the trial and appellate court levels; advocates for equitable public policies affecting the LGBT community; provides free legal assistance to LGBT people and their legal advocates; and conducts community education on LGBT issues.
National Lesbian and Gay Task Force (NLGTF)
The Policy Institute of NGLTF is the largest think tank in the U.S. engaged in research, policy analysis, and strategic action to advance equality and understanding of LGBT people.
OutServe-SLDN is the largest association for actively serving the LGBTQ military and veteran communities. We are a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBTQ equality to America’s military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. Since 1993, our in-house legal team has responded to more than 12,000 requests for assistance.
Point Foundation (Point) is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit. Point promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training. Point empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.
Pride Foundation is the only LGBTQ community foundation serving the Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, and inspires giving to expand opportunities and advance full equality for LGBTQ people across the Northwest. With their work grounded in social justice philanthropy, the Pride Foundation is committed to: Harnessing our fundraising, grantmaking, program, and advocacy efforts to address root causes of discrimination impacting the LGBTQ community; Supporting community leaders and organizations that work to eliminate long-standing barriers to equal access, opportunities, and resources for LGBTQ people; and Expanding and deepening the level of engagement among all LGBTQ people and allies, including people who are economically, racially, socially, geographically, or politically disenfranchised.
Pride Law Fund
Pride Law Fund promotes the legal rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, and people living with HIV and AIDS, by funding legal services and projects and by sponsoring education and outreach. Pride Law Fund has assisted innovative academic programs, supported the development and distribution of legal and educational materials, and financed independent and documentary film projects to educate the public. Each year, Pride Law Fund awards the Tom Steel Fellowship to a new lawyer to build an innovative civil rights project on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV/AIDS communities. Each summer, PLF provides grants to law students doing internships at LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations across the country. The Steven Richter Fellowship specifically funds a law student doing a summer internship focusing on HIV/AIDS advocacy.
Project Inform is a non-profit, San Francisco-based national HIV/AIDS treatment information organization. Serving individuals and organizations with up-to-the minute treatment information and advocacy.
Stonewall Democrats, also known in some states as LGBT Democrats, is the official caucus within the Democratic Party that advocates for issues that are relevant to LGBT Americans, and is home to the National Directory of LGBT Democrats. The Directory helps locate LGBT Democratic groups across the US that work to elect pro-LGBT Democrats in federal, state, and local elections, serve as a bullhorn for LGBT governmental issues, and supply LGBT voters to ballot boxes.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Therefore, they seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for communities.
Transgender Law Center
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.
Trans Law Help
Trans Law Help is an online database of trans-positive legal resources for people living in the United States. The database is organized by state and includes a list of lawyers, notaries and additional legal services who have identified themselves as resources for the trans community.
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is committed to ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.
The Williams Project
The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. A think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public. Experts at the Williams Institute have authored dozens of public policy studies and law review articles, filed amicus briefs in key court cases, provided expert testimony at legislative hearings, been widely cited in the national media, and trained thousands of lawyers, judges and members of the public.
The Canadian Bar Association’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community Section works to address the needs and concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and two-spirited people within the CBA: https://www.cba.org/Sections/Sexual-Orientation-and-Gender-Identity-Community. There are similar sections with each province's bar association.
Start Proud aims to connect LGBTQ+ students with employers, while promoting the development of LGBTQ+ professionals, and celebrating the achievements and service of those in the community. https://startproud.org/. Start Proud also hosts a conference.
The Start Out Conference is for LGBTQ+ students and young professionals in search of inclusive workplaces, as well as employers who want to make their workplace more inclusive: https://startoutconf.startproud.org/.
LGBTQ2+ Rights Organizations:
Egale Canada - https://egale.ca/ - is a national organization committed to advancing equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified people, and their families. Egale has intervened before the Supreme Court of Canada in every LGBTQ2S+ rights case that has reached the Court. They are also involved in policy work and has appeared before numerous federal Parliamentary Committees.
Pro Bono Students Canada - https://www.probonostudents.ca/ - often has projects with partner schools that are focused on LGBTQ2S+ rights, such as running a Trans ID Clinic.
The HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (“HALCO”) is an LAO-funded charitable not-for-profit community-based legal clinic that provides free legal assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS in Ontario, Canada: https://www.halco.org/. HALCO assisted with Legal Aid Ontario with the Trans* Legal Needs Assessment project through their own TRANSforming JUSTICE project, which invited trans identified people in Ontario living with or affected by HIV to participate in a focus group, legal education workshop, and/or survey.
Rainbow Railroad is a global not-for-profit organization that helps LGTBQI+ people facing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics: https://www.rainbowrailroad.org/.
Charity Village has a directory of Canadian non-profit organizations focused on LGBTQIA2+ communities: https://charityvillage.com/organizations/directory/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-lgbt.
Students may also find it helpful to review the membership list of the Enchante Network, a Canadian national network connecting and supporting over 160 pride centres and 2SLGBTQ+ service providers: https://enchantenetwork.ca/en/membership-information/.
Wikipedia can also be surprisingly helpful in identifying relevant organizations on a variety of topics. Categories are used in Wikipedia to link articles under a common topic and are found at the bottom of the article page. Clicking the category name displays a list of articles in that category and/or a list of sub-categories. For example, students interested in LGBTQ2S advocacy around the world may want to browse: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:LGBT_political_advocacy_groups_by_country.