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Law School Creates Country's First Sexuality, Gender Law Clinic

Columbia Law School is creating the nation's first clinical program in sexuality and gender law to provide students with cutting-edge training in impact litigation, legislative work and community advocacy.

"We intend to take a leadership role in training new lawyers in the civil rights issues concerning the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities (GLBT) in the United States," said Columbia Law School Dean David M. Schizer. "The clinic is a genuine investment in the future of this significant and growing area of the law."

The clinic will be directed by Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg, formerly of Rutgers Law School's Women's Rights Litigation Clinic and Lambda Legal Defense. Goldberg was co-counsel in the Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans cases and co-authored Strangers to the Law: Gay People on Trial, which recounts the legal challenge to Colorado's anti-gay constitutional amendment in the Romer case. She will formally join the Columbia Law School faculty on July 1.

"Demands for equality are being played out in courtrooms across the country as well as in Congress and state and local governments," said Goldberg. "The need for lawyers to deal with this explosion of cases and issues far outweighs the current supply. This new clinic will help to produce lawyers with the necessary interest and expertise while it makes a direct and immediate contribution to litigation and advocacy on GLBT and women's rights issues."

The Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic will provide focused assistance on cases, proposed legislation and policy matters in cooperation with law firms, impact litigation organizations and advocacy groups working on gender and sexuality rights issues. Students will have opportunities both to participate in cutting-edge litigation and to develop non-litigation skills through legislative drafting, policy development and preparation of major research reports.

Clinical Programs at Columbia Law School Columbia Law School pioneered clinical instruction in 1970. Working with real clients with real problems allows law students to begin the lifelong process of becoming thoughtful, responsible and reflective lawyers. Other clinics at the School include the Child Advocacy Clinic, the Prisoners and Families Clinic, the Clinical Seminar in Law and the Arts, the Mediation Clinic, the Non-Profit Organizations Clinic, the Human Rights Clinic, the Environmental Law Clinic and the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic.

Published: Apr 07, 2006
Last modified: Apr 06, 2006