Come this Saturday and Sunday I have the honour to host an historic meeting in Brisbane. The meeting is for family lawyers who act for and advocate for LGBT clients. The meeting is of the LGBT Family Law Institute.
The Institute, a joint venture of the (US) LGBT Bar and the (US) National Center for Lesbian Rights, allows experienced LGBT family law practitioners to share collective wisdom and to discuss cutting-edge legal strategies for representing members of the LGBT community on such matters as family creation, assisted reproductive technology, ethics, interstate and international parentage issues, estate planning, collaborative law, transgender issues, dissolution of relationships, and elder law.
In order to create an environment where there can be a free flow of information, the meetings are closed and are not recorded.
The NCLR has been at the centre of many of the equal marriage cases in recent years in the US, including the ruling by the US Supreme Court allowing marriage equality across the US. The experience of the NCLR is unique.
Institute sessions are not formal lectures, but rather are structured to encourage participation from everyone in attendance. Further, the LGBT Family Law Institute gives participants an opportunity to network with lawyers from other states in order to build a cadre of family law practitioners throughout the country.
The meeting in Brisbane is historic. There has never to my knowledge ever been a meeting of LGBT family lawyers from around the country before. This will be the first meeting of the Institute outside the US and UK.
The Institute meeting in Brisbane will be attended by lawyers from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as Institute director Bill Singer from New Jersey and NCLR attorney Emma Haan from San Francisco.