The Williams Institute Spring Reception
The Williams Institute Spring Reception welcomed hundreds of lawyers to the Carnegie Institution for Science. We snapped Excellence in Service Award honoree Tom Mounteer (a Paul Hastings environmental partner) flanked by Shakespeare Theatre Company artistic director Michael Kahn and Jenner & Block appellate and Supreme Court practice chair Paul Smith. Tom has supported the Williams Institute, an LGBT law and policy research center based at UCLA Law, since its start on the East Coast almost 10 years ago. Paul Hastings was the Williams Institute's first law firm national sponsor.
Brad Sears is the executive director of the Wiliams Institute and UCLA Law Assistant Dean. He started out as the Institute's only staff member in 2001 and has grown it to 20 faculty and staff, with an endowment of $20M. The Institute's scholars have contributed to LGBT research, trained more than 3,000 sitting judges on LGBT law and policy, partnered with the Census Bureau on reporting on the LGBT community, and given expert testimony for LGBT litigation.
Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan spoke (above), as did Deputy Labor Secretary Christopher Lu. During five years as HUD Secretary, Shaun led landmark initiatives fighting housing-related discrimination against LGBT people. Under his tenure, HUD also undertook the country's first-ever national study of housing discrimination against same-sex couples. "Good data is often the first step to good policy," he said. Now OIRA, an office within OMB, is leading an interagency process to explore LGBT issues, including data collection issues.