Legal Honor Roll

THE LEGAL HONOR ROLL OF PRO BONO CHAMPIONS

NQAPIA thanks these law firms for their pro bono legal assistance and diversity & inclusion partnerships supporting the LGBT Asian & South Asian community over the past year.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC

Represented NQAPIA to lead the LGBTQ community in a winning amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in DHS v. Regents of the University of California that blocked President’s Trump proposed cancellation of DACA.  Mintz Levin represented openly LGBTQ Dreamers and showed the Court how more is at stake for LGBT DACA recipients because many come from countries where homosexuality is a crime. Trump’s cancellation of DACA could result in more than just a deportation, but an imprisonment or a death sentence. The brief was joined by 35 LGBTQ organizations. 

Weil Gotshal & Manges 

Filed a winning amicus brief representing NQAPIA and California LGBT Asian groups at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in U.S. v. California, challenging the Trump Administration’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary laws. The laws regulate state employers and law enforcement to protect undocumented immigrants from federal harassment and abuse.  During the oral argument, Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr. referenced legal arguments from the amicus brief in his questioning of the government attorneys. 

Baker & McKenzie LLP 

Represented NQAPIA for a pending amicus brief defending Chicago’s lawsuit against the U.S. Attorney General for restricting federal funds because it is a sanctuary city.  The brief will show how LGBT APIs benefit from the U.S. Department of Justice funds for hate crimes and domestic violence prevention programs. The firm also hosted NQAPIA’s annual LGBT Asian American/South Asian Lawyers Receptions in 6 cities, which provided networking opportunities and peer support. 

Morrison & Foerster 

After Trump was elected in 2016, NQAPIA’s legal referral hotline was overwhelmed with hundreds of inquiries.  Associates conducted intakes and screenings and referred Nikko and Michael, a loving same-sex couple, one of whom was undocumented, to an immigration lawyer who then helped them get married and get an adjustment of status.  Read their story here

Dentons 

Advised NQAPIA regarding attorney obligations in connection with advice to clients, and the public in general, in connection with federal law and participate in Census 2020 under the Rules of Professional Conduct in thirteen jurisdictions (CA, DC, FL, GA, IL, MD, MA, NJ, NY, PA, TX, VA, and WA) and developed a Memorandum of Ethics Law.  

Hogan Lovells

Researched the legal mandate to participate in the U.S. Census, new legal questions on how LGBTQ people are to appropriately respond to the Census and how transgender people could respond to the census “sex” question, which provides only “male” or “female.”  Also reviewed the enforcement of the confidentiality provisions and administrative complaint mechanisms. 

Seyfarth Shaw 

Provided legal research into various legal issues concerning the 2020 census, with specific emphasis on confidentiality, compliance, and enforcement. Their research showed how individuals could use their completed census form to gain legal status by proving residency under the 1986 Immigration Reform Act.  The research uncovered a direct personal legal benefit for census respondents who are undocumented immigrants.  

Shearman & Sterling 

Explored the strength of the confidentiality protections in federal law for information given to the Census and how the government may have historically breached census data confidentiality, and advised NQAPIA its ability (as well as other third parties) to enforce the confidentiality protections.  Research showed how to address those who wanted to promote a damaging boycott of the Census and a review of the federal government efforts to prevent census disinformation. 

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP 

Submitted an amicus brief for LCCHR, Lawyers community and NQAPIA in Fulton v. Philadelphia in an upcoming case before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the ability of LGBTQ people to adopt and foster children.  

Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP

Submitted a winning amicus brief in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia with Lawyers’ Committee, LCCHR and NQAPIA in which the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Akerman LLP

Submitted a winning amicus brief in Harris v. EEOC for the Center for Constitutional Rights, Transgender Law Center and NQAPIA successfully urging the court to rule that discrimination against transgender employees is unlawful discrimination “because of sex” under Title VII.  

For more information and to partner with NQAPIA on pro bono projects, contact Victoria Jeon, NQAPIA Equal Justice Work Legal Fellow, at victoria@nqapia.org

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