Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) laws vary widely by country or territory, ranging from legal recognition of same-sex marriage or other partnerships to the death sentence as punishment for same-sex romantic/sexual conduct or identification.
LGBT lawyers work on the local, state, and federal levels to preserve and advocate for LGBT rights. The work covers a wide range of practice areas, including employment discrimination, family law, HIV/AIDS legislation, and so on. LGBT lawyers are typically employed by non-profit advocacy organizations that focus on direct client representation or policy. Furthermore, there is an increasing demand for LGBT advocacy in private family law businesses.
Background and Experience of the Attorney
- How long have you been in practice?
- Do you have any prior experience with [your legal problem]? Concerned about sexual orientation and HIV? How many cases are there in this field? What happened in these cases? Have you worked with any other lesbian, gay, transgender, or HIV+ clients?
- Do you have any personal reservations about gay/lesbian and HIV/AIDS equality rights?
- Are you familiar with the unique strategic issues that frequently arise concerning sexual orientation and AIDS? How do you feel about personal and political decisions I might make that will affect the strategy of my case, such as becoming open about my sexual orientation or living with a lover while my case is pending?
- Are you familiar with the kinds of arguments that will be used against me?
- Are you willing to accept assistance from lesbian and homosexual organizations (for example, sample briefs, articles, lists of cases, transcripts of past hearings, lists of experts, consultations)?
- What are your thoughts on using expert witnesses in cases involving sexual orientation? Have you ever utilized one in a situation like this before?
- Who will conduct most of the work on my case, you or an assistant? What kind of experience does your assistant have with cases like this? Will you seek the advice of another lawyer? Is it possible to meet the other people engaged in my case?