Stetson’s Lambda Legal Society is now national affiliate

The Stetson University College of Law Lambda Legal Society is now a National LGBT Bar Association Law School Affiliate.

Jen Rex
Jen Rex

“We are confident that our work with the National LGBT Bar Association will allow us to continue to promote the growth of our organization on campus,” said President Jen Rex. “Additionally, we welcome this opportunity to connect on a much larger level with the LGBTQ+ legal community and contribute toward LGBTQ+ equality on a national, local, and campus-wide level.”

Lambda Legal Society provides a forum for exploring the legal issues faced by people in the LGBTQ+ community, and a goal of Lambda is to educate young attorneys about these unique concerns.

For example, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which extends Title VII protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity, is something that is going to be of extreme importance moving forward, Rex explained. Young lawyers will play a large role in ensuring this extension is enforced properly and making persuasive arguments how this can be applied to areas outside of employment discrimination, she said.

Other recent federal policy changes and court decisions affecting the LGBTQ+ community include the new Biden Administration executive order to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the rescindment of the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, and the November 2020 ruling from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled local government ordinances prohibiting the use of conversion therapy on minors are unconstitutional on the basis that they infringe on the First Amendment rights of therapists or other medical practitioners who engage in this practice. This places LGBTQ+ youth in the Eleventh Circuit at increased risk of being subjected to conversion therapy.

Edson Abadia
Edson Abadia

LGBTQ+ individuals are still fighting to be treated equally under the law, and it is up to young lawyers to stay informed, educated and involved so that they understand the full effect of how court decisions and federal policies impact all levels of society, said Edson Abadia, community outreach coordinator for Stetson’s Lambda Legal Society.

“LGBTQ+ advocates must now work harder than ever to ensure that all levels of our government, local, state, and federal, are complying with the new LGBTQ+ protections,” Abadia said.

Though COVID has changed the way the organization functions, Lambda has continued to host guest speakers to discuss a variety of issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, including professors, community leaders, local attorneys, and other LGBTQ+ advocates in other areas of work. They aim to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals to come together to socialize and discuss legal issues. Students need not identify with any particular label to join the organization.

“As a national affiliate, we will continue to work towards our ultimate goals of raising awareness within the community about LGBTQ+ issues,” Rex said.

Becoming a national affiliate also means more practical perks, such as a chance to join the National LGBT Bar Association as a student member at a discounted rate of $20 with promo code StudentGroup50. Those who register can sign up for the organization’s Annual Lavender Law Conference for free. The event will be held in Los Angeles, July 28-30, 2021. Stetson offers assistance for attending opportunities such as this through the Professional Development Fund.

Stetson Law Lambda Legal Society logo

Stay tuned to Campus Docket for the latest information from Lambda Legal Society or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Their newsletters include scholarship and mentorship information, as well as job opportunities and upcoming events. Alternatively, students who would like to know more can reach out to any of the current officers: President Jen Rex, Vice President Jessica Merker, Treasurer Jacob Erdman, Secretary Kyle Ridgeway, Community Outreach Coordinator Edson Abadia, and 1L Representative Justice Galaris.