Considered one of the most well-attended and unique minority bar association events in the Pacific Northwest, the 2017 Annual QLaw Banquet promises to be another one for the history books. More than 400 lawyers, judges and legal professionals from across Washington state will descend on the Seattle Sheraton on April 27 to celebrate and promote equality in the legal profession. And this year, Lane Powell will be proudly featured as the sole Presenting Sponsor.
QLaw’s popular annual springtime event features a robust networking cocktail hour, followed by a lively dinner program. 2017’s featured guest and keynote speaker will be Judge Victoria Kolakowski of the California Superior Court for Alameda County, who has long been a trailblazer for LGBTQ communities and in 2010 was the first transgender woman elected as a trial court judge in the U.S. Kate Spelman will also be delivering remarks on behalf of the Firm during the banquet.
Lane Powell is also pleased to recognize Attorney David Howenstine and his long-standing service to QLaw. Howenstine is an officer on the Board of Directors and has served on QLaw’s executive committee for many years. “It’s wonderful that QLaw has been able to accomplish significant positive change and to foster community on the local and national level — especially considering that QLaw is an all-volunteer effort,” said Howenstine. “Over the years, QLaw has been the recipient of generous support from Northwest law firms like Lane Powell.”
Lane Powell has been a consistent supporter not only of the individual attorneys and legal professionals who have volunteered their time and energy with QLaw, but also of the entire association as well. The Firm has been a fixture at past QLaw banquets, workshops, CLEs and events that cater to law students. Though QLaw is a state-based minority bar association, QLaw’s work and advocacy have been far-reaching for LGBTQ equality nationwide. Recently, past presidents of the association convened on camera to discuss QLaw’s achievements.
Some of the highlights from the QLaw Association’s and the QLaw Foundation’s successes over the past decade include:
- The formation of a monthly LGBTQ legal clinic to serve families and marginalized communities. Originally formed in order to serve family law needs like adoption and partnership paperwork, the clinic has expanded the services that the volunteer lawyers provide. Clinic registrants are now able to sign up for counsel sessions related to business and other simple legal issues.
- Partnering in efforts to combat homelessness in LGBTQ youth, as well as providing safe spaces for gender expression and growth for LGBTQ teens and families. Watch a short video about QLaw’s support in this area.
- Integral participation in passing marriage equality in Washington state in 2012. QLaw members volunteered to organize phone banks, create media opportunities and host fundraising events. Their efforts proved fruitful — Washington was the first state in the nation to pass marriage equality by a popular vote. Click here to watch QLaw’s short video about equality in Washington state.
- The formation of an issues advocacy committee. Attorneys with QLaw who participate in this committee help to draft and submit amicus curiae briefs for issues related to gender equality and LGBTQ issues that occur throughout the U.S. In fact, a portion of an amicus brief joined by QLaw was quoted in Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark Supreme Court case that made same-sex marriage a right nationwide.
If you are a member of the LGBTQ community or an ally, QLaw invites you to join their ranks.