Thomas W. Ude, Jr. is Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. He coordinates Lambda Legal’s work to address government misconduct and support for discrimination, and has included matters in many of Lambda Legal’s issue areas, including government misconduct, employment discrimination, recognition of same-sex relationships and parent-child relationships, transgender rights and the rights of people living with HIV.
Since joining Lambda Legal in June 2007, Ude has worked on cases in many of Lambda Legal’s issue areas, including Taylor v Rice (Lambda Legal’s challenge to the State Department’s ban against hiring anyone with HIV as a Foreign Service Officer), Stern v. Cosby (amicus brief arguing that under New York law, falsely describing a man as gay is not defamatory per se), Patino v. Birken Manufacturing Co. (amicus brief arguing that Connecticut’s law prohibiting employment discrimination because of sexual orientation protects workers from severe antigay harassment on the job), Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center v. City of Kingston (Lambda Legal’s challenge to the denial of statutory tax exemption for the Center’s property), and Cradle of Liberty Council, BSA v. City of Philadelphia ( amicus brief arguing that Philadelphia’s decision to end its subsidy of the Scouting Council’s antigay discrimination was lawful and justified). Ude is co-counsel in Pratt v. Indian River Central School District, a lawsuit seeking damages for a young man who, as a public school student, was subjected to years of antigay and sexist harassment and abuse. In addition, Ude speaks before many different audiences about issues related to Lambda Legal’s mission.
Before he joined Lambda Legal, Ude was corporation counsel to the city of New Haven, Connecticut. Ude has more than two decades of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, having been counsel in cases at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts, including several appeals before the Connecticut Supreme Court. Until recently, Ude served on the boards of directors of Love Makes a Family, Connecticut's marriage equality organization (from 2007-2009), and the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund (from 2001-2010).
Ude graduated cum laude in 1989 from the University of Michigan Law School and clerked for Senior U.S. District Court Judge T. Emmet Clarie in the District of Connecticut. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Connecticut, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. He is admitted to the practice of law before the courts of the states of Connecticut (1989) and New York (2008), and before the U.S. District Courts for the District of Connecticut (1990), Southern District of New York (2008), Eastern District of New York (2008) and Northern District of New York (2009).