Huong Lam (she/her/hers)
Legal Help Desk Attorney
For years, the nation’s best and brightest legal minds have put their skills and passion to work to carry forth Lambda Legal’s mission to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV. In this series, you’ll get to know the people at the heart of what we do.
In this edition of “Meet Our Lawyers,” we will be highlighting Huong Lam. Since joining Lambda Legal in 2009, Huong has worked at our Legal Help Desk, where she relies on her legal expertise and experience in LGBTQ+ civil rights to provide a vital and confidential service to people in the community seeking information and resources relating to discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and HIV status. In 2021, she contributed to The United States of DIscrimination: Trends in Bias Against LGBTQ People and People Living with HIV, a report looking at anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination as reported to the Lambda Legal Help Desk. Over the years, Huong has been a critical member of the team who has been on the frontlines of Lambda Legal’s work, ensuring that everyone who contacts us is empowered with the information and resources they need to assert their rights.
What brought you to work at Lambda?
I learned about Lambda Legal’s work as a volunteer with our Development department. Observing our Legal Department’s amazing work solidified my plans to enter into the legal profession. From there, I went to law school and returned to Lambda as a legal intern, where I was able to help support some of the Legal Help Desk work. That experience illustrated the vital role the Legal Help Desk plays in connecting with the community as a tool to help inform about Lambda Legal’s work. I also saw how that service empowers individuals with legal information and tools for self-advocacy and provides a safe space for people to reach out and share their stories. So, when a position opened up, I jumped at the chance!
Having been at Lambda Legal for nearly 13 years, what have you seen change in the questions asked and issues raised by the community?
One of the changes I have observed in my time working the Legal Help Desk is a shift in the way our LGBTQ+ community members have been experiencing incidences of mistreatment, harassment, and discrimination. As our community members are able to live their lives in a more visible way, the incidences of anti-LGBTQ+ responses appear to be more hostile and blatant, especially in the spaces of public accommodations and access to services where folks are denied and/or harassed in the course of accessing public accommodations or seeking services.
What has been your proudest or most memorable moment working at Lambda Legal?
I am most proud of my work whenever I can establish a connection with a community member that leaves them more empowered or with the ability to empower others.
How have you seen the rights for LGBTQ+ folks advance in your lifetime? What work do we need to see?
Besides the legal victories to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ folks and people living with HIV, I have noticed a boldness and bravery in our community to be visible and heard. The level of engagement to talk about LGBTQ+ issues and issues affecting people living with HIV is more intentional to help advance our community’s rights, especially in addressing the intersectionality of our experiences. Of course, the work still exists to meaningfully incorporate the intersectional lens to help inform our movement’s work.
What’s something fun or interesting you would like to share about yourself?
I like being outdoors and doing activities such as hiking, kickball, and random cartwheels in a field.