Today, Lambda Legal announced that Jennifer C. Pizer has been named permanent Chief Legal Officer (CLO). Pizer has served as the organization’s acting CLO since June, leading a department of twenty-six attorneys and eleven paraprofessionals with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
“Jenny Pizer has dedicated her life’s work to the cause of LGBTQ equality and inclusion, and Lambda Legal specifically, with a history dating back to when she was a legal intern in the ’80s and a Board member in the ‘90’s before joining the staff in 1996,” said Kevin Jennings, Lambda Legal CEO. “The immense respect our movement holds for her was symbolized in July when the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association awarded her its highest honor, the Dan Bradley Award. At a moment when we face daunting and unprecedented threats to our community, Jenny brings the experience and wisdom we need to lead Lambda Legal’s litigation and policy work into our next 50 years.”
“Lambda Legal continues to secure protections for LGBTQ people nationwide, defending our most vulnerable against the onslaught of attacks in statehouses and the random abuses inflicted daily because too many in this country are still learning who we are—still see us as some kind of dangerous threat,” said Jenny Pizer. “Our nearly fifty-year history of strategic successes proves that challenging these injustices leads to law reform, which can save lives and create futures. I am honored to continue to lead Lambda Legal’s team of incredibly talented attorneys during this critical time.”
Since joining Lambda Legal’s staff in 1996, Jenny has been a leading voice for family equality, including marriage, for LGBTQ people, for stopping anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, health care, and education, for protecting LGBTQ refugees, and against the misuse of religion to license discrimination. In addition to litigating impact cases, she has developed legislation, advised policymakers, and worked with community advocates to advance family law and nondiscrimination protections and to confront overbroad religious exemptions.
Jenny has also taught law school courses and given presentations for the U.S. State Department. She consults with lawyers seeking to secure legal protections for LGBTQ people in other countries and serves as co-chair of the board of Outright International, which conducts research, training, movement resourcing, and advocacy to advance the human rights of LGBTIQ people globally. From 2011 to 2012, she served as Legal Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a research center and think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
Jenny received the 2022 Dan Bradley Award, the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association’s highest honor, this summer at Lavender Law, the Association’s annual conference. She has received many other community service and professional achievement awards, including from NYU School of Law, the California Assembly, the City of Los Angeles, API Equality-LA, the Greater Seattle Business Association, and just this month, Equality California. She has been named among California’s top women lawyers seven times.
She is a graduate of NYU School of Law and Harvard/Radcliffe College. Read her full bio here.