The Orange County Lavender Bar Association (OCLBA) is the official association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ), and allied attorneys, judges, and law students in the county. OCLBA provides networking, educational, and mentorship opportunities and resources to its membership and the community with the goal of increasing the county’s participation in the broader statewide LGBTQ community and the visibility of LGBTQ issues in the county.
OCLBA launched on June 16, 2010, at a gala attended by 200 attorneys, philanthropists, business and community leaders, judges, professors, and students. The gala featured remarks by the attorneys who completed closing arguments in the landmark Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which challenged Proposition 8 in federal court. Since then, OCLBA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from private practice and academia, continue to implement a robust series of bar programs. These programs include a number of highly successful events ranging from constitutional law to tax and estate planning issues facing the LGBTQ community, along with social events for networking opportunities.
Each summer, OCLBA’s annual Anniversary Gala honors community and legal leaders in the fight for justice and equality. OCLBA also awards its M. Katherine B. Darmer Equality Scholarship to a law student committed to LGBTQ issues in Orange County. At our 8th Anniversary Gala in 2018, OCLBA honored C.J. Duron with the OCLBA Community Leadership Award and honored Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva with the M. Katherine B. Darmer Outstanding Community Service Award.
OCLBA recently held a fun holiday drag brunch at VLVT in Santa Ana, and also a successful panel discussion at Chapman Law School on February 20, 2019, on what it means to identify as LGBTQ+ in the legal field, how to be oneself within law firm environments, and why diversity is important. OCLBA hosted a similar panel discussion with the UCI School of Law’s OutLaw group on March 12, 2019, with prestigious members of the Orange County legal community. OCLBA will also host its annual Harvey Milk Day Luncheon at Bryan Cave on May 22, featuring elimination of bias CLE credit; and will include Christy Mallory from the Williams Institute who will provide an overview of the current state of discrimination law/protections for LGBTQ individuals, both federally and at the state level. And finally, the OCLBA will hold its 9th Anniversary Gala on July 10, 2019, in the Sky Garden at the Michelson Building in Irvine.
OCLBA seeks to serve and unite not just the LGBTQ community, but our allies as well. For more information, please visit www.oclba.org or email OCLBA President Joe Ursic at firstname.lastname@example.org.