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PROS & HAVE


FIRMS BIG 26 CONS


They offer loads of prestige and national, if not global, ties. And certainly the money is there. Still, for some lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) associates, larger fi rms can be less than ideal. In a lot of cases, these associates view a smaller, more personal fi rm, ideally with a few LGBT partners, as a far better site from which to launch and build their careers.


DIVERSITY & THE BAR® MAY/JUNE 2011


AS A VETERAN LEGAL CAREER SERVICES ADVISOR, SKIP HORNE IS ADEPT AT EXAMINING THE PROS AND CONS OF ALL POTENTIAL JOB SITUATIONS. He acknowledges that LGBT associates can benefi t from working in a large fi rm. “Large law fi rms are typically involved in myriad diversity activities, so there are constant ways for you to get involved—diversity committees, LGBT affi n- ity groups, pro bono work that impacts the LGBT community, recruiting activities like the Lavender Law Career Fair, local/regional/national LGBT bar associations, community outreach and public service. Big law fi rms have the resources (i.e., money) to support LGBT activities.” Horne, who is president of the National LGBT


Bar Foundation and director of the Graduate Programs & Continuing Education at the University of San Diego School of Law, continues “Since many large law fi rms have offi ces outside of the United States there may be unique opportunities to get involved with diversity activities in other countries—some of which may be light-years ahead of the U.S. in terms of LGBT rights and others that may be far, far behind the curve. So, you can take advantage of those coun- tries or regions that are on the cutting edge of LGBT equality and also help eff ect change in parts of the globe that are woefully behind.” On the other hand, a smaller fi rm is all about the


work and less about the numbers, leverage, prestige, or ranking than larger fi rms, says Horne. So, if you’re a good attorney, the fact that you’re gay or lesbian is going to be secondary to “Can you do the work?” Also, a smaller fi rm aff ords more opportunities to


get involved in fi rm leadership, supervising, recruit- ing, and business development at a much earlier stage in your legal career, Horne adds. Again, this gives an LGBT associate much more exposure to senior partners, lateral candidates, law clerks, and, most importantly, clients. Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, PC (CLP) is one


of those smaller fi rms. Established in 1988, the Los Angeles-based boutique fi rm specializes in complex, civil and criminal litigation. Several of the fi rm’s partners are gay including name partner Christopher G. Caldwell. David C. Codell, a gay attorney and staunch champion of marriage equality, is of counsel to the fi rm. T ree of the CLP’s up-and-coming gay


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