Clinical Programs - LGBT Clinic

Advocacy for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Communities Clinic

The LGBT Clinic is dedicated to achieving equal rights and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Clinic students represent diverse members of the LGBT community in a range of civil legal matters. Examples of cases the clinic has worked on are: representing LGBT refugees from Honduras, Jamaica, Uganda, Colombia, and Ukraine, who fled violent persecution based on their sexual identities seeking asylum before the immigration courts; suing New York State on behalf of a transgender woman who was brutally raped while incarcerated in a maximum security men’s prison
assisting LGBT people in child support, adoption, divorce and child custody matters.

Students handle all phases of the representation: interviewing and counseling clients; securing any necessary expert witnesses; researching and writing all briefs and motions filed; and appearing on the client’s behalf at any scheduled court appearances.

Students also undertake non-litigation projects in conjunction with non-profit organizations working to advance LGBT equality. Advocacy projects have included researching the legal rights of LGBT domestic violence victims for the New York State LGBT DV Network and creating community education materials on how LGBT couples can safeguard their legal rights in the event of illness or disability.  In the seminar portion of the clinic, students deepen their knowledge of relevant law and further develop their advocacy skills. We also reflect on how lawyers can most effectively contribute to the struggle for social justice on behalf of marginalized LGBT communities.

If you are a law student interested in applying to the clinic, please see For Students.

The Cornell Law School LGBT Clinic provides free legal assistance to low-income LGBT people in Tompkins County and the surrounding area. If you are a potential client and would like more information please see For Potential Clients.

If you would like more information or to request assistance, please call our office at (607) 255-4196 or email