Sullivan & Cromwell has a long tradition of supporting its LGBT lawyers and non-legal personnel and of serving the LGBT community through pro bono legal representations and other contributions to LGBT causes (see LGBT Pro Bono Activities below). The Firm is proud of, and values, this ongoing commitment to promoting equality and rewarding merit without regard to sexual orientation or gender identification.
The “LGBT Network” was organized in order to further the Firm’s commitment to the LGBT community as a whole, provide a nurturing social and professional community for LGBT individuals within the Firm and enhance the inclusive environment of the Firm overall.
Among other things, the LGBT Network:
- facilitates S&C’s involvement in LGBT pro bono work and its support of LGBT organizations;
- promotes recruitment of LGBT personnel; and
- organizes professional, social, and educational events.
Sullivan & Cromwell and our individual lawyers are proud to support many organizations dedicated to the LGBT community, just a few of which are listed below:
- ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project and AIDS Project
- Empire State Pride Agenda
- Human Rights Campaign
- Immigration Equality
- Lambda Legal
- Lavender Law
- SAGE (Services for Advocacy for LGBT Elders)
- Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
- The Trangender Legal Defense and Education Fund
- The Trevor Project
- David H. Braff (Litigation)
- David A. Castleman (Litigation)
- Mitchell S. Eitel (Corporate)
- David B. Hariton (Tax)
- Steven L. Holley (Litigation)
- Alexa M. Lawson-Remer (Litigation)
- Kristin B. Lee (Corporate)
- Lisa A. Lofdahl (Corporate)
- David B. Rockwell (Corporate)
- Bradley P. Smith (Litigation)
- Adam A. Sofen (Corporate)
- Donald J. Toumey (Corporate)
- Davis J. Wang (Tax)
- Frederick Wertheim (Corporate)
Sullivan & Cromwell has a long-standing commitment to providing pro bono legal assistance to members of the LGBT community. In addition to the pro bono matters handled by our lawyers, the Firm also sponsors several pro bono projects and community activities.
Below are a few cases in which S&C lawyers have provided such legal services:
- S&C is partnering with the ACLU of North Carolina to challenge the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, as well as the state’s ban on two-parent adoption that effectively bars same-sex couples from joint adoption.
- S&C continues to partner with Immigration Equality to represent applicants from nations around the world seeking asylum on the basis of sexual orientation.
- S&C sponsors the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund’s name change clinic, which serves low-income members of the transgender community in New York who are seeking to change their legal names to conform to their gender identities. In 2013, S&C celebrated the 100th name change in which the Firm had been involved.
- 2013 marked the 24th year that S&C lawyers have hosted a bi-weekly legal clinic at New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Center for Special Studies and its Gay Men’s Health Crisis satellite location to provide estate planning services to impoverished individuals living with AIDS and HIV. Since 1989, lawyers at the Firm have dedicated more than 13,000 hours to the project.
- S&C lawyers joined with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to challenge an Arkansas statute, Act 1, which prohibited unmarried cohabiting couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents. On April 7, 2011, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down Act 1 as an unconstitutional violation of fundamental privacy rights under the Arkansas Constitution, allowing same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex couples to adopt in Arkansas.
- S&C lawyers assisted Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), an organization dedicated to serving and advocating for older LGBT individuals, with the purchase and funding of the nation’s first senior center devoted specifically to members of the LGBT community.
In 1994, Sullivan & Cromwell became one of the first global firms to provide health coverage to the same-sex domestic partners of its employees. Today, the Firm also provides Family and Medical Leave Act leave, adoption assistance, relocation assistance, and other benefits to same-sex domestic partners. Sullivan & Cromwell lawyers from the Estates and Personal Group also are available to assist with respect to powers of attorney, visitation instructions and healthcare proxies, which have particular importance to LGBT personnel and their families. Specific questions about the benefits provided by Sullivan & Cromwell may be directly addressed to Melanie Corpuz.
The 2009, 2010, and 2011 Corporate Equality Index and Best Places to Work Survey, conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, bestowed the organization’s top rating of 100 percent upon the Firm for our work-related policies, benefits, and practices affecting LGBT employees.
In its most recent rankings, Vault listed S&C as among the 20 best law firms for overall diversity and LGBT diversity. S&C was placed on Vault’s “20 Best Law Firms for LGBT Diversity” list for the prior five years as well.
To see additional honors S&C has received for its diversity and inclusion efforts, see Diversity and Inclusion Recognitions.