Meet Ari Jones, 2018-2019 Tom Steel Fellow

Meet Ari Jones, 2018-2019 Tom Steel Fellow

Ari Jones is a dedicated immigrant rights advocate. Ari has provided direct legal services to NorCal immigrants with Berkeley Law student groups, during internships with Catholic Charities of the East Bay and California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. (CRLA), and as a clinical student at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC).

Pride Law Fund denounces white supremacists

Pride Law Fund resolutely condemns the fascist and racist mob in Charlottesville, VA this weekend that tragically and predictably resulted in violence and murder. As LGBTQ people, refugees, immigrants, Jews, and people of color, we know that we are all under attack from emboldened Nazis and their sympathizers. We join in the mourning for Heather Heyer and demand that the President unequivocally denounce white supremacists.

Save the Date for Pride Law Fund's 2018 Annual Bay Cruise 6/9

Please save the date for the Pride Law Fund 2018 Annual Bay Cruise, which will be on the second Saturday of June, 6/9/2018. Enjoy wine, hors d'oeuvres, and fantastic views aboard FDR’s presidential yacht, the U.S.S. Potomac--also known as the “Floating White House.”

All proceeds benefit Pride Law Fund’s year-long and summer fellowships for new lawyers and law students focusing on LGBT civil rights advocacy.

Learn more about our fellows.

Find out more about becoming a sponsor.

For questions or additional information, please contact

Meet Jessie Workman, 2017-2018 Tom Steel Fellow


Pride Law Fund is proud to announce that it has selected Jessie Workman as the 2017-2018 recipient of the Tom Steel Fellowship. Jessie is sponsored by Youth Represent in New York. If you're interested in meeting her in person, she'll be at our Annual Cruise

Jessie Workman started at Youth Represent as a legal intern, and Kyle Jewell fellow, in the summer of 2015 and joined the organization as a Staff Attorney in 2016. The Tom Steel Fellowship will support Jessie in the Pathways Project which will address the disproportionate criminalization of LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth in New York City by providing criminal representation and re-entry legal services, engaging in policy advocacy, and conducting youth-led research about their understudied re-entry needs. Pathways will employ several strategies to increase access to legal services for LGBT/GNC youth, including LGBT/GNC-specific "know your rights" education, one-on-one legal needs assessments, and legal counsel on reentry matters, such as being denied a job because of a criminal history or being evicted because of an arrest. 

Though Pathways Jessie will represent youth on a variety of criminal and re-entry matters, there are two areas of unique need that the Pathways Project will address. First, Pathways will focus on reducing the collateral consequences related to sex work by sealing prostitution-related offenses through the  use of CPL 440.10 motions, an under utilized provision of the criminal procedure law, and one of the very limited ways a criminal conviction can be sealed in New York. Second, while increasing legal services exist for LGBTQ people who are survivors of violence, few resources exist for LGBTQ youth who are incorrectly targeted as aggressors in situations involving family and intimate partner violence.

For more information about this project check out Youth Represent and check our Facebook feed for his periodic updates about Jessie's ongoing work.

2017 Trailblazer Awardee Lisa Cisneros

Lisa Cisneros directs California Rural Legal Assistance’s LGBT Program, dedicated to legal advocacy on behalf of rural, low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in California.  Lisa helped launch the program in 2007 with support from Pride Law Fund's Tom Steel Fellowship.  CRLA and the National Center for Lesbian Rights both co-sponsored the fellowship to provide direct legal assistance to low-income LGBT people in rural California.  Over time the program expanded to train legal services providers nationwide, and work in collaboration with rural community groups, as well as state and national organizations to improve conditions for LGBT people outside of major metropolitan areas.  Lisa directed the program from 2007 to 2010, and returned to the program in late 2014.  Her work has been covered by National Public Radio and NBCout, and featured at a recent White House convening on rural LGBT issues.  Lisa’s professional experience also includes a federal judicial clerkship and complex civil litigation at a nationally recognized plaintiffs’ firm.  Currently her advocacy focuses on employment discrimination, school climate reform and immigration relief for LGBT individuals and their families, as well as leadership development.  In 2015 and 2016 Lisa was selected to Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars list.  She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Fellows Update: LGBTQ Youth in DCFS Custody Receive Affirming Care

Current Pride Law Fund Tom Steel Fellow Ghirlandi Guidetti is fighting to improve conditions for LGBTQ foster youth in Illinois. Recently, Windy City Times published a story on Ghirlandi's work with the ACLU of Illinois. You can read more about the specifics of his advocacy on the ACLU website.


Meet Ghirlandi Guidetti, 2016-2017 Tom Steel Fellow

Pride Law Fund is proud to announce that it has selected Ghirlandi Guidetti as the 2016-2017 recipient of the Tom Steel Fellowship. Ghirlandi is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Ghirlandi will represent and advocate for LGBTQ children in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). His project will provide advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ youth who are overrepresented in the child welfare system. Ghirlandi is well-poised to do this work because ACLU of Illinois has a long-standing consent decree with DCFS to provide civil rights protections for youth in foster care. We are thrilled to support Ghirlandi's ground-breaking work.

For more information about his project check out American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and check our Facebook feed for his periodic updates about his ongoing work

2016 Trailblazer Awardee Professor Russell Robinson

UC Berkeley Law Professor Russell Robinson is the Pride Law Fund’s 2016 Trailblazer Award winner for his work as a pioneer and leader in the LGBTQ movement. The nonprofit will honor Robinson during an award ceremony and fundraising cruise in the San Francisco Bay on August 14.

Robinson’s research and teaching interests include antidiscrimination law, race and sexuality, law and psychology, constitutional law and media and entertainment law. His scholarship has highlighted the abuses LGBTQ people face in incarceration, and more. In Masculinity as Prison: Sexual Identity, Race, and Incarceration, Robinson has helped shape the conversation about the arbitrary and discriminatory processes for incarcerated LGBTQ people to access protective spaces within jails and prisons.

Read more about Professor Russell Robinson at BerkeleyLaw.

2015 Trailblazer Awardee Shannon Minter

“I am honored to receive this award from Pride Law Fund,” Mr. Minter said.  “PLF’s support for the next generation of LGBTQ lawyers and leaders is inspirational to me and absolutely vital to the LGBTQ rights movement.”

On July 12, 2015, the Pride Law Fund (PLF) will honor Shannon Minter, Legal Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, with its Trailblazer Award at its annual boat cruise.   For over thirty-five years, PLF has awarded grants to new lawyers and law students pursuing LGBTQ advocacy projects. The cruise will take place aboard FDR’s presidential yacht, the U.S.S. Potomac (also known as the “Floating White House”).

Since 1993, Mr. Minter has been a tireless advocate at NCLR, one of the country’s leading LGBTQ legal organizations. Mr. Minter argued before the California Supreme Court in the landmark California case that held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry. He has litigated on behalf of LGBTQ rights before courts across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court. President Obama recently appointed Mr. Minter to the Commission on White House Fellowships, making him one of the highest-ranking openly transgender officials in the United States.

Read more at NCLR.