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.