Out at Patterson

Mission

Out at Patterson is a resource group for LGBTQ+ attorneys at Patterson Belknap. We meet on a monthly basis to discuss issues of common interest, to foster a sense of community, to socialize as colleagues, and to assist in the firm's efforts to recruit, retain and promote qualified LGBTQ+ attorneys.


Our Pro Bono Service and Scholarship

Patterson Belknap has a strong record of pro bono service and scholarship on behalf of LGBTQ+ clients and related concerns. Our work has included:

  • Filing amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal Courts of Appeals in important LGBTQ+ impact litigation, involving issues such as marriage equality, employment discrimination, religious accommodations, transgender students’ right to access school facilities and athletic activities, and intersex people’s right to accurate ID documents.
     
  • Working as co-trial counsel with the ACLU to represent a transgender man who experienced discrimination in the provision of healthcare services by a state-run hospital.
     
  • Providing training to nonprofit LGBTQ+ impact lawyers on how to avoid defamation claims in connection with litigation-related press releases and publications.
     
  • Numerous successful representations of LGBTQ+ refugees in the United States seeking asylum because of persecution in their home countries.
     
  • Preparation of comprehensive analyses of disparate tax treatment of same sex spouses in light of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
     
  • Numerous articles published by Patterson Belknap attorneys regarding treatment of same sex spouses and partners, and related presentations
     
  • Patterson Belknap was recognized by The American Lawyer as the law firm with the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ attorneys in the 2020 and 2021 “National Law Journal LGBT Scorecard."

Our Leadership

"I came to Patterson in large part because of its reputation as a haven for queer lawyers—and I was not disappointed. I’ve never felt anything other than fully accepted, appreciated, and treated as an equal. That support has given me the platform to develop my skills and my practice beyond my wildest expectations as a junior associate. But Patterson’s commitment to equality goes beyond providing a supportive environment for its own personnel; the Firm also devotes substantial time and resources to helping advance LGBTQ+ rights society-wide. For example, our lawyers have been involved in virtually all of the most important LGBTQ+ Supreme Court cases in the past decade, with the Firm’s full financial and moral support. I couldn’t be prouder of that commitment."

Jonah M. Knobler, Chair, Out at Patterson
Partner, Litigation Department

Our Community

"Patterson Belknap's inclusive atmosphere, which has always warmly welcomed my partner and me, is why I'm here. I believe genuine progress on LGBTQ+ issues takes more than just policies. In my experience, Patterson Belknap strives to take these extra steps."

Karen R. Berry
Counsel

"I have found Patterson Belknap to be very welcoming of its LGBTQ+ attorneys and staff since my arrival in 1985. In addition to my involvement with Out at Patterson, I also chair our Benefits Committee, where we strive, in all our employee benefit arrangements, to recognize the needs of our LGBTQ+ employees. As an employee benefits lawyer, I have been grateful to be able to work to design programs intended to provide for the fairest available treatment of same-sex spouses, domestic partners and their children, and to work toward changes in the law to benefit LGBTQ+ families."

David M. Glaser
Partner and Co-Chair, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group

"Patterson Belknap fosters an inclusive and affirming work environment for lawyers, staff and their families. The support of our LGBTQ+ colleagues is reflected in our work, our policies and our firm culture. We believe this diversity broadens our understanding of clients' needs and enables us to deliver superior service."

Richard R. Upton
Of Counsel, Tax Group

"Thanks to Patterson’s commitment to hiring and promoting diverse lawyers I am able to work with and be mentored by LGBTQ+ colleagues, which is an experience I thought I would not have while working in Big Law. Seeing my identity, both as a queer person and as a woman, reflected in my mentors and in the leadership of the Firm, changes how I think about my career and shows me each day why representation matters."

Margo Watson
Associate, Class of 2017