Major Law Firm Lends Family Equality a Hand

The Family Equality Council is very excited to announce a new,
strategic partnership with Bryan Cave, LLP, a major international
law firm. Through pro bono services, Bryan Cave will advance our
mission, working to ensure equality for LGBT families, especially
in the area of public policy. Send our partners at Bryan Cave a
thank-you note on behalf of your family and the many
others who will benefit from this expansion of our pro-equality

For Immediate Release
Monday, March 2, 2009

Julie Brueggemann, Marketing Manager, Bryan Cave,, 314-259-2733
Dustin Kight, Communications Manager, Family Equality Council,, 617.502.8700 x

Bryan Cave Begins Pro Bono Relationship with Family Equality

Boston, MA—Bryan Cave LLP announced today it will begin a
substantial pro bono relationship with Family Equality
, a national nonprofit organization working to ensure
equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
families. The firm’s LGBT lawyers’ affinity group selected the
organization after a year-long vetting process. The group looked at
nonprofit organizations that are LGBT focused, non-partisan,
humanitarian, have a national footprint and are in need of pro bono
legal services.

“Family Equality Council’s work to ensure equality for LGBT
families will be dramatically affected by the partnership with
Bryan Cave and their considerable resources and legal expertise,”
said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality
Council. “In a year when Family Equality Council is prioritizing
its work on family policy, Bryan Cave’s assistance will be vital to
our progress and success.”

While the firm will continue to handle a significant number of pro
bono matters in a wide variety of areas, this is the first time a
Bryan Cave affinity group has focused so much of its pro bono
resources on a single organization. In selecting the Family
Equality Council, the Bryan Cave LGBT affinity group sought to
invent a new model of pro bono services.

“We wanted to center our activities on service that was
meaningful and effective, but also, given the economy, efficient.
By partnering with Family Equality Council, we can contribute the
things we have in abundance – legal knowledge, passion and
patriotism – as well as library resources, conference space,
technical assistance and office equipment. We can give big in a
year when we can’t really dig deep,” said Coco Soodek, a
partner in the firm’s Chicago office and member of the LGBT
affinity group.

“The affinity group is thrilled to be forming this relationship
with a dynamic organization on the forefront of LGBT equality
issues,” said Jason Hall, an associate in the firm’s St. Louis
office and member of the LGBT affinity group. “We look forward to
a long-lasting and rewarding union for Family Equality Council,
Bryan Cave and the LGBT community.”

The first project the firm expects to work on for Family Equality
Council is to undertake a comprehensive research survey of current
federal laws affecting LGBT families. “Most immediately, Family
Equality Council’s public policy department will leverage the
extraordinary gift of Bryan Cave’s expertise in legal research
and analysis to act on opportunities for federal policy reform,”
said Kara Suffredini, director of public policy at Family Equality

Although the LGBT lawyers’ affinity group will coordinate the pro
bono activities in conjunction with the firm’s pro bono
committee, all lawyers are invited to participate.

“This represents an opportunity to employ the diversity of our
lawyers and our expertise in service to the community,” said
Bryan Cave Chairman Don Lents. “We are proud to provide the depth
and reach of our firm to an effective organization that is
expanding its national footprint. For more than a century, Bryan
Cave has been on the vanguard of the law and we intend to stay
there as professionals, as advocates and as a firm.”

About Family Equality Council

Equality Council
works to ensure equality for lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender families by building community, changing
hearts and minds, and advancing social justice for all families. We
recognize and believe that the laws, provisions and ordinances that
hurt LGBT-headed families also hurt so many others—single
parents, blended families, families of color, and more. To that
end, Family Equality Council is standing strong to defeat
anti-family legislation and promote pro-family legislation. For
more information, please visit

About Bryan Cave LLP

Bryan Cave
has a diversified international legal practice. The firm
represents a wide variety of business, financial, institutional and
individual clients, including publicly held multinational
corporations, large and mid-sized privately held companies,
partnerships and emerging companies. Subsidiaries Bryan Cave
International Trade and Bryan Cave Strategies LLC provide trade and
customs consultancy and government relations and strategic counsel,
respectively. Aided by extensive investments in technology, Bryan
Cave’s more than 1,200 lawyers and other consulting professionals
in 26 offices across the United States, the United Kingdom,
Continental Europe and Asia efficiently serve clients’ needs in the
world’s leading business and financial markets. For additional
information, please visit