Below are some facts and statistics regarding Rainbow Law Center's practice, specifically related to the year 2008:
During 2008 Rainbow Law Center took on nearly a hundred new clients. Of those, approximately one-quarter came to us to assist them with Estate Planning services, including wills and trust agreements, and to prepare the legal documents so necessary in the LGBT community to protect the rights of their families – rights that naturally accrue to their married heterosexual counterparts – such as the right to visit each other in the hospital, and to make medical and financial decisions for a partner while he or she is incapacitated, and to be appointed guardian of their children.
Another quarter of Rainbow Law Center’s new clients this past year were in the area of family law, where we assisted clients with divorce, child custody, spousal and child support issues. Rainbow Law Center has represented and successfully defended lesbian and gay clients against charges of being unfit parents, merely as a consequence of their sexual orientation. Many “straight” attorneys believe they can use our client’s sexual orientation or gender identity as a weapon in order to obtain a legal advantage; Rainbow Law Center makes sure they do not.
Other aspects of Rainbow Law Center’s practice are related to the lack of legal recognition afforded to LGBT relationships. In one noteworthy case, Rainbow Law Center was able to win a court ruling that both clients – a lesbian couple – should be considered legal parents of their new child, despite the antipathy in this state toward “second-parent” adoption. Rainbow Law Center has assisted clients trying to begin their families; drafting donor insemination agreements, counseling clients considering adoption, and drafting Co-Parenting and Domestic Partnership Agreements that memorialize the parties’ intentions with respect to how they will conduct themselves as a family while they remain together and in the event of the partnership’s termination.
Given the reality that the LGBT community is susceptible to the same high divorce rate that occurs in heterosexual marriages, but that such clients have no access to divorce courts, Rainbow Law Center has helped several clients in separating from their partners, including negotiating and drafting separation agreements, and the re-titling of assets. Rainbow Law Center has also represented them in litigation when the parties cannot reach agreement on property and other issues.
Mary has significant experience in employment law, and Rainbow Law Center has represented clients in cases involving employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in several cases negotiating settlements with the employer that put compensation in our clients' pockets without having to resort to the cost of litigation. We have also represented transgender clients in their quest to have their name and gender legally changed to conform to their identities. Rainbow Law Center is working with other lawyers and organizations in this state and nationally to advance transgender rights, and Denise has spoken to both state and national groups about this issue.
Rainbow Law Center is also “straight-friendly”, and has represented many straight clients with family law and estate planning issues. When called upon, Rainbow Law Center also handles a variety of more mundane legal matters, such as consumer issues, real property, and probate matters. They do not allow this work to detract from their mission, but it helps to support their primary work.