UC Law SF OUTlaw named Law Student Association of the Year

UC Law SF OUTlaw has been recognized as the Law Student Association of the Year by the BALIF Foundation. BALIF is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBTQ+ persons in the legal field.

Each year, the award is given to a Bay Area law student group that has shown a strong commitment to serving the LGBTQ+ community at its law school and in the community.

“OUTlaw is an important organization to have on campus because the legal field can be really conservative and old-fashioned, so having a space to make connections with other queer law students and alumni is essential,” said OUTlaw co-president Caitlin Eliason.

UC Law SF students
OUTlaw Co-Presidents Annie Gorden, left, and Caitlin Eliason, right.

The BALIF Foundation awards scholarships to law student associations that promote equality, justice, community empowerment, and professional development for LGBTQ+ people in the legal community.

The work of this year’s OUTlaw Executive Board was focused on community building, professional development, and advocacy, and it yielded significant results in all three areas.

The 1L Career & Summer Job Advice Panel, Non-binary Cultural Competency Training in partnership with UC Law SF, as well as the Alumni Mixer at La Paloma inside La Cocina – a women of color lead nonprofit in the Tenderloin – are a few of the noteworthy events the organization hosted.

Following the difficult years of school disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, OUTlaw leaders said they saw a critical need for community building. They said their numerous on and off-campus events helped them build a queer community at UC Law SF.

“We wanted to continue the legacy of making LGBTQ+ folks on campus feel welcomed and included, especially after the difficult year of remote learning,” said OUTlaw co-president Annie Gorden.

OUTlaw worked with the UC Law SF Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the UC Law SF Alumni Association and UC Law SF Center for Advocacy, Resources & Education (CARE) to gain insight into advocacy best practices and to create a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community.