Paula L. Ettelbrick Award

MCCA created the Paula L. Ettelbrick Award to celebrate unparalleled achievement by an individual or an organization in advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender attorneys. The award is named for the late Paula L. Ettelbrick whose quarter-century of work of organizations like Lambda Legal Defense and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission assisted thousands of individuals. Her career as an educator and mentor at institutions like New York University, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan, helped transform the national discussion regarding equality. The Paula L. Ettelbrick Award will be presented at the MCCA Creating Pathways to Diversity® Conference.

2017 Honoree – Evan Wolfson

Evan Wolfson is an internationally recognized civil rights lawyer and strategist. He was the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, the pioneering campaign which drove the successful strategy that won same-sex couples the right to marry throughout the United States. Widely acknowledged as the architect of the marriage equality movement, Evan has been an advocate for human rights around the world since 1983, when he wrote his Harvard Law School thesis on gay people and the freedom to marry. During the 1990s he served as co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriage case that launched the ongoing global freedom to marry conversation, and has participated in numerous gay rights and HIV/AIDS cases. Evan is the author of the landmark work Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry (Simon & Schuster, 2004), and was named one of “the 100 most influential lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal and Time Magazine named him one of “the 100 most influential people in the world.”

Based in New York City, Wolfson has been named a Distinguished Visitor from Practice at Georgetown Law Center, where he teaches law and social change, and Senior Counsel at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, with 125+ offices in 50+ countries.

About Paula L. Ettelbrick

  • Ettelbrick’s career included leadership positions in some of the most influential LGBT rights groups of the past 25 years: the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
  • She lectured on Sexuality and the Law at New York University Law School as an adjunct professor, and served as lecturer in the Women’s Studies Department of Barnard College, according to the Stonewall Community Foundation.
  • Also served as policy director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Legislative Counsel at Empire State Pride Agenda.
  • Ettelbrick was also the mother of three, and served as Family Policy Director at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Policy Institute.

 Strategic Members 2017

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