November 4, 1996
Contact: Peg Byron
New York -- Lambda Legal recently expanded its legal staff across the country, with new lawyers joining Lambda's New York headquarters, its Midwest Regional Office in Chicago, and its Western Regional Office in Los Angeles.
Lambda Executive Director Kevin M. Cathcart said, "Lambda's steady growth echoes our ongoing success in the courts for lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV and AIDS. Thanks to Lambda's dedicated supporters and talented staff, we are deepening our strength around the country, even while we plan to expand the breadth of our work with a Southern Regional Office in Atlanta."
Lambda, the nation's oldest and largest gay legal organization, will create a fourth base of operation in 1997, when it opens the first office for a national lesbian and gay organization in the South.
In New York, Ruth Harlow has filled Lambda's newly created position of managing attorney. Harlow was a staff attorney, then associate director, for the Lesbian and Gay Rights and AIDS Projects of the American Civil Liberties Union. In the past five years, Harlow has handled landmark litigation that includes Gay Men's Health Crisis v. Sullivan, a lawsuit on AIDS-prevention funding, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance v. Sessions, a free speech case for an Alabama gay student group, and Shahar v. Bowers, an employment discrimination case.
"Ruth's work in our field is unparalleled, and her legal acumen is widely respected," said Lambda Legal Director Beatrice Dohrn. "We are very fortunate to have someone with her skills, as well as experience and practice in lesbian and gay rights and HIV-related work," Dohrn said.
Harlow was an adjunct assistant professor of law at Brooklyn Law School and a law lecturer at Rutgers University School of Law. A graduate of Yale Law School and Stanford University, she also served as a Lambda cooperating attorney while an associate at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard in New York City.
Harlow, 35, is a native of Midland, Michigan.
"I am thrilled to be joining the Lambda team. Lambda's work truly exemplifies its label as an impact litigation and education organization, and I hope that with my new responsibilities here, I will be able to add to Lambda's tremendous impact on our law and culture," Harlow said.
Heather C. Sawyer has joined the staff of Lambda's Midwest Regional Office (MRO) in Chicago, as the AIDS Project staff attorney. Sawyer comes to Lambda from the Chicago firm of Schiff Hardin & Waite, where she practiced general litigation, labor, and employment law, and represented clients in claims filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.
"We are very excited to have Heather on our team to expand Lambda's AIDS Project work in the Midwest," said MRO Managing Attorney Patricia M. Logue. "Her varied trial experience and her background in employment litigation make her an important addition to the Chicago office and a valuable advocate for people with AIDS and HIV," Logue said.
Sawyer also is an instructor in human resources law at Loyola University's Institute of Human Resources and Industrial Relations and an adjunct instructor of appellate advocacy at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Prior to joining Lambda she was a cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Illinois and served as a member of the ACLU's Advisory Committee for the Gay and Lesbian Rights and AIDS Projects. Sawyer, 32, hails from Columbus, Ohio, and is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and of Dartmouth College.
"I am honored to join Lambda's AIDS Project and feel particularly fortunate to be working in the Midwest Regional Office. Lambda's AIDS Project work is more critical than ever, and I am very pleased to be helping Lambda continue the fight for the full civil rights of people living with HIV/AIDS," Sawyer said.
Lambda also is pleased to welcome Myron Dean Quon to fill the new staff attorney position in the Western Regional Office (WRO) in Los Angeles. Quon comes to Lambda from the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County, where he was managing attorney of the North County office and represented survivors of domestic violence, and low-income and senior clients.
"Myron's experience and his knowledge of federal benefits will be valuable assets to our HIV/AIDS work, where federal disability programs are often at issue," said WRO Supervising Attorney Jon W. Davidson. "Myron's Legal Aid background and his dedication to working with communities of color will enhance our work in the western region and around the country," Davidson said.
Recently elected committee chair of the California State Bar Committee on Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Quon also is active in the gay Asian communities in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles. A native of Berkeley, California, Quon, 28, speaks Spanish, French, and Chinese. He is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and the University of California at Berkeley.
"I am very privileged to have the opportunity to work within this dynamic and exciting civil rights organization on the fast-changing challenges in the western region. I am also excited by the prospect of increasing participation and coalition-building with communities of color in Lambda's civil rights work," Quon said.
Harlow, Sawyer, and Quon bring the size of Lambda's legal force to 12 attorneys -- a three-fold increase since 1990. Lambda will add two more lawyers to its staff when it opens the Atlanta-based Southern Regional Office in 1997.