Our 2019 calendar was full of social, networking and legal events!

September, 2019

In September, Duke OutLaw co-hosted a panel discussion entitled “Where Gender Identity and Biology Collide: A Conversation with Doriane Coleman and Laurence Helfer.” The topic centered on the recent sports law case of Caster Semenya, a track athlete who has been prohibited from competing in the Olympics due to her biological composition. Socially, OutLaw sponsored a Social and Trip to Legends Bar in Raleigh, NC. A group of students from the Law School and the Duke Fuqua School of Business attended.

Duke OutLaw members before heading to Legends, Raleigh.

October, 2019

In October, OutLaw hosted the Durham Pride Breakfast before attending the Durham Pride Parade. Thousands of LGBTQ+ marchers were joined by allies to celebrate our diversity and demand further progress on LGBTQ} issues.

Duke OutLaw members attending the Durham Pride Breakfast.

Later in the month, OutLaw members attended the Fuqua School of Business Halloween Drag Show, hosted by FuquaPride. The event took place at Shooters Saloon, a favorite Duke undergrad bar with a stage, mechanical bull, and a cage for dancing above the crowd. The event provides OutLaw members a chance to cut loose around the halfway point of the fall semester.

November 2019

OutLaw’s November panel LGBTQ+ in Big Law featured attorneys from Gibson Dunn, Sidley Austin and Morgan Lewis. The attorneys spoke at length about their storied careers, what it is like being LGBTQ+ at some of the biggest law firms in the United States, and where firms can do better in the space of creating inclusive and equal spaces for LGBTQ+ lawyers.


Attorneys speak to students about life in Big Law as LGBTQ+ lawyers.

In early November, Sidley Austin joined OutLaw for a cocktail reception at Alley 27, a trendy Durham bar with signature drinks and excellent food. Attorneys got to know 1L students and speak with them about opportunities at the firm.

Other students attended a coffee session with Morgan Lewis attorneys to discuss Pro Bono work at the firm and opportunities for summer internships.

Socially, OutLaw members enjoyed a mixer with Fuqua Business School Pride at a local LGBTQ+ bar in Durham.

OutLaw also co-hosted a “Spread the Love” letter writing event with a number of other Duke Law student groups in response to a protest by Westboro Baptist Church outside Duke’s campus. The letter writing campaign resulted in dozens of letters of support and love being sent to people struggling with grief, bullying, self-acceptance and other difficult experiences.

Students write letters of support for suffering individuals as a demonstration of love and acceptance.

To round out the semester, Duke OutLaw hosted the panel “Fired for being LGBT+: Supreme Court Showdown Over Title VII Workplace Discrimination.” The discussion centered on two Supreme Court cases about whether LGBTQ+ persons are included as being protected from discrimination under the federal workplace discrimination law. The panel featured Greg Nevins, an appellate attorney who argued one of the cases in the lower circuit; Noah Lewis, attorney at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Professor Ames Simmons, policy director at Equality NC and professor at Duke Law School.

Lawyers discussing the pending Title VII workplace discrimination cases at the Supreme Court.

The panel was moderated by Duke Constitutional Law Professor Neil Siegel. Noah Lewis stuck around to do a second panel, co-hosted by the Health Law Society, about Eliminating Discrimination in Trans Health Care Issues.